Children’s books are a vast market and it isn’t hard to find a book about female best friends forever, or a group of loyal guy friends, but what about mixed gender friendships?
Our view of the world is formed as we grow and mature, influenced by what we see and hear-reading included. To help promote healthy mixed gender relationships some writers have taken it upon themselves to show how easy it can be.
When the stories we show our children only ever show boys and girls becoming romantically involved it can send the wrong message to children- that boys and girls can’t be friends without romance getting in the way.
These eight books ignore those gendered stereotypes and show that girls and boys don’t have to be romantically involved, and that great friendships can blossom between genders of all kinds.
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“Rising sixth grader Miss Moses LoBeau lives in the small town of Tupelo Landing, NC, where everyone’s business is fair game and no secret is sacred. She washed ashore in a hurricane eleven years ago, and she’s been making waves ever since. Although Mo hopes someday to find her “upstream mother,” she’s found a home with the Colonel – a cafe owner with a forgotten past of his own – and Miss Lana, the fabulous cafe hostess. She will protect those she loves with every bit of her strong will and tough attitude. So when a lawman comes to town asking about a murder, Mo and her best friend, Dale Earnhardt Johnson lll, set out to uncover the truth in hopes of saving the only family Mo has ever known.”
“Astronomy-loving Calliope June has Tourette syndrome, so she sometimes makes faces or noises that she doesn’t mean to make. When she and her mother move yet again, she tries to hide her TS. But it isn’t long before the kids at her new school realize she’s different. Only Calliope’s neighbor, who is also the popular student body president, sees her as she truly is–an interesting person and a good friend. But is he brave enough to take their friendship public?
As Calliope navigates school, she must also face her mother’s new relationship and the fact that they might be moving–again–just as she starts to make friends and finally accept her differences.
Ellie Terry’s affecting debut will speak to a wide audience about being true to oneself.”
“Lily Jo McGrother, born Timothy McGrother, is a girl. But being a girl is not so easy when you look like a boy. Especially when you’re in the eighth grade.
Dunkin Dorfman, birth name Norbert Dorfman, is dealing with bipolar disorder and has just moved from the New Jersey town he’s called home for the past thirteen years. This would be hard enough, but the fact that he is also hiding from a painful secret makes it even worse.
One summer morning, Lily Jo McGrother meets Dunkin Dorfman, and their lives forever change.”
“Aven Green was born without arms – and by age 13 has learned how to do almost everything without them. When her parents take a new job running Stagecoach Pass, a dying Western theme park in Arizona, Aven has to leave everything she knows and face being the centre of unwanted attention at a new school. Not to mention dealing with gunfights outside her bedroom window at 12:00, 3:00, and 5:00. Hiding out in the library, she meets Connor, a boy who has Tourette’s syndrome and is struggling to come to terms with his own disability. Together, they begin exploring the park, where they find themselves wrapped up in the mysterious disappearance of the owner – and the park’s tarantula population. It would be hard enough for anyone to solve a mystery, help a friend and face their insecurities in the process. But Aven’s about to find out just what she’s capable of… even without arms.”
“”Charming and elegantly written.” –Kirkus Reviews, starred review Long before they became famous writers, Truman Capote (In Cold Blood) and Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird) were childhood friends in Monroeville, Alabama. This fictionalised account of their time together opens at the beginning of the Great Depression, when they’re both still young. They love playing pirates, but they like playing Sherlock and Watson-style detectives even more. It’s their pursuit of a case of drugstore theft that lands the daring duo in real trouble. Humour and heartache intermingle in this lively look at two budding writers in the 1930s South.”
“Princess Violet is plain, reckless, and quite possibly too clever for her own good. Particularly when it comes to telling stories. One day she and her best friend, Demetrius, stumble upon a hidden room and find a peculiar book. A forbidden book. It tells a story of an evil being, called the Nybbas, imprisoned in their world. The story cannot be true–not really. But then the whispers start. Violet and Demetrius, along with an ancient, scarred dragon-the last dragon in existence, in fact-may hold the key to the Nybbas’s triumph or its demise. It all depends on how they tell the story. After all, stories make their own rules.
Iron Hearted Violet is a story about the power of stories, our belief in them, and how one enchanted tale changed the course of an entire kingdom.”
“Once upon a time, Hazel and Jack were best friends. But that was before he stopped talking to her and disappeared into a forest with a mysterious woman made of ice. Now it’s up to Hazel to go in after him. Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen,” Breadcrumbs is a stunningly original fairy tale of modern-day America, a dazzling ode to the power of fantasy, and a heartbreaking meditation on how growing up is as much a choice as it is something that happens to us.
In Breadcrumbs, Anne Ursu tells, in her one-of-a-kind voice, a story that brings together fifty years of children’s literature in a tale as modern as it is timeless. Hazel’s journey to come to terms with her evolving friendship with Jack will deeply resonate with young readers.”
“For twelve-year-old Emily, the best thing about moving to San Francisco is that it’s the home city of her literary idol: Garrison Griswold, book publisher and creator of the online sensation Book Scavenger (a game where books are hidden in cities all over the country and clues to find them are revealed through puzzles). Upon arriving, however, Emily learns that Griswold has been attacked, and no one knows anything about the epic new game he had been poised to launch. Then Emily and her new friend James discover an odd book, which they come to believe is from Griswold himself. Racing against time, Emily and James try to uncover the secret at the heart of Griswold’s new game-before Griswold’s attackers find them.”