Monday, 27 March 2017

Let Kids Read What They Want

Today, I saw one of the ugliest polls I have ever seen in my life.

A poll, quite surprisingly, from the Sunday Times.


The poll came as a general question after this article was published, describing a head teacher (note: a middle-aged, white, presumably heterosexual, upper class male) who is banning 'low quality' books in his school including the Twilight series, the Percy Jackson series, and the Skullduggery Pleasant series. He called them, and many others, “so simplistic, brutal or banal”. 

This, as you could probably guess, rustled my jimmies to perhaps a new height in the stratosphere to which my jimmies have never reached before. I am a HUGE advocate for letting children, especially young children in primary school, read whatever the hell they want. As long as they are reading, this should be enough.

Of course, you could argue that this just wouldn't work. Young children definitely need some level of guidance on the books that they can read during school hours. But, there is a more compelling argument that as long as they are reading books that match or begin to excel their individual reading age, then the genre really doesn't matter. In fact, allowing them to explore more contemporary books and giving them this free choice will encourage them to read more enthusiastically on school grounds and at home. 

There was another series of books that this very privileged man has decided to ban from the school premises, and those are... you've guessed it... Girl Online by Zoella. 




Zoella gets so much criticism from the traditional media outlets about her books. No matter what your opinion is on the current surge in books by Youtube content creators, the facts still stand: Zoella has completely smashed the sales records for books (beating JK Rowling and EL James in the process) which means that she sold more of her books in the first week of release than any other book every written since records begin in the 1980's. 

What can we conclude from this information? That more young people are taking an active interest in reading than ever before. They are taking initiative and asking parents to buy them a book that is appropriate for their age range, or saving up their own pocket money and buying the books themselves. THIS IS WHAT I CALL A RESULT!

And would you seriously rather more Fifty Shades of Grey books get sold than wholesome and funny books like Girl Online


At the end of the day, school libraries do have a responsibility to supply books that will not cause psychological harm to students or prevent them from developing their reading skills further. But this is a primary school we are talking about. Let the kids read their fantasy books about pirates and vampires and keep their imagination burning. After all, we need more budding authors for the future.

Zoella will not harm your students. Letting your personal taste about what is 'high quality' and 'low quality' literature will. 

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Females that Inspire Me

Let's talk women. And drag queens!

Since its International Women's Day, I couldn't go without writing about some of my favourite women on the planet. However, some of my favourite women only identify as women in spirit! It is important to recognise that not all women have vaginas.

Here are some queens and queens that I respect so damn much, in no particular order.

1. Ellen DeGeneres: because she's Ellen, and she never fails to make me laugh.



2. Michelle Obama: BECAUSE SHE IS MICHELLE OBAMA. Not "Obama's wife". Michelle Obama. In her own right.



3. Michelle Visage: another Michelle. Fierce supporter of the LGBT+ community and a feminist forever.



4. Bianca Del Rio: one of the hardest working drag queens and her talent is enough to stun you into silence (or non-stop laughter).



5. Katya Zamolodchikova: one of my all time favourite drag queens. She is crazy and creative and her character is a stroke of genius.




6. RuPaul Charles: MAMA RU! The queen of all queens. Made drag what it is today and created a platform for LGBT+ voices to be heard.



7. Adore Delano: her Twitter feed makes me think about life and she is SO TALENTED.



8. Holly Bourne: her books are like feminist bibles. Always consult them for your equality needs.



9. Keris Stainton: an all-round fabulous woman and is, like mothers generally, always right.



10. Ruby Tandoh: Bake-Off star and writer in her own right. An incredibly insightful person.



11. Kate McKinnon: one of my favourite human beings on this planet. Talent runs through her veins, not blood.



12. Sarah Schneider: a writer for SNL who helps to create the funniest sketches on television.



13. Juno Dawson: amazing author-y human being, who deserves all of the success in the world.



Who inspires you?

Let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: Girling Up by Mayim Bialik

Photo courtesy of Amazon.com

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly spot hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine and is meant to showcase the books that a blogger is anticipating in the next couple of months. Today I'm going to be talking about Girling Up by Mayim Bialik.


INFORMATION

Title: Girling Up: how to be Strong, Smart, and Spectacular
Author: Mayim Bialik 
Page Count: 192
Publisher: Philomel Books
Release Date: 1st July 2017

Format Available: Hardcover, Kindle, Audio CD
Original Language: English
Genre: Young Adult Lifestyle 



DESCRIPTION

Mayim Bialik, star of The Big Bang Theory, puts her Ph.D. to work as she talks to teens about the science of growing up and getting ahead. A must-have book for all teenage girls. 

Growing up as a girl in today's world is no easy task. Juggling family, friends, romantic relationships, social interests and school sometimes it feels like you might need to be a superhero to get through it all! But really, all you need is little information. 


Want to know why your stomach does a flip-flop when you run into your crush in the hallway? Or how the food you put in your body now will affect you in the future? What about the best ways to stop freaking out about your next math test? 


Using scientific facts, personal anecdotes, and wisdom gained from the world around us, Mayim Bialik, the star of The Big Bang Theory, shares what she has learned from her life and her many years studying neuroscience to tell you how you grow from a girl to a woman biologically, psychologically and sociologically. 


Want to be strong? Want to be smart? Want to be spectacular? You can! Start by reading this book.


Why I can't wait


If anyone has read my blog from the early days, I used to describe myself as having "a totally non-creepy girl crush on Mayim Bialik".  And even though four years have gone by, that statement still stands.

Mayim was a huge inspiration for me as a teenager. She managed to have a career in show business as well as juggling her education, even going on to complete a PhD, and she continues to educate young people in her spare time when she isn't Amy Farrah Fowler on The Big Bang Theory. Being a woman in science isn't easy, but Mayim has paved the way for changing the game for women in STEM subjects. 

I think Mayim is such a modern feminist icon, and it is worth buying this book just to hear her insights on how to grow up a woman in your own way. I would have killed for this book when I was younger, because Mayim was a real influence on me when it came to chasing my dreams and finding the motivation to carry on when I had nothing left in me. 

I know I'll be checking this book out, so will you check it out too?

Leave me a comment and let me know!