Friday, September 19, 2014

Weekend Reading: The I Should Stop Pretending These Posts Have a Theme Edition

Are you well and truly tired of me talking about that job search ebook? Let's talk about the upcoming release of my next kids' book instead! I don't know why I tend to have these releases stack up like this- nothing much happening for most of the year and then BOOM! Two book releases in two months. But that's just how it turned out. I had lunch with my publisher today so that we could discuss our plans around the release of Petunia, the Girl Who Was NOT a Princess, and we've got some fun things planned. I'll tell you more in the next week or so.

The main impact right now, though, is that I didn't spend very much time at my computer today, so my links list might be a little lighter than usual.

However- quality over quantity, right? I've got some great links to share.

First up is a teacher's story about why we need diverse books. The bit that really struck me is the one that is used in the headline:

"A few years ago, I taught a Year 2 class in East London. I had built up a good bank of multicultural picture-books and resources and shared these with the class whenever seemed appropriate. When it came time for the class to write their own stories, I suggested that they used the name of someone in their family for their protagonist. I wanted them to draw on their own backgrounds, but was worried about ‘making an issue of race’. When it came to sharing their stories, I noticed only one boy had acted upon my suggestion, naming his main character after his uncle. He had recently arrived from Nigeria and was eager to read his story to the class. However when he read out the protagonists name he was interrupted by another boy, who was born in Britain and identified as Congolese.

“You can’t do that! Stories have to be about White people.”

I’m confident the boy who announced this was being sincere and indeed, in the ensuing class discussion there was a fair bit of uncertainty about who could and couldn’t be in stories. I was surprised and confused by this. Why did they always write stories about children from very different backgrounds to themselves? And why were these characters always White? After all, I had shared a number of stories about children of colour with the class.

I just hadn’t realised what I was up against."

Speaking of racism... the research of Jennifer Eberhardt, one of this year's MacArthur fellows, is depressing and fascinating. You can watch her describe her research, or read Jamelle Bouie's article about some aspects of it.

Here is a really thoughtful and thought-provoking post about the recent XOXO conference.

I really liked this article about how we need Sci-Fi that helps us imagine a better future in addition to warning us about possible horrific outcomes.

If you've somehow avoided hearing about GamerGate and are wondering what it is, Cracked has Zoe Quinn's story. If you know all about GamerGate, it is worth clicking through just to read and lolsob at the intro, which just nails the ridiculousness of the whole thing.

Roxane Gay's post about shopping while fat is beautiful. If I ever get rich enough that I can just start a capital-intense company because I want to see such a company exist, I want to start a woman's clothing company that makes nice clothes for women of all sizes. Also, it will have a stable core line of pants that will be reliably the same, so that you don't have to go find a new model of black pants every damn time you need a new pair.

Remember when we all wanted to do something concrete to help the people in the St. Louis are? There are school teachers there asking for help.

OK, we need something happy to end on. I'm not even a librarian and this tumblr made me laugh.


  1. Anonymous9:53 AM

    re: twitter posts in your feed-- what I do is go to the search function in twitter and type "nicoleandmaggie" and it shows who has tweeted out our blog posts recently. You could probably do the same with "wandering-scientist" or "wandsci"... if you haven't tried that already...

  2. Oh my goodness if you do set up that company I WILL BE ALL OVER IT. I hate having to order 5 or 6 pairs of large black pants every darn time I need a new pair, because the cut keeps changing. Large women who wears out her trousers over here!

    And if there could be natural fibre tops which are bum-covering and work-appropriate with sleeves and limited cleavage, that would be WONDERFUL and I would buy SHARES!!!


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