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Web Reads: The British ban on girly books (and boyish ones, too!)

Newsworthy

Gender censors. Should publishers issue gender-specific books for children? That’s a big debate in England, where at least 3,000 people have signed a change.org petition calling on publishers to “stop labeling books, in the title or on the packaging, as for girls or for boys.” Now Katy Guest, the literary editor of The Independent on Sunday, has issued a statement declaring she will refuse to review “any book which is explicitly aimed at just girls, or just boys. …Any Girls’ Book of Boring Princesses that crosses my desk will go straight into the recycling pile along with every Great Big Book of Snot for Boys.” Several publishers have hopped on board, including Usbourne and Parragon Books. Michael O’Mara of Buster Books, publisher of titles such as The Brilliant Boys’ Colouring Book and the Beautiful Girls’ Colouring Book,says he will continue publishing them. “All boys don’t like one thing and all girls the other, but the fact is lots of boys like the same things and lots of girls like the same things,” O’Mara said. “We can’t ignore the fact that they are definitely different.”

Peer pressure. Corporate public affairs offices have long been liberal bastions, steering corporate donations to liberal non-profits. Here’s an article in The New Yorker documenting how corporations, including Disney, applied pressure to the Boy Scouts of America to change its policy regarding gay members.

Thar she blows. A drone captures close up video of a volcano erupting in Vanuatu.

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Internet footprint. What do social media reveal about one of the pilots of the missing Malaysian aircraft? He liked to cook, tinker, and make balloon animals, and he was interested in atheism.

Think hard. Grit is an important trait for success, but how do teachers and parents help their children develop it? This fascinating article shows how one chess teacher at a low-income school in Brooklyn does it.

Susan Olasky
Susan Olasky

Susan pens book reviews and other articles for WORLD as a senior writer and has authored eight historical novels for children. Susan and her husband Marvin live in Asheville, N.C. Follow Susan on Twitter @susanolasky.

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