Review Detail

Kids Nonfiction 2684
Missed the Mark
(Updated: June 22, 2012)
Overall rating
 
1.7
Writing Style
 
1.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
3.0
Learning Value
 
1.0
Nevermind the picture on the cover that shows an intrepid girl swinging through a jungle on a vine. The real message lying inside the book is that girls are shy, fashion-conscious, non-adventurous types. I guess when Scholastic said in the book’s description that this is "unlike those other books for girls that are a little too daring ..." that should be all the red flag a reader needs to know better than to buy this book. It's insulting. The boy's book has chapters on surviving quicksand and other outdoor things. The girl's book has chapters on how to pick the perfect pair of sunglasses and how to teach your cat to sit.

Mix it up, Scholastic. Not every boy wants to take on an avalanche. Not every girl worries about the perfect accessory to her outfit. Do you think Amelia Earhart spent time teaching her cat to sit as she was planning to fly around the world? Was Nellie Bly worried about the perfect fashion accessories when in the Victorian age she traveled around the world in less than 80 days? I’m betting Joan of Arc, Mother Theresa, and Rosa Parks were all spectacularly unconcerned with how to spot a “frenemy” as they stepped forward to change the course of history.

Do you REALLY want teach a girl how to survive anything? Show her that being confident in herself and the interests and skills that are uniquely hers is the best ticket to a fulfilled life. Encourage her to set her goals high and then go for it. Introduce her to the amazing line up of brave, talented, incredible women who’ve dared to put their own stamp on the world. If she chooses to approach her destiny wearing the perfect pair of sunglasses, that’s up to her. But at least respect the female gender enough to communicate that the only limits to what we can do are those we impose on ourselves.

As a note, Scholastic noted the controversy over this title and said it would pull all copies of the books. As of today, however, the book is still being sold on Amazon.
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