Tag Archives: children’s lit

Election 2012: Colonel Washington and Me

5 Nov


Part of what I love about being a writer and editor is getting to work with other authors who have important stories to tell.  Jeffrey E. Finegan Sr. was one such author.  He wrote a children’s book called Colonel Washington and Me: George Washington, His Slave William Lee and Their Incredible Journey Together!  The book, beautifully illustrated by Preston Keith Hindmarch, tells the story of the founding of the United States through the eyes of one of the slaves of our first president.  It’s a story I certainly don’t remember hearing when I was a child, and Finegan brings light to how George Washington struggled with the issue of slavery.  I was enlisted to write a curriculum for the book so that teachers, librarians, andhttp://www.colonelwashingtonandme.com/for-teachersparents can ensure children comprehend the subject matter and also to provoke dialogue for further reflection.

Do you talk to your children about the election and about politics?


How to Murder a Woman’s Sense of Worth

20 May

The other night I watched the 1965 film How to Murder Your Wife.  First of all, the dancing was outrageous!  I wish I could travel back in time and attend parties in the 1960s.  Okay, but second of all, the clincher of the movie is that a comic-strip writer is on trial for supposedly killing his wife and sets out to prove that she—and all wives—deserve to be murdered.  The all-male jury acquits him on those grounds!  A quick Internet search and I discovered it wasn’t until 1975 that the Supreme Court ruled that women could not be excluded from the jury pool.  (Marissa N. Batt wrote an enlightening article on this in 2004 for Ms.)

1975!  That’s not that long ago.

Close to five decades after How to Murder Your Wife, the comedy Bridesmaids has just come out.  I was talking to a guy I respect the other day about wanting to see it, and he verbally rolled his eyes about it being a chick flick.  I disagreed saying it’s supposed to be like The Hangover but with women as the leads.  I’m not so sure my argument won him over.

As much backlash as there has been over feminism and as much as people think women have obtained equal rights, it seems that that’s just not the case.  Women and girls will watch movies with men as the central character, but if a movie has a female lead it’s denounced a chick flick, unsuitable for guys.

According to a new study released this month, 31% of children’s books have a female central character.

Only 31%.

Are the VIDA findings so surprising then?