We know that it’s important to encourage boys and girls to strive for fulfilling careers that challenge and interest them. While there’s no shortage of media that tells little boys they can grow up to be astronauts, doctors, and anything else they put their minds to, unfortunately the same can’t always be said for their sisters. To celebrate National Reading Month, here are five brilliant children’s books that encourage young girls and boys alike to reach for the stars.
(Photo Credit: San Jose Library/Flickr)
There continues to be a real bias against women in STEM fields, so literature that centers on female characters in these areas is so important. Created for children between 3 and 6 years old, Rosie is a budding engineer who wants to help her aunt fly. If your child just loves to take toys apart and discover how they work, this book may be perfect.
Who says we have to choose between being the princess or the knight? Cornelia Funke’s delightful fairytale-inspired story subverts typical gender roles in a way that will inspire young tomboys to have it all.
Chances are, you already have a copy of this classic – but it’s always worth a revisit. Roald Dahl’s beloved Matilda has inspired young bookworms since 1988, telling them to ignore the bullies and just keep learning. Unfortunately, the telekinesis is still out of reach for most of us, but you can’t have everything.
Understandably, Grace is shocked to learn from her teacher that there has never been a female president of the United States. Follow the beginning of her political career, as she decides to become a candidate in the school’s mock election! With the 2016 election season in full swing, this book is a perfect way to educate your children between ages 5 and 9 on the gender imbalances in our political system.
Conventional gender roles define boys’ understanding of what is expected of them too, and can be just as damaging. Books like My Princess Boy, by Cheryl Kilodavis, inspired by her own son, make clear that it’s OK for boys to dress up and have fun, too. It’s an important message of love and acceptance for both boys and girls to receive.
Tell Us What You Think
Are there favorite books from your childhood that inspired you to dream big, whether in your career or personal life? Have you read any of the ones listed above? Join the conversation on Twitter, or leave a comment below.