But Weisgall’s article got us to thinking about what really makes a book great for young girls. It’s a nebulous thing. Whether a certain book is about girls shouldn’t matter all that much — in my experience, there seems to be a strange phenomenon where young boys don’t like reading books about girls, but girls read about either sex with equal interest — though passing the Bechdel test (which Little Women does) has never hurt a piece of literature yet. Obviously, women should be portrayed respectfully, though in 2012 I expect this from pretty much all fiction (the characters don’t necessarily have to be treated respectfully at all times by the other characters, of course — just by the author), but what else?
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