In a school many years ago there was a teacher called Maria, who was very strict but knew a lot about reading and language. The children in her class called her “Miss” and went around calling “Miss, Miss!!” any time they wanted something. In her class there were fourteen boys and fourteen girls, and although the boys usually made more noise, normally everyone behaved very well.
One day, “Miss” Maria asked one of the boys, Peter, to read a children’s story. Peter began reading the children’s tale, which went like this: “In a far-off land there was once a sweet young princess called Sophie…” The little boy stopped and exclaimed: “This is a girls’ story!!” and the whole class laughed. Maria the teacher interrupted to say: “Peter, it’s a children’s story and it’s for girls as well as boys. Think about this, do princes like princesses? They do, don’t they? So this is also a story for boys, because princesses are in it and when you are older you will probably like them.”
Peter was speechless at “Miss’s” explanation, but he realised that she was right and you should keep reading a story just the same, however girly it might seem.
Then it was a little girl’s turn to read a story, and her name was Christina. This time it was a story about a man who found work as a van driver , and just like Peter, Christina complained, too. But this is what the teacher Maria told her: “Do you like sweets? Well, those sweets you like so much are transported to shops in vans by men or women like the van driver in the story.”
So Christina understood that however boyish a story might seem, in reality children’s stories are for both boys and girls. Stories try to give us a message, a moral, and it doesn’t matter if a boy or a girl is reading, because everyone will learn just the same.