There is no such thing as a boy book or a girl book. Books are for everyone! Kids should be able to grow up and follow their own dreams, not one that society thinks they should pursue based on their gender. We have been adding several books to our collection over the past few years that help break gender stereotypes and I want to share some of our favorites with you.
You can click on any of the covers below to learn more about each book or find all of these children’s books that help break gender stereotypes on my Amazon page.
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Children’s Books That Help Break Gender Stereotypes
Except When They Don’t
by Laura Gehl
Children are often told by many different people about what toys they’re supposed to play with, what interests they should have, and who they should be simply because of their gender. This stereotype-breaking book invites children to examine what they’re told “boy” and “girl” activities are and encourages them to play with whatever they want to and to be exactly who they are!
Pink is for Boys
by Robb Pearlman
Pink is for boys . . . and girls . . . and everyone! This timely and beautiful picture book rethinks and reframes the stereotypical blue/pink gender binary and empowers kids-and their grown-ups-to express themselves in every color of the rainbow. Featuring a diverse group of relatable characters, Pink Is for Boys invites and encourages girls and boys to enjoy what they love to do, whether it’s racing cars and playing baseball, or loving unicorns and dressing up.
A Boy Like You
by Frank Murphy
There’s more to being a boy than sports, feats of daring, and keeping a stiff upper lip. A Boy Like You encourages every boy to embrace all the things that make him unique, to be brave and ask for help, to tell his own story and listen to the stories of those around him. In an age when boys are expected to fit into a particular mold, this book celebrates all the wonderful ways to be a boy.
A Girl Like You
by Frank Murphy
Every girl is a wonder! A Girl Like You encourages girls to embrace what makes them unique, to choose kindness, and to be their own advocates. In an age when girls can be whatever they want, this book reminds them of all the ways to be beautiful, brilliant, and uniquely themselves.
Note: I am anxiously waiting for this book to arrive. A Boy Like You was one of my favorite books of 2019. I just know A Girl Like You will be equally amazing!
Julian is a Mermaid
by Jessica Love
While riding the subway home from the pool with his abuela one day, Julián notices three women spectacularly dressed up. Their hair billows in brilliant hues, their dresses end in fishtails, and their joy fills the train car. When Julián gets home, daydreaming of the magic he’s seen, all he can think about is dressing up just like the ladies in his own fabulous mermaid costume: a butter-yellow curtain for his tail, the fronds of a potted fern for his headdress. But what will Abuela think about the mess he makes — and even more importantly, what will she think about how Julián sees himself?
by Leslea Newman
Casey loves to play with his blocks, puzzles, and dump truck, but he also loves things that sparkle, shimmer, and glitter. When his older sister, Jessie, shows off her new shimmery skirt, Casey wants to wear a shimmery skirt too. When Jessie comes home from a party with glittery nails, Casey wants glittery nails too. And when Abuelita visits wearing an armful of sparkly bracelets, Casey gets one to wear, just like Jessie. The adults in Casey’s life embrace his interests, but Jessie isn’t so sure. Boys aren’t supposed to wear sparkly, shimmery, glittery things. Then, when older boys at the library tease Casey for wearing “girl” things, Jessie realizes that Casey has the right to be himself and wear whatever he wants. Why can’t both she and Casey love all things shimmery, glittery, and sparkly?
Dress Like a Girl
by Patricia Toht
A diverse cast of slumber party participants considers the most time-honored traditions for how to dress. If a lady should wear white in summertime, then how about donning a spacesuit? If team colors are apropos at sporting events, why not wear helmets and play ball? This book is sure to inspire any young girl, instilling the idea that the best way to dress like a girl is the way that makes you feel most like YOU!
by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Dear Girl, is a love letter written for the special girl in your life; a gentle reminder that she’s powerful, strong, and holds a valuable place in the world. This book will make any girl reading the book feel that she’s great just the way she is—whether she enjoys jumping in a muddy puddle, has a face full of freckles, or dances on table tops.
by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
This book will make any boy reading this book feel that he’s amazing just the way he is—whether he’s offering a helping hand, singing in a choir, or reaching for the stars.
…always trust magic
…and pursue your dreams.
Tough Guys Have Feelings Too
by Keith Negley
Did you know wrestlers have feelings? And knights. Everyone gets sad—ninjas, wrestlers, knights, superheroes, everyone . . . ! In fact, everyone has feelings—especially dads who love their children!
Just Like Me
by Vanessa Brantley-Newton
This is a collection of poetry filled with engaging mini-stories about girls of all kinds: girls who feel happy, sad, scared, powerful; girls who love their bodies and girls who don’t; country girls, city girls; girls who love their mother and girls who wish they had a father.
Oliver Button is a Sissy
by Tomie dePaola
Oliver Button is a sissy. At least that’s what the other boys call him. But here’s what Oliver Button really is: a reader, and an artist, and a singer, and a dancer, and more. What will his classmates say when he steps into the spotlight?
by Mary Hoffman
Grace loves stories, whether they’re from books, movies, or the kind her grandmother tells. So when she gets a chance to play a part in Peter Pan, she knows exactly who she wants to be.
You can find links to all of these books that help break gender stereotypes on my Amazon page.
Do you have a favorite book that didn’t make the list? I’d love to check it out!
Looking for more books to share with your students? Here are other books organized by topic.