What can a book do for a girl?

Less than half of Hayao Miyazaki’s animated film Far from the soul, A 10-year-old girl gets her name back. He has lost too much after falling into the supernatural world – his parents, even his brief physical body. The return of his name, followed by a good gift from a friend – fresh food – eases his accumulated grief. Chihiro cries freely for anything taken from the bites of steamed rice balls.

For writer Gabriel Belotti, Miyazaki’s emotionally sensitive images of female characters such as Chihiro offered him: Available models to embody your own femininity as a transgender girl growing up in the Dominican Republic. The fictional characters showed her, as many other girls have shown, a more complete, colorful way around the world than her immediate reality would allow.

When Lauren LeBlanc discovered it in 1964 I never promised you a rose garden as a teenager, it gave him a much-needed language for the complex horrors of growing up. And that helped him translate those feelings to his friends, who also needed a lifeline to mature. In: The Hate U Give:YA modern novel և film, the protagonist similarly finds new, necessary words to express himself. As he begins to speak, he hears the peculiar pain of a black girl. He also shows the need for more stories that take a black girl seriously.

But not all books can handle the complexity of their young audience. In a 2013 essay, Amy Schiller argues that the American Girl Dolls’s accompanying book franchise exchanged introductory lessons on US history և political involvement. for unnoticed avatars that simply reflect certain customers և Focus on the privileged, island environment. In contrast, a unique story, such as the collection of Melissa Phoebus Girlhood, can help us not to learn from those who dominate our culture. His essays reveal the illogical stories of shame, self-withdrawal, which teach girls about sex and consent. the wounds left by boys and men. “Phoebus education is a form that I could certainly use,” writes Sophie Gilbert. What new visions could those words open? After all, a story that reflects on the reader can often be meaningful. But a story that changes what he sees can change a girl’s life in no small way.

|:Inside every Friday Book briefingwe are the thread together Atlantic stories on books that share similar ideas. Do you know of any other book lovers who might like this guide? Forward this letter to them.

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What we read

From the 1984 film by Princess Nausica Miyazaki Wind valley Nausicaa (Ghibli Studio)

Hayao Miyazaki արվեստ The art of being a woman

“Many [Miyazaki’s] The characters, including Princess Nausicaa, the wolf-girl Sun, and the born Kiki, were examples that contradicted the cultural stereotypes of femininity; they showed me women who could be anything they wanted to be. “Somehow they actually saved me.”


Photo of three girls reading books

Patrick Wisdom / Magnum:

The book that said the words I could not say

“I was trying to share the story of a girl like the two of us, who is scared and lost, but survives. Outside of our immediate experience, the voices offered salvation. I felt that they could help me save someone from drowning when I could not swim either. ”


Amandla Stenberg as Star Carter "The Hate U Give:"

Amandla Stenberg as Star Carter The Hate U Give: (Erika Dos / 20th Century Fox)

The complexity of black girls lies The Hate U Give:

«The Hate U Give: “It shows the ways in which black girls’ anger can be politically strong.”


shown American Girl doll photo

InSapphoWeTrust / Flickr:

American girls are no longer radical

“Organic gardening և school art supplies are perfectly acceptable problems for young girls to solve, but… these plots keep things close at home, focusing only on the issues that affect their backyard և school days. Problems that mainly affect people who, by repeating the call “My American Girl” dolls, “look like me.”


The net of yellow rectangles is placed on the photo of the girl with her legs on the sofa

Cyprus / Getty / The Atlantic:

Endless attacks on girls

“The story of girls being taught to adopt, as Phobos says, is illogical. In order to absorb it, one needs to be careful throughout one’s life, in the absence of anyone trying to counteract it. “


About us: This week’s newsletter writes: Nicole Achempong. The book he just started is new Annie JohnBy Jamaica Kincaid.

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