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Across the Gender Lines: Writing Historical Fiction that Appeals to Boys and Girls

Screen Shot 2016-12-22 at 4.43.34 PMI’ve always thought of myself as a girly-girl writer. Although I’ve 10 biographies for kids that appeal to both boys and girls—many of them in the popular Who Was series—my real love is girl-friendly stories; no fewer than five of my children’s books have the words doll or doll house in their titles. I’m also especially partial to stories involving Jewish girls, as the protagonists of The Doll With the Yellow Star, The Doll Shop Downstairs and The Cats in the Doll Shop will attest. If there was a problem here, I failed to see it and would have been happy to keep spinning my Jewish maidele stories as long as there were audiences for them.  

But a chance meeting with an editor from Boys’ Life produced the first crack in my frilly, feminine facade.