Tales of Science Fiction Written for a Middle Grade Audience
Sally Ride, first American woman in space and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, famously said:
“Young girls need to see role models in whatever careers they may choose, just so they can picture themselves doing those jobs someday. You can’t be what you can’t see.”
Girls need to read stories where any number of possible roles are modeled for them. Just as importantly, boys need to read stories where girls are active participants in adventures. And children of all colors and backgrounds need to know the future includes them.
According to a 2011 study of 6,000 children’s books, only 31 percent had central female characters, and even fewer featured main characters of color.*
A genre that’s supposed to inspire us towards a bright future isn’t making space for half the population’s dreams. Boys go and have adventures, girls are to be defended, or prizes to be won, and the landscape is very, very white.
It’s time for a bigger universe.
We’ve got a great collection of 24 stories from amazing authors, ranging from Nebula and Hugo winners to relative newcomers to the field. 90% of the stories in the anthology are brand new, and 80% have central female characters. We don’t have girls who are prizes to be won or waiting to be rescued. All of our heroines and heroes are on their own adventure, not a side note in someone else’s. Our characters are white, black, asian, latino. Human and robot. Everyone belongs here.
This project would not have been possible without our backers. Thank you!
Parents are saying:
“I just wanted to let you know that I received my print copy last night. I backed the book for my 6 year old daughter. My expectation was that we would need to hold on to it for a few years. I had to pry it out of her hands to get her to go to bed. The going is a bit slow, in part because the stories are the most advanced she has read, but in part because she is so excited she has to stop regularly to explain to me what is going on in the story. She has declared it her favorite book.” ~Gary D.
“My daughter is on the couch presently, reading her copy, which I handed to her approximately 3 minutes ago. She is engrossed. Thank you. :)” ~Matthew McFarland
“Entertaining, varied and enrapturing – my young wards for the weekend have positively devoured the book and I’ll admit enjoying it myself once they very reluctantly set it down. I really hope Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide becomes a series. :)” ~Andro Berkovic
*The study is “Gender in Twentieth-Century Children’s Books: Patterns of Disparity in Titles and Central Characters.” (http://gas.sagepub.com/content/25/2/197.full.pdf+html) The results are also discussed in this Guardian article. (http://www.theguardian.com/books/2011/may/06/gender-imbalance-children-s-literature)
She wanted adventure. She got a demon and a dying world…
Millie’s a witch. So why can’t she do magic?
When you can’t remember most of your life, you’d better be prepared for anything. A middle grade fantasy adventure!
Our first collection of science fiction stories for middle grade readers. Come check it out!
Readers asked for the Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide to be a series. We’re happy to oblige!