AUSTIN, Texas –Girls in today’s society are confronted by a growing number of challenges, with issues such as gangs and violence, coming of age, careers, acclimation to U.S. culture, sports, and friendship among the topics facing them at an increasingly early age.
The Center for Women’s Studies at The University of Texas at Austin is offering a new educational resource to provide access to information about these and related topics–a reading list and resource guide for Texas middle school girls and their teachers, librarians, and parents. The list is called The Middle School Girls’ Selected Annotated Reading List and Resource Guide.
This 80-page guide features books about girls’ and women’s lives in the areas of literature, social studies (Texas, world and U.S. history), the arts, sciences, and math. It provides titles and descriptions of fiction and nonfiction books, web pages, ‘zines, magazines, and other resources specifically aimed at middle school girls.
The Middle School Girls’ Selected Annotated Reading List and Resource Guide is different from a resource published by Women’s Studies four years ago called A Selected High School Reading List in Women’s Studies. The high school guide focused on providing a list of women’s literature classics to educators and included only curriculum categories. The middle school list is more extensive in scope and contemporary in focus. It also includes themes as well as curriculum categories.
The middle school reading list project centered around the importance of providing educators and parents with materials that present girls and women as active contributors to literature, history, science, and culture. The goal is to assist girls in developing confident visions for their many life roles. The list focuses on more recent texts, as these are more likely to reflect broader images and opportunities for girls. The Middle School Girls’ Selected Annotated Reading List and Resource Guide also is culturally diverse.
“The resource guide is terrific,” one educator, Mary Kite, said. “The head of our Gifted and Talented program is an expert in girls’ achievement, and she was highly impressed.”
Annotations of books, web pages, and resources appear in their own sections, after the sections on curriculum categories and themes. Curriculum categories are based on those designated by the Texas Education Association. All books were selected on the basis of relevance to the middle school curriculum and positive mention in a respected educational publication.
The Middle School Girls’ Selected Annotated Reading List and Resource Guide was prepared by Jessica McFaddin and Dr. Lucia Albino Gilbert, director of The Center for Women’s Studies, and assisted by many others, including Jill Rader, Kristin Schilt, Melissa Gilbert, Pat Chow, Heather Wait, and Susan Dognaux The project was funded, in part, by the RGK Foundation and included participation by faculty and students at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS) at UT. Also contributing to the list were many teachers, librarians, and educational specialists, who discussed ways to improve the project and make it accessible to educators and students.
To obtain a copy, contact The Center for Women’s Studies at (512) 471-5765 or view the list on the Women’s Studies web page (after Nov. 1) at: www.utexas.edu/depts/wstudies.