Book Vloggin’ with Jan: The Bechdel Test

“So why test children’s and teens’ books for representation? The Bechdel Test is a great exercise that we can all use to be aware of the people around us. It teaches us to think more critically. Being aware of how people are represented in the books that children read can lead to children being aware of how people are treated in real life. Critical thinkers develop empathy at higher rates than non-critical thinkers. We asked a few of our kids staff to pick the books they think pass the test and then some.”

Each month, Jan, one of our intrepid booksellers, picks a different topic and tells us about her must-read books in that genre. This month she’s vloggin’ about books for children and young adults that our booksellers prove pass the Bechdel Test. And she has a guest! Helen!

Books Discussed In This Blog, All BookPeople Staff Picks:

A Bargain for Francis by Russell Hoban
“This story is a great example of the Bechdel test because the girls set important boundaries on their own terms and learn to be better friends.”

Clara Lee and The Apple Pie Dream by Jenny Han
“Clara Lee wants to stand out, but wants to do so on her own terms.”

Percy Jackson and The Olympians by Rick Riordan
“Although the focus is on Percy Jackson and his exploits, his friends Annabeth and Clarisse are also two demigods–the daughters of Athena and Ares respectively….their reason for being are clearly to be heroes in their own rights: protect the weak, fight for what is right.”

Under The Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald
“The strong bonds of friendship as each girl plays to her very different strengths in solving the mystery of the egg lead this book to a surprising- and very satisfying- conclusion.”

Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan
“Esperanza faces physical, financial, and emotional hardships of a migratory farmer on a company farm, and she feels she is losing her connection with the land.”

Cinder, Scarlet, Cress by Marissa Meyer
“These books fly past Bechdel test because working together is the only way these young.”

Unspoken and Untold (The Lynburn Legacy) by Sarah Rees Brennan

While the love triangle among Kami, Ash, and Jared moves the plot forward, the friendships among Kami, Angela, and Holly are what really hold the plot together.

Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger
“…despite their petticoats and curtsies, the girls at this school learn that the greatest danger the world will ever see, might just be them.”

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