COVERFLIP: what happens when you gender-swap book covers?
Maureen Johnson, in the Huffington Post: “We’re told not to judge books by them, but… EVERYBODY DOES. That is what they are for. They are the packages that get your attention, that give you messages about what to expect.
Which is why yesterday, I proposed a little experiment on Twitter. I asked people to take a well-known book, then to imagine the author of that book was of the opposite gender, or was genderqueer, and imagine what that cover might look like. Because we have these expectations in our heads already.
There were hundreds of replies within 24 hours. Click here to see just a few of them.”
This conversation is great, for so many reasons, including:
- It gets people thinking critically about gender, publishing, reader’s advisory & library displays in a creative, fun way that is also serious & likely to engender real, thoughtful conversations
- It can also be adapted to create a library program where teens create alternate covers for some of their own favorite books. It would be an excellent assignment in English classrooms, too, for that matter.