Top positive review
LOVED LOVED LOVED it
Reviewed in the United States on December 25, 2016
LOVED LOVED LOVED it! We wanted to thank you as both a woman and as a mother of a young son. We read every night before bed, and I cannot start to recount the amount of sexism there is in children's books --especially older books, which we inherited a lot of. I am not quite sure how I managed to survive my childhood (I read voraciously as a child) with my confidence and sense of self intact.
The newer books are usually much better are portraying girls and gender, but often do so on a more superficial level. For example I am very grateful that the Ninjago series (which my son is obsessed with) included the character of Nya, but she somehow seems added on as an afterthought, and a lot of time is spent matching her up as a date with various of the Ninja.
The female characters in the Avatar/Airbender books seems to be very different--at least judging from the Smoke and Shadows trilogy, which is the one we have. The female characters are central to the story. They are both heroes and villains. They are made up of the same balance of toughness and vulnerability as the male characters. The male and female characters interact both as team members and as love interests. And I love how the little girl asks Kiyi to "marry her".
You would think, in 2016, that all this would be standard. But trust me, your books are the exception rather than the rule... well, except for books that are deliberately contrived to convey a socially just message about gender, race, ethnicity, etc., But my son seems to pick up on this --he seems to have an aversion to these types of books, unfortunately. (And trust me--as a progressive, female, African-American teacher of social justice issues, I have tried! :-)
It is important to me as a woman, as a teacher, and as a mother of an impressionable 7-year-old son that you continue doing what you are doing! Much gratitude!