Tuesday, June 12, 2012

How To Write Books for Boys and Girls

(This post is being re-posted because The Management is all on vacation.  Enjoy!)

I found this 1954 article about Children’s Literature on a defunct website. Submitted for your edification and amusement.

"How To Write Books for Boys and Girls"
"Always portray the military, politicians and religious figures in a positive way. Remember, these responsible authority figures keep Americans safe against atheists, beatniks and Communists.

"The family in your story should consist of married parents. Divorce has no place in reading material of teens. Broken homes make them nervous and might put unnecessary worries in their heads about whether Mom and Dad are getting along. While many classic stories feature orphans, today’s modern family is more educated and healthy, and orphans are old fashioned characters.

"Dad should always work in an office or to a responsible job like a fireman or a policeman. Fathers should never be an unemployed loafer or a union organizer. Mothers should always be homemakers. Mother’s who work in offices set a bad example for impressionable girls.

"Boy characters should have healthy, manly hobbies like playing baseball, collecting bubble gum cards, and outdoor camping. Girls should like sewing, cooking and talking with other girls about like clothes and boys. Activities that keep boys inside like reading, writing or thinking are not suitable role models for young men. Those are girl activities. On the other hand, too much physical exercise by girl characters would be unrealistic and your reader would lose interest. If your story has a Tomboy, make sure she is not a major character. Make the Tomboy a supporting character who longs to act like a real girl.

"Dress your characters in appropriate clothing. Boys: short sleeve shirts (only puny boys who spend too much time reading in their rooms wear long sleeve shirts), loose, comfortable pants with pockets and Keds sneakers with tied laces.

"Girls: ankle-length skirts (absolute no pants), Mary Jane shoes (only girls with loose morals wear high heels unless attending special occasions like a funeral or a wedding), hair tied in a pony tail or neatly trimmed.

"Language is very important. As boys and girls are often not in control of their feelings, they make many exclamations of surprise.

"Appropriate phrases:
'Holy Moley!'

"Inappropriate phrases:
'Crazy man!'
'What a gasser!'

"Never show a boy and a girl holding hands unless accompanied by an adult or riding in a hay wagon with other boys and girls.

"Never have a girl romanced by a foreigner, especially greasers, scratch-backs, potatoes, pachucos, fruitpickers, or braceros.

"If your story is a crime mystery, make sure your youngsters deal with bunco artists, robbers, or counterfeiters. Never put your youngsters in peril with murderers or social deviants.

"Everybody likes a good ghost story, but stories with supernatural happenings should be confined to misunderstood blithe spirits, college fraternity pranks or escaped convicts in disguise.

"If you follow these tips, your story is sure to be a delight to boys and girls everywhere, and stand the test of time just like the classics you read as a youth.

"End your story with a good, hearty laugh at the dinner table. Perhaps, Skippy the family dog runs through the house chasing Fluffy, the neighbor’s cat.

"These are a few tips for a good writing and wholesome reading."


  1. Was this for real - brilliant! I'm sure a lot of it was probably true, although Enid Blyton had a famous tomboy character in the Famous Five books.

    1. Rosemary, Our Mexican-In-Residence assures us the guidelines are real. Therefore, we don't believe him.
      The Management


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