VOYA: Girl Knights & Boy Queens . . . an addition to the list of cross-dressing titles
In the October 2013 issue of VOYA Magazine, there is a great article by Rebecca Moor about cross dressing teens entitled Girl Knights and Boy Queens: Cross-Dressing in Teen- Appeal Books and Films.. Honestly, it is pretty exhaustive in its exploration of motivation and titles. It includes a look at titles old, Bloody Jack, and new, The Boy in the Dress. But a new title has come to my attention that I wanted to add to the list: The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas.
It all began with a ruined elixir and a bolt of lightning . . .
I recently saw Sherry at Austin Teen Book Festival and she described her book as, “Cross-dressing Harry Potter.” You see, she wanted to create a historical fantasy story with a female main character, but in order for it to work in the historical context she had to acknowledge that women weren’t afforded the same status as men in that time. Her resolution? Make the girl dress up as a boy to attend school, but it is not a magical school. In fact, the main character, Iolanthe, has to hide not only the fact that she is a girl but her magical powers as well.
Back Cover Description:
Iolanthe Seabourne is the greatest elemental mage of her generation – or so she’s been told. The one prophesied for years to be the savior of the Realm. It is her duty and destiny to face and defeat the Bane, the most powerful tyrant and mage the world has ever known. This would be a suicide task for anyone, let alone a reluctant sixteen-year-old girl with no training.
As I mentioned, the VOYA article is a well-developed look at the literature and the role of cross-dressing in the lives of teens. It has a pretty inclusive list and a great look at some further information about cross-dressing. You can check it out on pages 10 through 14 in your October 2013 issue of VOYA.
Filed under: Cross Dressing, Harry Potter, Sherry Thomas, The Burning Sky, VOYA
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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