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Ladybird books are the latest publisher to have hopped on board the Let Books be Books campaign (http://www.lettoysbetoys.org.uk/ladybird-books-no-more-girls-or-boys-books/), pledging to stop publishing gender stereotyping books (‘for girls’, ‘for boys’).

Growing up, I was lucky enough to have a mother who loved maths and a father who taught me every sport he enjoyed (and it’s a fairly long list) – and it’s something they and I are trying to pass on to the next generation.

But I’m not here to talk about reading – I’m here to talk about writing. About taking on reader stereotypes and twisting that knife to make your writing more exciting, more interesting, more original. An excellent example of this is ‘The Turbulent Term of Tyke Tiler’, which takes preconceived ideas and turns them on their head, but I won’t spoil it for those that haven’t read it.

My point? The main advantage of the first person point-of-view: you don’t have to give the narrator’s background up front. So you can be married to the girl of your dreams, attend church and be allergic to nuts, all the while being an atheist lesbian researcher squirrel.

And that is the beauty of fiction.

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