8-Year-Old Gets Sexist 'How To Survive Almost Anything' Books Pulled Off The Shelf

8-Year-Old Gets Sexist Books Pulled From Shelf

What started as a typical mother-daughter bookstore run quickly turned into culture shock -- and not in a positive way.

Constance Cooper, science fiction writer and blogger, was browsing the shelves at Half Price Books in California when she heard her daughter, KC, shout out, “Mama, you have to look at this!”

“So, of course, I thought she'd found something she wanted to buy, but it was completely the opposite. She was looking at two books that had made her so enraged she was actually in tears,” Cooper told TODAY.

KC found two books titled How To Survive Anything, one aimed at boys and the other at girls. For the boys' version, the cover showed a kid looking over at an angry crocodile, ready to attack. On the girls' -- two young girls, one on a zip line and the other posing in a mini-skirt, hip popped.


But it wasn’t until KC looked at the Table of Contents on each that she became really bothered. She replicated the chapters on her personal blog:

For Boys:

How to Survive a Shark Attack
How to Survive in a Forest
How to Survive Frostbite
How to Survive a Plane Crash
How to Survive in a Desert
How to Avoid a Polar Bear Attack
How to Survive a Flash Flood
How to Treat a Broken Leg
How to Survive an Earthquake
How to Survive a Forest Fire
How to Survive in a Whiteout
How to Survive a Zombie Invasion
How to Survive a Snake Bite
How to Survive If Your Parachute Fails
How to Survive a Croc Attack
How to Survive a Lightning Strike
How to Survive a T-Rex
How to Survive Whitewater Rapids
How to Survive a Sinking Ship
How to Survive a Vampire Attack
How to Survive an Avalanche
How to Survive a Tornado
How to Survive Quicksand
How to Survive a Fall
How to Survive a Swarm of Bees
How to Survive in Space

For Girls:
How to Survive a BFF Fight
How to Survive Football Trials
How to Survive a Breakout
How to Show You're Sorry
How to Have the Best Sleepover Ever
How to Look Your Best for a Party
How to Survive Siblings
Scary Survival Dos and Don'ts
How to Handle Becoming Rich
How to Keep Stuff Secret
How to Survive Tests
How to Survive Shyness
How to Handle Sudden Stardom
More Stardom Survival Tips
How to Survive a Camping Trip
How to Survive a Fashion Disaster
How to Teach Your Cat to Sit
How to Turn a No into a Yes
Top Tips for Speech-making
How to Survive Embarrassment
How to Create a Diversion
How to Survive a Crush
Seaside Survival
How to Soothe Sunburn
How to Pick Perfect Sunglasses
Surviving a Zombie Attack
How to Spot a Frenemy
Brilliant Boredom Busters
How to Survive Truth or Dare
How to Beat Bullies
How to Be a Brilliant Baby-Sitter

Cooper wrote on her blog that her daughter was especially upset about the "How To Survive A Camping Trip" chapter since she loves camping. The cartoon caption on the page reads: “Camping may not always be a girls’ choice of activity...” with an accompanying picture of a girl in a bikini sunbathing.

KC didn't just get mad though. She wanted to tell the store's manager about the books. And when an employee overheard their conversation, she asked what was wrong, became equally horrified by the sexist language -- and removed all the books from the shelf herself.

Cooper told TODAY that the books not only hurt girls’, but boys, too.

"In reality they might actually benefit from a lot of the advice in the girls' book, like ‘How to Survive Shyness’ or ‘How to be a Brilliant Babysitter,'" she said.

KC expressed her opinion of the survival books by reviewing them on UK’s Amazon.com. "Do not buy these books for your daughter, or it may make her cry like I did," she wrote.

“I'm very proud of her for recognizing sexism and for speaking her mind,” mom wrote on her blog.

Perhaps next time, the How To Survive books should have added chapters on those skills, instead.

Before You Go

50 Children's Books with a Positive Message