Children at my daughter’s developmental stage identify most strongly with their own gender, and reading about girls who have epic adventures has helped my daughter expand her own possible futures. It's in the games she plays, and the stories she tells. As with the fanfic writers who find personal validation in their creations, Girl Bilbo has helped my daughter imagine the person she will become.
Scholars have found that stories have a strong influence on children’s understanding of cultural and gender roles. Stories do not just develop children’s literacy; they convey values, beliefs, attitudes and social norms which, in turn, shape children’s perceptions of reality.