When I was in fourth or fifth grade I went on a "survival in the wild" kick. Robinson Crusoe kicked it off. One of the books I checked out had a title along the lines of "Baby Island." The premise was a bunch of girls, slightly older than I was at the time, were shipwrecked on an island with a handful of younger kids. I was intrigued at how the addition of helpless infants would change the strategies needed to survive.
One of my teachers however withheld the book for close to a week, requiring me to go in and convince her to let me read it because it was a "girls" book. I though of that book when Caleb showed an interest in the The Rainbow Fairies series. The boy can read what he wants dammit. I was a bit proactive however and chatted with him about it a few weeks ago.
"You know how you like Stan Rogers songs?"
"Well, some people think you're too young for those songs, but I know you're not. Some people with very limited imaginations think there are whole categories of things that only certain people should enjoy. "
"Yes it is. There are people who think Minecraft is only for boys!"
Caleb responded with a look of disbelief and said, "No way! That's STUPID!"
"Exactly! Now, you know the Harry Potter books?"
"Yeah," Caleb replied a bit timidly. We've read the first one but it scared him.
"Well, it has Goblins, like Rainbow Faries, and the later books have elves, which are kinda like the faeries in the Rainbow Fairy books."
"OK." He seemed suspicious, like I was going to suggest a return to Harry Potter.
"Well, to tell you how silly some of these ideas are, and some of your classmates might share them, so I'm warning you now so you can tell them they're bing silly if they bring it up, there are people who think the Rainbow Fairy books are only for girls."
When Caleb is really dumbfounded by something he thinks is absurd, he kinda laughs in disbelief. "But Harry Potter isn't just for girls!"
"Silly, isn't it?"
"You read what you want to read. Mom or I will warn you if it has things in it we don't think you're old enough for just yet."
"Thank you Daddy. Good-night."
He then snuggled into bed and resumed reading a book about the Autumn fairy.