Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Books for Boys - and Girls

I'm dropping in from my blogging vacation to say that this conversation made me think what was said when someone asked "are there enough books for boys?" at one of the YA panels at last spring's LA Times Festival of books. The panel was made up of M.T. Anderson, Coe Booth, John Green, and Nancy Werlin, in case anyone cares.

1) Everyone agreed that this was (mostly) bullshit.

2) John Green partly dissented. But his argument was not that there aren't enough books for boys, but more that most of the books with teen boy protagonists tend to be, well overly stereotypical. They are almost always heavy on the action and adventure and light on the emotional chaos of being a teen boy. In other words, there are too many Eragons and not enough An Abundance of Katherines. Although, needless to say, that's not quite how he put it.

3) Everyone agreed that the best way to get your book challenged and/or sent back with lots of red marks from the publisher/editor was to include a female protagonist that has sexual desires/experiences (like, gee, most teen girls) and isn't punished for having them (sadly, not quite as universal).

And on that note, in case anyone cares what I've been doing during my unplanned vacation from blogging: I've been out of state for Thanksgiving, interviewing for full time library jobs, and thinking really wicked thoughts about this fictional man and this real one. Not, um, all at the same time.

(more pretty pictures here - you have to look for mgg yourself to see them - I'm too tired tonight to get around the site's security)

PS - because I know everyone cares - my niece can read and write now. (sort of)


Amy Reads said...

Hi Mickle,
Huzzah for your niece! Godchild Reads is now talking, and said "Nanny" for the first time on the phone, with me, so huzzah for her, too!

Mickle said...

yay for cute kids!