4/18/13

Where Are The Books For Boys? #YA #NA



The Young Adult books that I’ve published – and the ones that are currently “in the works “ – are all written in 1st person, from the heroine’s point-of-view. Most of the YA fiction I’ve read over the years is also written this way. This makes sense, since so much of the YA market consists of female readers.

I’ve read a number of books recently (Young Adult and New Adult) that alternate points of view.  Rather than being written in 3rd person, the chapters alternate between the hero and heroine’s 1st person perspective. Each chapter is “headed” by the name of the character whose point-of-view is expressed in the chapter. I find this very interesting… something I’d like to explore in my own writing.

But lately, I’ve found myself wondering about YA fiction that tells the “guy’s story”. I have 3 sons of my own, one of whom is very much a teenager, and as I watch him experience the fun and the terror of his teenage years, I think to myself… “There should be books out there that tell the guy’s story.”

I mean, really… the possibilities are endless.
                ~ The boy who stays in trouble, but is really the sole caregiver to his baby sister
                ~ The super-smart boy who gets picked on for being weak because he doesn’t play sports
                ~ The star athlete who’s crumbling under the pressure and expectations
                ~ The all-around-good-guy who girls look over in favor of the “bad boys”

And those are just a few of the various “boy personalities” who are just waiting to have their stories told! I see boys like this every day in my job as a teacher, and as I contemplate how I might eventually tell a story from the boy’s perspective, I’d love to have your thoughts!

What issues would be unique to a teenage boy… things that might not be addressed in a book written from a girl’s perspective?

What are some issues that boys struggle with?

What are teenage boys’ greatest fears?

And what books would you recommend that are written from the boys’ perspective? I know there are some out there, and I’d love to know!

3 comments:

  1. Goodness this is so true!!! I have two teen boys and a younger daughter and my eldest teen has lost interest in reading because books are 'too girly'. My younger teen loves to read - now. But for how long? Post Harry Potter there aren't many books for male YA where romance isn't at the forefront.
    I think teen boys need that gritty edge to a read and a male they can identify with. Great post.

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    1. My oldest is a freshman in high school and he has lost interest in reading somewhat. In middle school he read Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series and loved it. He also read Riordan's Egyptian series and like those. In 7th grade he read "The Hunger Games" series and liked those. Most recently he read Veronica Roth's "Divergent", but hasn't asked to read the sequel. I think about what sorts of stories he would like and what kind of things would engage him. I think there's a story in there somewhere! :)

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