There are so many exceptionally good books with strong female characters, but not nearly enough, and boys are not encouraged to immerse themselves in them. How many people would never consider buying Anne of Green Gables or Island of the Blue Dolphins for their 10-year old boy, but don’t pause before giving a daughter Treasure Island or Enders Game? Books featuring girls are, for the most part, understood to be books for girls. Which is interesting as well because, in addition to there not being enough, books featuring girls as protagonists are disproportionately among the most frequently banned children’s books. In a recent Buzzfeed list of 15 commonly banned books for kids, almost half were about girls. Girls who do things apparently scare a lot of people.
Some very interesting thoughts here about gender in Children’s Literature- do you think similar conventions apply to YA?
At LauraNowlin.com I’ve made a poll for my readers, asking if anyone would be interested in my posting audio of me reading from my novel “If He had Been with Me.” Please let me know if you are interested!