Sep 3, 2010

Boys and Young Adult Books

This summer there was quite a lively debate on this blog. The discussion was about how boys tend to go from middle grade books to adult books and skip the young adult section.

I don't know if this is a rule, but I do know a boy who did this exact thing.

He was one of my favorite middle grade readers (going into eighth grade). I could give him anything and he'd give it a try. This past summer he went on a trip so I loaded him up with some new (middle grade) books I had bought. He went away and read them all and liked them fine, but he told his mom when he was back that he wasn't really into them anymore.

He read a ton this summer, but what he read was adult books, in particular he happened to be into survival books. For him, realism was what he was craving.

So I pose a question--do boys lose interest in fantasy much faster than girls? Is that why they tend to skip young adult books?

(Check out other thoughts: middle grade series for boys vs. young adult series for boys, and the totally amazing collection of YA book covers (how many are boy friendly?)).

1 comment:

  1. That's a good question. My son is 11 and last school year (5th grade) he earned the most AR points at his school (429). He read so many books that when summer came he was not so interested in reading and I had a hard time getting him interested in any books. When he started 6th grade last month he went to the school library and checked out only nonfiction books. However, at the school book fair he purchased the following three books:
    The Compound
    Dark Life
    The Roar
    He could not get through them fast enough he enjoyed them so much. I read all three and thought they were fantastic reads as well - though The Roar had some writing issues that were disappointing. I think that a lot of the middle reader books, whether it is intentional or not, are geared towards girls and boys are a bit turned off by them. They need a strong writer that can deliver action they can really visualize to get them involved in a book and they really really do not care about burgeoning romances. Boys tend to get left out of this category, I feel. And how about books on dealing with middle school? We went to the bookstore and all we could find were girl's guides to boys, girl's guides to middle school, girl's guides to middle school friendships. . . nothing for boys!