What ever happened to teenage boy literature?

Even though I’m not too big on YA lit, I often find myself having to think about YA lit a lot – and not only because I work at a high school library, but because of the emergence of YA lit as a viable genre for publishers.

I love seeing the new books that come in from Ingram – every time we receive new books, it’s like unwrapping a Christmas/Birthday present (for me, it’s the same thing…) because I can’t wait to see what new books I’m going to want to check out. In recent years, I’ve found that I prefer nonfiction books as my pleasure reading. As much as I love reading a good fiction book and getting lost, I so rarely find that captivating book that just makes me want to READ.

I was lucky this past summer that I found a good fiction book – Almost Like Being In Love. But aside from that, I’ve mainly been reading nonfiction. I looked back at my history of reading, and made a realization today – I’ve read mainly nonfiction nearly my entire life. I wonder why I never got hooked on YA novels…

Then, I saw this list of Top 5 YA novels and made another realization – very few YA novels are geared towards boys. I guess thats an awful thing to say – why must novels be divided up by gender? Why can’t literature be cross-gender? In the YA genre, the last book/series that I can think of that had appeal equally among boys and girls was Harry Potter. The more recent popular books tend to be geared towards female readers.

Is there a reason for this? It’s not as if boys don’t read books – the Library rats at my work can attest to that (mainly boys!) I guess it could be because it’s so much easier to pinpoint what a girl reader would enjoy, hence making it easier to write? Who knows…


4 thoughts on “What ever happened to teenage boy literature?”

  1. There are lots of great YA novels which appeal to boys – John Green and David Levithan are two US writers to look out for. Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother, Patrick Ness’s Chaos Walking trilogy,authors like Melvin Burgess, Kevin Brooks, Alan Gibbons and Charlie Higson are popular with boys in the UK. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Cassandra Clare’s City of Bone series and Blood Red Road by Moira Young seem to be enjoyed equally by boys and girls.
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  2. Abbiamo fatto passi da gigante in effetti. Io ricordo con nostalgia il lettore vhs in cui da piccino mi rimaneva la mano inarstacta dentro. Esperienze che i bimbi oggi non avranno il piacere di provare xD

  3. As I sit here and type this comment on my Macbook, I will tell you to hang in there!! It is a difficult switch, but once you go Mac, you never go back. I can’t stand PCs now. Total Apple girl!

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