Charlotte of Charlotte’s Library talked about how the sci fi and fantasy genres are male-dominated while YA has more females:
A gender imbalance exists in science fiction and fantasy – male authors get anthologized more, get more awards, and get picked for lists more. In composing a response to that post, it struck me that there exists the opposite gender imbalance (men getting noticeably less attention) in the genre I care most about – middle grade and YA fantasy and science fiction. I see it in my own reviewing – out of the last twenty books I reviewed, only three have been by men.
Leah Cypess, author of Mistwood, talked about the same topic in post at The Enchanted Inkpot.
A few weeks ago I was in a Barnes & Nobles signing stock, and I passed by two sections shelved side by side. The first, the science-fiction & fantasy section, was populated by a group of guys sitting on the floor reading. In the second, the YA section, a couple of girls were discussing the books on display.
One anecdote does not a pattern make, but I’ve seen many people make these observations in chats and posts: that the YA section seems to be in danger of becoming a guy-free zone. But is it really? And if so, what does it mean, and what (if anything) should be done about it?
She then came up with a List of Boy Books over here. I decided to blog about this because I’ve been wondering the same thing. I’ve noticed that most of the YA books that I read have strong female protagonists written by female authors. But I always thought that that’s just because I choose those kinds of books because that’s what I like. It’s just now that I’m starting to realize that yes, YA tends to be female-oriented. Whenever guy friends ask for recommendations, I have to pause and rack my brains for books that I think would appeal to them. I’ve also noticed that most book bloggers are female. Come to think of it, I have more female friends who like to read than male friends.
I’ve never really given this topic much thought before because even though I’m into warrior women, I’ve read and liked several boy books as well. Looking at my list of favorites, there are several YA books there that have male protagonists: the Queen’s Thief series, the Bartimaeus Trilogy, the Harry Potter books, the Lion Hunters series and Ender’s Game. So I’m not really worried about the genre. I’m sure there are a lot of excellent books out there featuring boys, I just don’t go out of my way to look for them.
So, any thoughts on this? What are some of your favorite boy books?