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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » YA for Boys

   
Author Topic: YA for Boys
redux
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Are there any Young Adult books for boys?

The boys I knew were reading all the Dragonlance books, the Dritzz books, DnD novels...

What's out there for boys now? When I browse the YA section it's dominated by stories about girls with supernatural boyfriends.

Do boys just get marketed the sci-fi/fantasy books? Are they reading Gaiman, King or Stephenson instead?

I'm very curious on this subject... please enlighten me!

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Foste
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James Dashner's Maze Runner springs to mind. The Hunger Games work too, if you ask me (I know love triangle-shmiangle, but I think boys would love those books).
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Meredith
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The common wisdom (and we all know how reliable that is) is that boys just graduate from middle grade to the adult section. Virtually all YA is marketed for girls and heavy on the romance.

Some publishers say they want YA for boys, but you just don't see much of it published.

I'm not sure if you could count Dan Well's I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER, etc as YA or not. David Farland considers his recently quasi self-published NIGHTENGALE to be YA. Both of those have male protagonists.

I wouldn't be surprised if we see a shift as e-readers penetrate further into the YA market and more YA is e-published.

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MAP
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Eragon was YA I believe and did really well.

I think there is a market for it. It just hasn't been tapped yet like the YA paranormal romances have. JMO.

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extrinsic
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In the Golden Age science fiction digest heydays, for young adult males there were few TVs, few sports broadcasts, few cars for them to drive; many souped-up bicycles, pop bottles along the roadside for redeeming and buying a Coke, a Hershey bar, and an Astounding Science-Fiction digest to while away an indoor afternoon; few music players, few video games, few role playing games, no personal computers, few accessible blue pastimes, few fun activities that today's young adult males actively pursue and enjoy.

Females of all ages read more than males, have at least since literary suffrage empowerment came to pass, and by a slim but consistent margin of roughly 51 percent female to 49 percent male.

Where female fantasy romance (feminine actually, not female exclusively) of the amatory sort tends toward wish fulfillment, male science fiction (masculine actually) tends toward escapism, thus a bit of author surrogacy's self-idealization, self-efficacy, and self-centric causation are pivotal. And rivets and chrome and erector sets and manly tools to work them with, and away from the natal nest, the human creche known as Mother Earth. That's the inner drive that predominates in young adult males' psyches, getting away from parental influence and out on one's own to make a name for one's self, mark a notch on the bedpost, notch the pistol grip, and put a deep dent into some something-something, and drain a bottle or two.

It's proving one's emerging manhood. It's rites of passage, rituals of male status competition, male bonding from meeting equals on the field of honor and bravely triumphant at least in noble defeat and honorable acquital. And awe and wonder from being first one to set foot on an undiscovered shore, first to get there and back to tell the tale to approving audiences. Gentlemen, start your engines.

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Crank
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quote:
Are there any Young Adult books for boys?
Hey...I'm typing it as fast as I can! [Big Grin]

S!

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KayTi
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I'm with Crank, though I write girl protags, they're still fun stories for boys, too (my own 10 yr old boy acts as a first reader for me.)

Maze Runner series, Hunger Games. I'd also add Incarceron (two books.) Gone, by Michael Grant (dystopia YA future set in CA after a weird blast leaving only kids in an impenetrable bubble.)

Legend was awesome (halvsies with POV - girl and boy protags) by Marie Lu, can't recommend highly enough. Last year the best book I read all year was Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi, also male protag and very boy-friendly.

But yeah, there are fewer boy readers and it seems the YA market is tilted toward romance, though 99% of boys I know who have read Hunger Games series have enjoyed the whole thing (and have no issues w/the romantic subplot which, after all, is a subplot. Many other YA stories include a romantic plot but it's not sub anything, the whole story hinges on it.)

Also - the author Sonnenblick - Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie, After Ever After, ... and something else that I'm blanking on (he's written more too.) is really well regarded in the YA market. Awesome public speaker, too, btw, if you ever get the chance to see him, go!

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axeminister
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quote:
Dragonlance books, the Dritzz books, DnD novels
These weren't in the YA section when I (we) were younger because there was no YA section, right?

Are these still around?

Maybe they're all Warcraft and Halo books now, and we just don't notice them.

I can't say I stay too long in the YA section - mainly because on the cover is a good looking girl with one enrapturing word as the title like "Betrayed" or "Subservient".

Ok, maybe not that one.

Besides, as the proud father of a 14 yr old girl, I have the entire YA section in my house.

As a teenager I went straight to sci-fi / fantasy and gathered my reading material there. I didn't read "YA" at all, as far as I know.

I'm afraid I can't research this question as the nearest bookstore is 50 miles away. All I can do is echo it. What up?

Axe

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redux
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Thanks for all the book suggestions and insights. Everyone has been very helpful. My reading list just keeps expanding!

axeminister - Growing up I frequented the local library more than the bookstore and I think librarians already had a YA section. I remember being able to find Treasure Island, The Outsiders, Lord of the Flies and those Choose Your Own Adventure books in that section.

I certainly don't remember the shelves crammed with YA for girls.

It was just the sci-fi/fantasy shelves where you could find anything from Asimov's Foundation series to Robin McKinley's Hero and the Crown.

I brought up the topic because I am fascinated at the marketing push for all the YA books for girls but YA for boys seems to be very limited.

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Pyre Dynasty
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I think it's a pendulum sort of thing. Sometimes the market is heavy with boy books, sometimes with girl books. (I blame a certain sparkly vampire novel for the current trend.) But I think the boys have plenty of showing in the Fantasy/Sci-Fi section.
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Elan
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I've always considered Ender's Game a YA novel. It doesn't get too gruesome, there are no steamy sex scenes, and the protagonist is a young boy with adolescent problems. Just because it's a great read for adults doesn't mean it won't qualify as YA either.
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LDWriter2
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Come to think of it I may know a YA series for boys.

At least to me the first one was written in a style I thought was for younger readers even though it doesn't say on the book.

It's a UF series for YA. Rats, I can't find it right now but the title is something along the lines of Urban Knight or City Knight, or New York Knight.

It does have a touch of romance in it but mostly about fighting, fire demons vs an army, ghosts. Guys who can fly with magical help, ancient beings trying to take over the world.


And there's at least two books in the series. And it says on the cover that William Shatner likes it but don't let that stop you from reading it.

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redux
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If anyone is interested in writing YA for boys these blogs could prove helpful:

http://guyslitwire.blogspot.com/

http://www.guysread.com/library/

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