Monday, November 05, 2007

Boys Don't Read (or do they?)

I just did a quick mental inventory through my writing career both in television and in print and I noticed something interesting about the protagonists. See if you can spot the trend when I list their names - Shelby, Jojo, Emily Elizabeth (yes, I did some time with the Clifford machine), Jane, Molly and Darby. They're all female. And that list doesn't include the book I did about the WNBA or the Sports Illustrated for Kids articles I wrote about Mia Hamm and Briana Scurry. In fact, the most male thing I can remember writing is the time I wrote a single episode of the Playhouse Disney show Stanley. (And, he wasn't particularly masculine. After all, he talked to his goldfish.)

When I worked with Nickelodeon and Disney Channel, there was a sense that it was important to write girl characters. The idea was that boys will watch anything, but girls were much more likely to watch shows about girls. But, I wonder about the books. How many boys read for fun? (I practically have to beg my twelve year old son to read.) Are they're boys out there leafing through the Ro-Com series? I also wonder if girls would as interested in reading books with male protagonists.

Just curious.


Kelly McClymer said...

My sons were never big readers -- video games for No 1 and skateboarding for No 2 were their interests.

Interesting that TV wisdom says boys will watch anything and girls watch girls, because I've always heard the opposite for readers -- that girls will read books about boys, but boys won't read books about girls.

This is cleary true with my sons, who can't even be bribed to read my books about 'girl stuff.'


Kelly McClymer said...

Ummm, make that ...*clearly* true with my sons... I noticed the typo after hitting enter, naturally.

Anonymous said...

I'm a boy and LOVE to read, especially YA books/series with female protagonists. I even run my own site, which you guys may or may not be familiar with- Book Chic on Myspace, all about promoting YA books (with the occasional chicklit thrown in for fun, lol).

And reading's always been a part of my life. I'm 21 and in college now, and am even more of a voracious reader than I was before. As time goes on, I get more and more into it. And it's great. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm a boy too and I've been reading all sorts of teen fiction from Gossip Girl to Cirque du Freak. I actually have read the books in the RomCom series and will read all the books in the series when they release. I really don't see a label on books its like if girls can play guy sports then guys can read girl books and so on.

CNA said...

My little brother reads for fun. He's more into the war type of books, like Redwall and this other series that I have no clue what it's called.