Monday, November 16, 2009

Margot gets Smacked Down!

Oh BOY! The BIG Margot Smack Down
caught me by surprise.

I have been known to pontificate about the fact
that most books for boys are written by men.

Well, a knowledgeable writer pelted me with titles,
provingthat a good number of females
DO write terrific boy's books.

I still insist it's not a majority (which was my original
point), yet larger numbers than
I gave the ladies credit for.

This writer pointed out the error in my assumptions, and went on to provide titles, plus author's names to back up her claims. I do not admit defeat, but I do bow to her great research, and wide knowledge of what goes on in the world of writing for children.

Introducing the Smack Down lady herself. . .

Rosanne Parry
( a wonderfully talented writer)

She smacked me down with this impressive list of authors and titles.

All of them kid friendly books - written by women,
and with young boys in mind.

Guys Lit Wire. They have hundreds of boy-oriented books in categories including everything from First Love to Flying Cars.

I think there is not lack of women who write strong boy characters. From Portland alone, Ursula Le Guin's Wizard of Earthsea series qualifies, as does Henry Huggins, and Henry and Ribsy,The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary. Heather Vogel Frederick's Spy Mice series is James Bond for 9 year olds. Gretchen Olson's Joyride is a great example of a strong male YA character.

Laini Taylor's Dreamdark series and Virginia Euwer Wolff's Make Lemonade series have devoted readers in both genders. Their female protagonists are nicely balanced with a cast that includes interesting men and boys.

If you want to look beyond the hometown (Oregon) crowd, here are some books published this year, authored by women with strong boy protagonists.

Bull Rider by Suzanne Morgan Williams
When the Whistle Blows by Fran Cannon Slayton
Freaked by J.T. Dutton
Initiation by Susan Fine
Haven by Beverly Patt
Operation Redwood by S. Terrill French
The Secrets of the Cheese Syndicate by Donna St. Cyr

hit the jackpot with these titles.

And Oregon DOES have a slew of great children's writers. Maybe it's our extremely active and helpful SCBWI? Or maybe, just maybe, it's all that rain? I mean, what else can you do, cooped up during those long, chilly, wet winters? Kill slugs?