Male fans of female YA characters

Click the image for a list of 100 books to get boys reading, from The Telegraph (UK)

From The Telegraph (UK)

So there’s evidently been some hullabaloo about book retailers engaging in gender marketing. Evidently they believe boys won’t want to read books with girl protagonists.

Weird, eh?

Well, here’s a list, from The Guardian (UK), that counters this argument: female characters admired by male readers. Men and boys want to read good stories as much as women and girls do. Why are we not surprised?

Who are your favorite female (and male) protagonists?


3 thoughts on “Male fans of female YA characters

  1. That is a very interesting post, insofar as there are some trends that have been noticed in my own educational experiences where the boys tend to gravitate towards male protagonists and the girls had a tendency to read books about females. Although, this notion of gender based reading is not completely true, as a future educator it will be imperative for my students to read novels with a wide diversity range, so that they can become more well rounded pupils. Moreover, when adolescents can learn about certain things that are synonymous with different genders, this can be a great opportunity for them to become more understanding of their peers through the use of literacy. Also in terms of my favorite protagonists, characters such as Jane from the novel “Jane Eyre” and Oscar from “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” were very exciting texts that was read in my younger years; specifically because the introspective tones in these books are extremely authentic. -JC

  2. My first reaction to this perspective is a mind flooded with futuristic horrors: IQ-segregated schools; test results determining vocations and skill-set studies; education, funding, resources and quality teachers allocated by preferences of color, financial and social status…oh, wait! We already do all this! Yikes, then, maybe its a good idea?!??? Maybe it IS a dangerous thing to have CROSS-GENDER READING???
    Yup, I see now: It is an important issue.We should get boys to read books only about boys; girls should read stories only about girls.
    Phew! For a minute there, I thought there was a complex issue to work out…Thank goodness the smart folks are on duty.

  3. When I was a kid, I definitely fell into the category of “male reader only interested in male protagonists”. I think the book that began to turn that around for me was “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe”. The ensemble cast of brothers and sisters let me still feel like I was reading a story with boys in it, but really, Lucy struck me as the most interesting character overall.

    I think my favorite female protagonist in all of literature though is Elizabeth Bennett in Pride and Prejudice. I love how she stands in contrast to her mother and sisters and, especially, how she has her own ideas that challenge the social construct that she finds herself within. If I was a part of that family, I always thought I’d be something of a Mr. Bennett, and Elizabeth is his favorite after all, too. She’s also unafraid of speaking her mind though the consequences might be detrimental.

    But I also really enjoy reading about Janie in Their Eyes Were Watching God. I found her story incredibly compelling, and I love Hurston’s really poetic descriptions and measured use of dialect.

    I’d also like to add that I’m a fan of some of the female protagonists we read about this semester especially Frankie Landau-Banks!


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