Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Boys, Girls & Books

In the book lover world, 2012 seemed a bit dramatic.  Something was always wrong, someone was always mad, etc, etc.  Most of the articles were link bait seeking attention. Most of those I'm so beyond caring about anymore.

But one topic sticks out.  The fate of the poor boys with no books to read.  Curious, I decided to look the number of Boy vs. Girls protagonists in the books I read in 2012.  I just wanted to look at the plain numbers themselves for the purpose of this chart, not jumping into which books were "boy books" or "girl books" because that's always debatable.

I was actually surprised by the number of books with girl protagonists that I read.  But taken into consideration by those narrow definitions these books are solidly in the female protagonist category.

But then should that really be surprising? Part of the goal of my blog is to find positive female characters that girls can look up to.  So I actively seek books that sound like they might have that.  On the other hand I'm a tomboy and really enjoy male protagonists.  But I don't go looking for books with male main characters. I just read what interests me.

The point of looking at the numbers for me, was to say yes there are books with boy protagonists.  Nearly 1/3 of the books I read last year featured boy main characters (if you count books that multiple POVs the number gets higher).  That's without any effort, and with my reading being partially controlled by whatever publishers wants to give me and whatever the library has.

I'm not going to give you a list of my recommendations because Readadventurer has already done a wonderful feature.  I just wanted to look at some of my stats and share the results.  There were actually quite a few books that I could not remember the sex of the main character, not necessarily because the books weren't memorable but because nothing stuck out as "girly" about those books.

So here is a list of the books with male protagonists (not counting multi or ambiguous). Please note that my numbers for any of this could be off because I was just looking through my "Read in 2012 shelf" which is an imperfect system. But I think the main point stands. There are plenty of books with boy protagonists and even more books that boys would enjoy.

  1. Deadline
  2. A Monster Calls
  3. Big Country
  4. City of Thieves
  5. Under The Bridge
  6. Fitz
  7. Sleeping Freshman Never Lie
  8. Shadow on the Mountain 
  9. A Beautiful Lie
  10. Black Heart
  11. Blood Rites
  12. Throne of the Crescent Moon 
  13. Alif the Unseen
  14. Lies Beneath
  15. Hammered
  16. Blackout
  17. The Schwa Was Here
  18. Jasper Jones
  19. The Final Four
  20. Street Dreams
  21. Hexed
  22. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
  23. Carter Finally Gets It
  24. The Lost Prince
  25. Midnight City
  26. Dead Men Kill
  27. I am (Not) the Walrus
  28. Tortured (Bridge Novella for Birthmarked series)
  29. Be More Chill
  30. The Evening Hour
Note: These are not all Young Adult novels or even recently published.  Same for the girl books.  The only books I took off the list were nonfiction. 


Reese's Reviews said...

Wow never would have guessed that!! Thank you so much for the incite. I know I love strong female protagonists so I do feel a tad bad for the boys. However, they did get Harry Potter! 8)Happy Reading!!

Catie said...

Yeah, I personally don't think that the whole "there's no books for boys" outcry holds much water. I don't think books can be defined as strictly "for boys" or for girls" number one, but even if you looks at the number of books with male protagonists...there are really quite a few. It's interesting to see how your numbers broke down though. I wonder what my stats would look like!