WHY SHOULD OUR COMMUNITY BE INTERESTED IN YOUR BOOK?
Adolescence is a painful experience. The teen’s body is going through volcanic changes, surging with hormones, undergoing tectonic shifts in musculature and skeletal reformation. An adolescent’s mind swims with hormones and crackles like an electrical storm with new ideas, new thoughts, new desires. It’s a time of emergence and discovery – moving away from the shelter of parents, the teen is on a journey toward maturity, learning about her sexuality, coming to understand her morality, finding her place in the world.
Young adult novels are important because they offer a non-judgmental guide through the mazes of adolescence. The best young adult novels offer teen readers a prism through which to view the world, an example in which to show them they can have effect. For adult readers, they offer a commentary, a dialogue on the universal human condition. After all we were all teens, once.
Except for that one guy. You know the one.
WHY SHOULD WE GIVE A DAMN ABOUT THIS PARTICULAR BOOK?
Girls are far more likely to read for pleasure than boys, so sayeth numerous reports on reading and gender studies. (Here’s a really good one, nicely designed and easy to understand. Of course. From SCHOLASTIC, the same folks who brought you Harry Potter 2010 Scholastic Kid and Family Reading Report.) The chasm in reading between boys and girls has grown so wide and deep that Evil Knievel backs away from it on his motorcycle (which is impressive because he was an idiot and motorcycles don’t have a reverse) and reading has become an attribute of gender stereotypes.
The reasons girls lap boys in reading for pleasure are numerous. The flawed American public educational system doesn’t allow students to choose literature by interest (unlike in Montessori, but don’t get me started on my Montessori schpeil) but, rather, assigns classic works of fiction that are described as “boring” by male students all because of antiquated and rigid guidelines due to a bureaucratic need for quantifiability. The publishing industry, having realized that girls read more than boys, produce more gender-centric works for their intended (and book buying) audience, making sure that boys have less new literature to choose from (kids are 91% more likely to finish a book they choose themselves). Gender stereotypes contribute to the problems – there’s a dearth of literary male role models in American families – the common misconception is that it isn’t “manly” to read and this ignorance is propagated throughout the culture. And, hey, I live in the South and that ain’t no lie.
Reading is so fucking manly, it’s right up there with eating beans and lighting flatus. Ask Ernest Hemingway. Ask the very manly Clive Cussler. Ask Truman Capote.
So, IN CONCLUSION *said in sonorous tones in my Hogwarts wizard’s robes* young adult novels for boys are muy importante and you should choose mine because not only does the book deserve more exposure, boys deserve to be exposed to it.
Thanks for your time and consideration.
For more information on this, go check out this article. It’s where I cribbed most of this second essay. It’s far more educated and thought out than my nonsense. Go, read.
So, that’s what I told them. If those answers got you a little moist, feel free to buy that bad BOY at one of these fine purveyors of the printed word.