Writing books for boys

This is a comment at the Instapundit thread on George Korda: Are men the new marginalized minorities on campus?

What Glenn is referring to I see, and have seen for close to 20 yrs in of all places my P/T job at B&N – the children’s Department is a mecca for girls, take any 100 books and 98 are written for them, their interests, story lines, be it noble heroines or cupcake fairies, check out ‘boys books’ for the 6-12 or so age group and you have strict ghetto’s of topic material: nerdy doofus boy; loser outcast boy; sports boy; sci-fi fantasy boy who is just woke enough to interest girl readers so throw these in with the girl books; bullies and literal creeps that must be remediate – somehow, what woman will come to their salvation? One would think the popularity of Harry Potter would have proven to publishers that boys will read 700 page books in a wknd, that they will come begging for more, but no, the boys have less and less to read, and so they drift to the nonfiction areas or we lose them altogether – and the result? Their (female) teachers moan that they aren’t reading – because nonfiction isn’t considered reading – those adorable cupcake fairies or horse books or endless snippy girlfriend who aren’t friends books, now that is reading.

I once had a Newbery winner complain to me (Princeton, you’d be surprised how many live in Princeton) that she couldn’t ‘get’ why Harry Potter was so popular – she wrote important noble girl empowerment books, I just suggested she do something totally against the norm, like Harry Potter, write about a NICE boy, who has interesting friends, and challenges. She did not take my advice , which is why if I told you her name not one of you outside the publishing bubble would know to whom I refer. College is just an extension of what I’ve seen for years, but that expulsion of all things male started long before the Women’s Studies mania in colleges.

Particularly interesting is that the teaching profession doesn’t think reading non-fiction is a form of reading. Don’t girls read non-fiction?

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