And now, another twist on the books for boys arguments.
To begin, in my meandering way, let me say I am a bit fascinated with the idea of making something look good by comparing it to something else and saying, the first thing is bigger/taller/smarter than the second, rather than just discussing the first.
Thus, it isn't enough to say Sally is smart; one must say Sally is smarter than Jen (and pity poor Jen.) Also, it then begs the new question: not whether Sally is smart, but is Jen smart? Etc. I always feel it is insulting to all three involved; poor Jen, whose smarts have been called into question, and poor Sally, whose smarts get lost in the comparison (and, who apparently, just has value when compared to another), and the person making the comparison, who felt it necessary to drag Jen into the mix to make Sally look smarter.
Anyhow. This often is a shorthand used in book reviews.
Critical Mass's series on recommending books includes Sherman Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. And I absolutely agree it's a great book; I plan on posting on it as soon as I have the time, and adding it my personal Best Books list (see sidebar).
But, the recommendation includes this line: "At a time when good YA books for male readers are few and far between".
I'm out the door on the way to work, otherwise I'd take time to snark about whether or not it was necessary to include that line; and about how Alexie's book is great, and that snipe at YA for boys shouldn't stand in your way of picking up Alexie's book; and how much YA has the recommender read, anyway?
My real point, and I'm there now, is let's take this challenge!
Name a few"good YA books for male readers" in the comments. Are they truly few and far between? How many titles do we have to get to prove that statement false? I know we are all busy, but c'mon, readers and lurkers! Help me out.
Looking for Alaska, John Green
An Abundance of Katherines, John Green
Postcards from No-Mans Land, Aidan Chambers
Thirteen Reasons Why, Jay Asher.
Ack. The time! Please leave some more suggestions in the comments!