As a kid and teen, I hated reading. I am not ashamed of this fact, it’s truth. Today I read anything I can get my hands on, mostly fantasy of a sort. However, when I was younger I couldn’t find stories that compelled me to read. When I got older (read high school age) I gravitated toward adult books, I felt there was nothing geared toward my age group that interested me… at least nothing contemporary or written by today’s class of authors.
Today, the younger segment of the literary industry is enjoying a kind of Renaissance. Albeit this is mostly a segment comprised of females with a sprinkling of males. The younger generation is reading, thanks largely to books in the Harry Potter series and Twilight series. Still, young males are not reading as much as young females. Don’t believe me? Go to a brick and mortar bookstore (if there is one still open near you) and look in the young adult section. There yet? Good. Pull some titles, randomly. Most likely you’ll find books tailored for the enjoyment of young females, dealing with the issues and subjects girls relate to and want to read. There is not much choice for a boy to read, far and few between.
Why is that?
Well, an article the New York Times wrote last year (I just found it this week) has some theories. Theories that, to me, ring true. Without re-writing a well written article, I’ll let you click here and read the article for yourself. Suffice it to say, 1) the industry doesn’t market to boys, and 2) the stories being written today do not deal with the emotional issues and trials that boys can relate to.
This is why I write stuff like “Our Monsters”, I want to present stories that can relate to boys but that can also be read by girls too. I don’t want young male readers to take as long as I did to discover the excitement and magic reading offers.