At an American Library Association conference in 2007, HarperCollins dressed five of its male young adult authors in blue baseball jerseys with our names on the back and sent us up to bat in a panel entitled “In the Clubhouse.” We were meant to demystify to the overwhelmingly female audience the testosterone code that would get teenage boys reading. Whereas boys used to lag behind girls in reading in the early grades, statistics show, they soon caught up. Not anymore.
This is a year old article, but it was interesting, and I just found it. I agree with much of what the article says, and would add that the dominance of women writers in young adult fiction simply means that it will be written from a primarily female perspective.
When was the last time you read a book about conflicts in school sports? The pressure of getting good grades. The problems of having parents that pressure you to be a star on the field? Young adult fiction today are nearly always about relationship problems, girl gets boy, frenemies and that kind of thing.
I know that I’ve never sought out young adult books. I generally find them quite boring. They don’t speak to me, at all. It may be because of the perspective. And often the perspectives are quite banal and preachy.