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Gender imbalance in kidlit?

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Owl Princess
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Olmue, I know a middle-grade boy who reads anything at home, but refuses to be caught reading a "girl" book in public. It has a lot to do with the cover and what the other kids will think.

Covers are very important. I recently read Across the Universe. I didn't know until I looked at the author's website that the cover was reversible and that there were two possibilities, one representing the female main character, and one representing the male main character. It was told in alternating first-person POVs.

It was a sci-fi book that I thought my husband would like, but I knew he wouldn't like the partially-pink cover. (He hates pink). When I told him that the cover had an alternative, navy cover, he turned it inside-out and is much happier. In his case, it's a personal preference in colour, not a fear of being teased. But how many boys are turned off by all the covers featuring photos of girls or using a lot of pink?

I used to work for a book publisher. The president of the company used to say that they would never publish a book with a pink cover because that would eliminate all the male readers. Things haven't changed since those days.
#31 - May 31, 2011, 11:21 PM
« Last Edit: May 31, 2011, 11:23 PM by Owl »
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