Gender specific book covers – discuss

Book collection

Book collection (Photo credit: Ian Wilson)

I work in a boy’s school.  In recent times I have really struggled to find books with covers that aren’t saying “I’m a book for girls with a kickarse female heroine who will take down anybody who challenges me’  it is doing my head in.  Books for boys are thin on the ground at the moment unless you want zombies rampaging thoughout the shelves of your library ad nauseum.  It is doing my head in (did I say that already, oh yes I did!).  My reading stats are fantastic and yes, the blokes like books like Graceling, Blood Red Rose and Necklace of Souls but could we have a bloke on the cover of the book please.  All these books are great, they all have great female characters but they also have excellent male characters.

There is a movement afoot to try and get publishers to allow a greater readership of books by using less gender specific covers.  Why can’t we have more books with covers like Legend by Marie Lu which has appeal to everyone.  Here is a link to an interview which aired on Monday on Radio New Zealand between Charlotte Graham and author Maureen Johnson

Have a look at Coverflip  It is, frankly, an awesome re imagining of a bunch of bookcovers to alter the target market.  As she says in this article in the Huffington Post

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  1. #1 by Angela S on June 29, 2013 - 6:50 PM

    Ted Dawe
    David Hair
    Neil Gaiman
    Justin D’Ath
    Lee Child
    All those sports books
    Stop buying the girly ones then and these will stand out more.
    Yes I kind of sympathise but I find there’s a good mix at primary level.

    • #2 by Bridget Schaumann on July 6, 2013 - 11:21 AM

      Yep Angela we have all these but if you have a look at the lists of what is recently released or soon to be released for YA you will find heaps of girls and far fewer boys in comparison. And sports books are not for every boy.

      • #3 by Angela S on July 6, 2013 - 6:37 PM

        I have recently sent a list of ‘what we want in school libraries’ to John Graham at Paper Plus Glenfield who was supposed to pass them on to the remainder of those publishers who still operate with an eye to NZ. I’m not sure that he has done that , I will talk to him when he returns from a holiday. Lois Huston has also talked to him – he seems to have set himself up as an ally to children’s /teens ‘ librarians.
        So we can add what you highlighted to our list!

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