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21 July 2010 @ 06:51 am
Boy Books - The List!  

And here it is… after the extensive discussion on the topic of boys books in the previous post (71 comments, and still ongoing!), our list of YA speculative fiction "boy books":



Feed by MT Anderson

Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi

White Cat by Holly Black

Going Bovine by Libba Bray

The Faerie War Chronicles by Herbie Brennan (Book 1: Faerie Wars)

The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea Campbell

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

The Monster Blood Tattoo series by D.M. Cornish (Book 1: Foundling)

Dull Boy by Sarah Cross

The Guardians of Time trilogy by Marianne Curley (Book 1: The Named)

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

The Toymaker by Jeremy De Quidt

The King's Daggers series by Dave Duncan (Book 1: Sir Stalwart)

The Black Tattoo by Sam Enthoven

Changeling by Steve Feasey

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher

Black Hole Sun by David Macinnis Gill (August 2010)

Verdigris Deep by Frances Harding

Tales of the Otori by Lian Hearn (Book 1: Across the Nightingale Floor)

Annals of the Western Shore by Ursula K. LeGuin (Book 1: Gifts)

Citizen of the Galaxy by Robert A. Heinlein

The Deathday Letter by Shaun Hutchinson

Evil Genius by Catherine Jinks

Living Hell by Catherine Jinks

The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Pendragon series by D.J. MacHale (Book 1: The Merchant of Death)

Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta

Hero by Perry Moore

Bloodline by Katy Moran

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

The Abhorsen Trilogy by Garth Nix (Book 1: Sabriel)

Airborn by Kenneth Oppel

The Shadow Dragons by James Owens

Nation by Terry Pratchett

The Hungry City Chronicles by Philip Reeve (Book 1: Mortal Engines)

The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan

Fat Vampire by Adam Rex (July 27, 2010)

The Timeriders by Alex Scarrow

The Thin Executioner by Darren Shan

Elsewhere by Will Shetterly

Unwind by Neal Shusterman

The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud (Book 1: The Amulet of Samarkand)

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld

Peeps by Scott Westerfeld

The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima

Dogsbody by Diana Wynne Jones

The Monstrumologist by Richard Yancey

Alien Invasions and Other Inconveniences by Brian Yansky (Oct. 2010)

The Pit Dragon Chronicles by Jane Yolen (Book 1: Dragon's Blood)

The Dragonback Adventures by Timothy Zahn (Book 1: Dragon and Thief)




This is not an exhaustive list by any means; it’s been compiled from suggestions by various Inkies, and a few already-existing lists on places like goodreads. If there is a missing book you think belongs on this list, please comment and we will add it!

(Anonymous) on July 21st, 2010 11:37 am (UTC)
Orson Scott Card? Ender's Game, Songmaster...I guess you might argue these are elementary school rather than YA, but they're pretty disturbing in parts. I'd prefer my boys didn't read them till age 13 or so.

Also, I don't know enough about this genre to list titles, but I would add that many boys I know seem to put their spec fiction energy into graphic novels instead. They're not any more embarrassed to be seen with those than they were with Batman comic books as kids.
Lynnetlynnet on July 21st, 2010 02:00 pm (UTC)
Re: persephone
I would actually argue that they're adult books, although Ender's Game has been marketed both as YA and adult. I've never seen Songmaster marketed as YA, though.
Re: persephone - leah_cypess on July 21st, 2010 05:25 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Rae Carsonraecarson on July 21st, 2010 12:53 pm (UTC)
Paolo Bacigalupi's SHIP BREAKER, for sure. A hard-hitting post apocalyptic romp through an oil-ravaged Gulf Coast. (Prophetic much?) It's a great becoming-a-man-in-a-violent-world story.
Leah_Cypessleah_cypess on July 21st, 2010 05:26 pm (UTC)
Thank you! That one's on my TBR list, so I don't know how I missed it. I'll add it.
(Anonymous) on July 21st, 2010 01:37 pm (UTC)
The Keys to the Kingdom Series by Garth Nix (also the Seventh Tower series) 13 really great books for boys.
Leah_Cypessleah_cypess on July 21st, 2010 05:27 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I have heard great things about those, but they are classified as MG, not YA. (As were a lot of the suggestions people originally came up with... those classifications can seem pretty arbitrary sometimes, but for simplicity's sake I'm going to stick to them.)
srmcevoy: pic#100495560srmcevoy on July 21st, 2010 01:57 pm (UTC)
Great list I have read 1/4 and have another 1/4 in my TBR pile.

natalieag on July 21st, 2010 04:32 pm (UTC)
Great list. I've read some of the books. FYI, Mary Kole did a blog post earlier this week on why publishers aren't publishing YA books for boys.
(no subject) - leah_cypess on July 21st, 2010 05:30 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - leah_cypess on July 21st, 2010 05:27 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Catherine Haines: Labyrinth // Into The Labyrinthcatherinehaines on July 21st, 2010 09:12 pm (UTC)
The Skulduggery Pleasant series by Derek Landy? The first one or two are probably middle-gradey, but the POV character gets older and is definitely in YA age territory later on.

(Anecdata: When I went to a signing for this, I was one of only 5 or so girls. The rest of the 2 and a half/3 dozen people were boys, with the majority of those wearing the uniform of the local high school - so 13-16. When talking to them, none of them listed as their favourite character the walking, talking wizard skeleton that is the title character, but the 12-14 (so far - she grows with each book) girl POV character. They were also quite enamoured with the beautiful woman who kicks butt, and were very grateful that she wasn't killed off in the first book as originally planned.)
Leah_Cypessleah_cypess on July 22nd, 2010 12:12 am (UTC)
That is really cool! The books themselves are all classified as mid-grade, though (publishers tend to do that with series, even if they age up; I'm guessing because any new readers will still start with the first ones?)
(no subject) - dawn_metcalf on July 23rd, 2010 12:44 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Anonymous) on July 21st, 2010 10:29 pm (UTC)
Boy Books - The List
The Demon's Lexicon is one of my major favorites. And you've reminded me I need to get to Ship Breaker. Tell me, are you including older works - because a lot of the stuff from Andre Norton and Robert heinlein were some of the best boy-oriented and speculative fiction I've read to this day.
Leah_Cypessleah_cypess on July 22nd, 2010 12:15 am (UTC)
Re: Boy Books - The List
Mine too! And yes, I'd love to include them if they're still in print and now marketed as YA. (A lot of older speculative fiction would definitely have been YA if published today... we could make a list of all of them that would probably be longer than the list we have so far.)
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Leah_Cypessleah_cypess on July 22nd, 2010 12:16 am (UTC)
They're mid-grade, believe it or not!
(no subject) - (Anonymous) on July 22nd, 2010 12:45 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - leah_cypess on July 22nd, 2010 12:50 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - janni on July 22nd, 2010 01:59 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - leah_cypess on July 23rd, 2010 12:17 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - janni on July 23rd, 2010 12:33 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - janni on July 22nd, 2010 01:55 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - leah_cypess on July 23rd, 2010 12:25 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - janni on July 23rd, 2010 12:35 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - leah_cypess on July 23rd, 2010 01:12 am (UTC) (Expand)
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Leah_Cypessleah_cypess on July 23rd, 2010 12:28 am (UTC)
Wow, that book looks awesome. (And I love that the blurb describes it as "packed with everything boys and sci-fi fans love.") Will add it. Thanks!
(no subject) - ctrichmond on July 23rd, 2010 04:33 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - leah_cypess on July 23rd, 2010 05:38 pm (UTC) (Expand)
captainstupendous.wordpress.com on July 22nd, 2010 07:36 pm (UTC)
Adam Rex & MWT
Adam Rex has two of the better boy books out there - for MG, THE TRUE MEANING OF SMEKDAY, and for YA, FAT VAMPIRE (which, okay, hasn't actually been released yet). The key factor for both of those books is the humor - they're hysterically funny as well as tremendously inventive.

Re: the ATTOLIA books, I just finished the first three and will soon start ACoK (thanks again Cindy!), and I don't know if they can easily be quantified as "boy books," but I would hesitate to say they're not. Sure there's romance, which was never something I cared a whole lot about when I was a teenager, but it's subtle, you know? MWT doesn't beat the reader over the skull with steamy liplocks and theatrical deluges of romantic description and whatnot. She's very understated about it.

There's also plenty of stuff that HAPPENS - political intrigue, plenty of people being killed in interesting ways, nifty combat scenes, stuff getting blown up, flooded, lit on fire or otherwise destroyed, and in Gen, a character who can do almost anything with an unmatched level of skill. Good stuff.
Leah_Cypessleah_cypess on July 23rd, 2010 12:30 am (UTC)
Re: Adam Rex & MWT
I loved The True Meaning of Smekday - haven't heard much detail about Fat Vampire, but I'll add it based on your recommendation.

And trust me, you are preaching to the choir here about the Attolia books :)
dawn_metcalf: Smile!dawn_metcalf on July 23rd, 2010 12:50 pm (UTC)
Love this list!! Although will admit I'm not a big fan of dividing up TBR lists as "boy books" or "girl books", but thinking of boy MCs or action-packed spec' fic' I'd love to add the ARTEMIS FOWL books by Eoin Colfer or EVIL GENIUS by Catherine Jinks. (Older books in the superhero genre also tend to be boy-ish with male MCs like SOON I WILL BE INVINCIBLE or HERO, although these have very different YA themes.)

How about NEVERWHERE by Neil Gaiman (or, heck, most Neil Gaiman books including AMERICAN G-DS, ANANSI BOYS & THE GRAVEYARD BOOK) and Will Shetterly's NEVERNEVER (or, heck, any of the Borderlands Books originally done by Terri Windling). The list goes delightfully on and on and on...

Leah_Cypessleah_cypess on July 23rd, 2010 05:57 pm (UTC)
Thank you for those recommendations! Evil Genius, Elsewhere, and Hero are all YA and will be added. (None of Neil Gaiman's books are, I think appropriately - there's nothing particularly YA about his adult books, and The Graveyard Book read very MG to me despite the subtexts).
Rachel M Brown: Book Fixrachelmanija on July 24th, 2010 07:07 pm (UTC)
Peeps, Last Days, and So Yesterday, by Scott Westerfeld. Probably also Scott's Midnighters series, which has both male and female protagonists.

Dull Boy, by Sarah Cross.

Gifts, Powers, and the Earthsea trilogy by Ursula K. Le Guin.

I continue to think that this is a very artificial and sexist division, though.

Why is it so terrible that out of all the genres in the world, YA might not be male-dominated? Why is not a problem that every other genre (except romance) is?

Why do we think it's just fine for boys to recoil in horror from the idea of reading about girls?

Why do we ignore all the boys who have no problem reading about girls in order to pander to the boys who refuse to?
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(no subject) - leah_cypess on July 25th, 2010 11:46 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - leah_cypess on July 25th, 2010 11:45 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - lalaith7 on July 26th, 2010 04:12 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - leah_cypess on July 26th, 2010 01:10 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - (Anonymous) on July 27th, 2010 05:16 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - lalaith7 on July 27th, 2010 05:17 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - leah_cypess on July 27th, 2010 08:05 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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Leah_Cypessleah_cypess on August 9th, 2010 01:54 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Garth Nix is a great addition to the list. The Alex Rider series isn't speculative fiction, alas. ;) And you're right about the Wheel of Time - along with many other fantasy books published before YA was so big, i.e. The Belgariad, The Queen's Arrows, etc. I think many of them would be shelved in YA if published now.

And I'm in favor of supporting local bookstores too. Though I will mention that almost all indies (and most chains) are happy to order a book for you if they don't have it in stock.