Robert Muchamore with interesting observations about gender and children’s publishing….
Speaking at the Hay Festival, in an event with author Sophie McKenzie, [Robert] Muchamore, the author of the best-selling Cherub series, said: “The longer I’ve been a writer, the more I’ve realised that actually girls and boys are more into the same things than they are into different things.
“There’s a lot of convention in children’s publishing – that if you write a book for a boy it’s got to be very simplistic, it’s got to have lots of action in it because all boys want to do is run around and bang their heads up against the wall because they’re lunatics.
“And if you write for a girl it’s got to be about make-up and lipstick and kissing boys and all that. And it’ s just not true.
“My books have got bits of all of that stuff in and what I actually find is that I get emails from boys who are really interested in who James’s girlfriend is going to be or what relationship he’s going to have in the next book; I get emails from girls who are interested in the action scenes.”
Gendered book covers are a large part of the problem.
Muchamore said: “I think there’s a lot of cliché, especially the way children’s books are packaged sometimes. You’ve got the pink girls’ books, and the boys’ books with a man running on the cover. I find it all a bit depressing really, because the longer I’ve written I find once you’ve got past the barrier of getting the boy or the girl to pick the book up and read it, what they actually like inside the books is actually much more the same. “