Books From Boy POV

We’re talking about books written from boy POVs this week. 

I want to echo Talia’s suggestion: SOMETHING LIKE NORMAL by Trish Doller. It’s incredible—gritty, touching and realistic. One of the best contemporaries I’ve read in a long time, so make sure to pick it up in June.

Here are a few other suggestions for boy POV books:

Anything by Andrew Smith, author of MARBURY LENS, STICK, and GHOST MEDICINE.
Smith has a gift for creating dark, suspenseful, utterly unique and moving stories. He’s the type of writer who makes me want to take notes as I read—he’s that good. 

A HEARTBREAKING WORK OF STAGGERING GENIUS, by Dave Eggers. This is one of my all-time favorite books. Truly well-titled, in my opinion. Eggers’ memoir follows his experience when, at the age of 22, he became his younger brother’s guardian/parent after the deaths of his parents. Utterly moving, this is a window into the mind of a brilliant young man who was forced to grow up far too soon.

Another favorite is MY MOST EXCELLENT YEAR by Steve Kluger. This is actually told from 3 POVs, two of which are boys. This is a difficult story to describe, but it’s a little bit GLEE, with a dash of FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS (except for baseball), throw in some completely lovable characters, fabulous writing, and there you go. This novel is a total delight and I’m astounded that more people haven’t read it.

Other YA Books with great boy POVs: The BEAUTIFUL CREATURES books by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, LEGEND by Marie Lu, and Simone Elkeles' books are told from a boy POV, or feature a boy POV in the story. And, um... There's also a book called UNDER THE NEVER SKY also has a boy POV :) (Little known fact: UTNS was originally written entirely in Perry's POV.)

Have you read any of these? What are your thoughts on the boy POV? What are some of your favorite Boy POV Books? Also, I'm super curious: do you know any real YA boys who read, and if so, what are they reading? Have they made the jump to adult books? Are they reading genre fiction, like sci-fi and fantasy? Leave your comments below - I'd love to know!


BOY TOY by Barry Lyga is one that just slayed me. I also love WILL GRAYSON,WILL GRAYSON. YOU AGAINST ME by Jenny Downham, TWIST by Laurie Halse Anderson

Oh, how could I have forgotten TWIST! I love that book! And I really liked WG, WG, too. Haven't read BOY TOY yet, but I'll get on that, since we clearly like the same reads :) Thanks for the suggestions, Gabrielle!

I just read Harlan Coben's SHELTER, a YA from a boy's pov, and it was excellent. Nominated for the Edgar and Anthony, so I'm glad to see it getting the recognition.

I hope this means we'll see more! I write MG for boys myself (debut out in Oct.); it's section that seems to be growing.

A while back I gave my nephew, then 12, Birdsall's "The Penderwick's". His mom and I were skeptical. And yet--he DEVOURED the book and, it was reported, chuckled out loud as he read. Surprises never cease. I highly recommend it. I also love Egger's novel--a fixture on my bookshelf. Exactly as the title proclaims.

Let's see, I've read The Beautiful Creatures, Simone Elkeles' books and that awesome book Under the Never Sky,(glad you used both pov's). I've read some MG The Fourth Stall Parts 1 and 2, Kevin's Point of View by Del Shannon, Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake was from a boy's POV. Hushed by Kelley York, 13 Reasons Why, Holly Black's White Cat and Red Glove. I didn't realize how many I've read are from the boys point of view.

But I have two boys so I read whole series like Artemis Fowl, Alex Rider, H.I.V.E. and of course Harry Potter! I don't think it's a trend, but I sure do like it!


It's hard for me to find either male writers who write books I like, or books with boy characters I actually relate to. They're often either too obnoxious, gross, or rude in ways I'm just not, nor find all that appealing.

I love seeing books where the writer is not afraid to let boys have actual EMOTIONS other than rage and aloof indifference.

They cry, they're direct without being dicks, and are funny without being gross or perverse. Rare to find, especially in books written by men (Not necessarily women with male pen names). They're not wimps. They just don't pretend to be emotionless drones.

We go on and on about how girls and women are more than one archetype. But I really feel we still only categorize men and boys in really narrow categories, especially women, which is ironic when they hated the same kind of pigeon hole thinking turned on them.

Some women can witch about inequality for women and girls, and sincerely support it, yet they think of the men in their lives a set way, that may or may not be any more fair than the oppressive views their fighting against in women.

I'm just speaking generally here, really, but it's something to think about. I do hope I'm not alone in this.

Yes, for the record, I'm male.

So many wonderful comments (and book suggestions!) FT, I will definitely check out SHELTER - sounds great! Buried in Books - thank you, and I forgot about the Curse Workers! Love that series. Taurean, thank you for such a thoughtful comment. I totally agree that the best male POV -- and female, for that matter -- goes far beyond stereotype. Egger's novel mentioned above was incredibly emotional, and true, and that's why it's resonated with me years after I read it the first time. Personally, emotion is what makes me love any character. Thanks again for coming by!

Being a "boy" myself, I've written 3 novels told from the boy POV. My first two books, BAND FAG! and DRAMA QUEERS! aren't considered "YA" but the protagonists are teenage boys, growing up in the '80s. My latest novel LOST IN THE '90s is considered a "YA" and is told from 3 POV's -- two boys and a girl -- but I would still consider it a "boy" book in that the main protagonist is a teenage boy. I'm contemplating writing my next YA novel from the POV of a teenage girl, but I find there's this "rule" that men can only write about boys, and women can only write about girls -- esp. in the 1st person. (Though JK Rowling blows that theory out of the water!) I think this idea comes from the fact that many YA readers (not counting the adults who read YA books) are either girls or gay boys. And if a straight boy is going to read a book, he will want the story to focus on a boy. Yet my 12-year-old nephew (very much a boy-boy) and all his male friends are devouring THE HUNGER GAMES...

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