question: anybody has any recommendation of YA literature / comics with positive models of masculinity?

things like:

- male MC that isn't the chosen one, secret prince, divine blood, or otherwise entitled by birth;

- being good ≠ punching bad guys but empathy, community-building etc.;

- female characters aren't props defined in relation to MC or mcguffins to advance his journey

- anything else adjacent to this, I trust your opinions

boosts welcome!

@elilla Definitely younger readers: Molly Knox Ostertag's "Witch" series. A gender-nonconforming boy bucks family tradition to find his own magic and heal others.

Kade and Christopher in McGuire's "Wayward Children" series possibly count.

Adjacent? I'm not sure what gets into YA these days:

Becky Chambers, "Wayfarers" series. In order to survive on generation ships in space human culture is forced to become community-focused.

@elilla To be fair, in "Wayward Children," Kade *was* the secret Goblin Prince but he was banished and is now just the RA for a school of people with similar problems.

thanks everybody for the recs, there’s a lot here that I think the kids will like! :heart_trans:

@cbrachyrhynchos @Cyborgneticz @lapis @alpine_thistle @spud @winvi @demimom

@cbrachyrhynchos @elilla can definitely recommend "Witch Boy" by Molly Knox, does this answer imply there is more content I haven't read?

@anomaly @elilla It's a trilogy now. Hidden Witch and Midwinter Witch I think.

@Cyborgneticz @elilla It's a standard for junior high lit, but for good reasons. Nowadays I think there's an omnibus edition of all four books in the series.

I met Lois Lowry once --- I stopped by a local convention for a day, caught a speakers panel she was on, got a hardback signed. (Randall "xkcd" Munroe was also there.) She was your quintessential charming, feisty grandma.

@elilla "Odd One Out" by Nic Stone is one of my favorite contemporaries. It has tender masculinity and is a lot about what sexual orientation labels mean.

@elilla Tamora Pierce! Most of her books are female-centric but the Circle of Magic series has a boy MC (there are 4 MCs and each book has a different POV) who is a former street kid, plant mage, and generally a ray of sunshine. The earlier books are meant for younger readers, so if a kid is reading them, it’s possible to “grow up” with the series like I did

@alpine_thistle @elilla yeah, that's definitely a good one! (Also has LGBTQ rep in the books, at least the later ones)

@starseeker @elilla the rep is there from the beginning, but it’s more “coded” in the earlier books since they were published in the 90s. The main adults are a lesbian couple, two of the main kids are queer (spoilers!), and there are various other queer side characters. It’s also very racially diverse and deals with issues of class, race, gender, etc. And they’re just really good books. The magic system, plots, and relationships are all great

@elilla I second "Odd One Out," and add the following:

- "Reign of the Fallen" by SG Marsh (and its sequal, "Song of the Dead"). Features a bi female protag, genderfluid world. Also addresses death and substance abuse, may be triggering
- "Lost Causes of Bleak Creek" by Rhett and Link. Occasionally juvenile writing more like middle grade, but overall an engaging, Stranger Things esque story with a diverse cast that addresses small town racism and xenophobia

@elilla oh, and also these, with less detail bc I haven't read them in a bit:

- The Rattles Bones, by SM Parker. Small town ghost story, includes endnotes
- A World Without You, by Beth Revis. Male MC. CW for mental health issues though imo it's handled well
- The 5th Wave (trilogy), by Rick Yancey
- We Are the Ants, (and literally anything) by Shaun Hutchinson. Alien abduction, queer male MC. CW for sexual abuse implied
- The Girl From Everywhere duology, by Heidi Heilig

@elilla ***sorry that first one should be The RattleD Bones.

@elilla Earthsea does a good job at this; the journey of the protagonist is not so much to defeat his enemies as to work thru the problems caused by his own foolishness and pride.

@elilla it's a little tricky because the second half of the series does a better job of tearing down the patriarchy but is also a fair bit less YA-focused. still, can't go wrong.

@elilla I really really like the stormlight archive books by Brandon Sanderson, but they're super long so they may not be for everyone.

I'm bad at articulating why l like them but I feel like it fits your points, and all the characters are really well crafted and the plot is really good too :D

@elilla have a look at some diane duane books, young wizards series. Set in same universe is also some cat wizard books too. For young of mind folk.
I am currently starting a reread because it isn't this unive6.


Pratchett’s The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents

@elilla Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Books and Bone by Victoria Corva

The entire Wayward Children series by Seanan McGuire

@elilla yo, it's not a book, and it's not a comic, but the new dark crystal series from Netflix is 100% this, it rules and there are 99 reasons why
go pirate it and go wild
it's all puppetry so it might take a hot second to get used to it, but you do get used to it and it just rocks

@elilla i think Simon vs The Homosapiens Agenda fits this. Should be noted that it's a book about a gay guy, centering on his sexuality and issues surrounding homophobia, written by a straight woman. Which is kinda out of her lane

i still thought it was good though :)

@elilla In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan. I feel like the second point really describes the MC of this novel well. I picked this book up to read a bit before bed and then didn't put it down until it was done—I liked it that much. bi MC whose identity isn't a plot point. I can only remember spoilery descriptors right now...

@elilla A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin fits the bill loosely, it's like the inverse of a power fantasy.

"But you must not change one thing, one pebble, one grain of sand, until you know what good and evil will follow on that act. The world is in balance, in Equilibrium. A wizard's power of Changing and of Summoning can shake the balance of the world. It is dangerous, that power. It is most perilous. It must follow knowledge, and serve need. To light a candle is to cast a shadow"

@elilla From comics, definitely Runaways. In the original team, there are two guys and both would make a good role model (to a point, but that's extremely spoilerrific - def. check the synopsis somewhere)

There's a TV show now, but I don't know how close it follows the comics.

@elilla Oh! Also Blue Beetle, the original 2006(?) run. Jaime Reyes is SO great, and has a good relationship with his family, something that's rare in comics.

Would you consider The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison?

@floppyplopper more or less breaks the first item but scores all the points in the second! I love it dearly, all the more for the Ethuveraz. Not sure I can convince my boy to read it yet tho

Yeah, I gave up trying to think up a fantasy with a male MC who doesn't have some kind of secret destiny. Just went for big points in question 2.

@elilla German literature:

* Saša Stanišic - Herkunft
* Possibly Herman Hesse - Demian
* Wolfgang Herrndorf - Tschick
* Possibly Michael Ende - Momo (female protagonist, great male side characters)

French literature:
* Éric-Emmanuel Schmitt - Monsieur Ibrahim et les Fleurs du Coran

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