Today I am honoured to have the brilliant Don Calame, author of Swim the Fly and his recent release, Beat the Band, guest posting on my blog as part of the Beat the Band Blog Tour. Read on crudeness in YA novels.
The question has been posed to me: Why does crudeness tend to be reserved for boy books when teenage girls can be just as crude?
I’ve actually never been asked this particular question before and I’m not sure I have the answer. I am well aware—from the many wonderful emails I’ve received from female librarians, teachers, parents and teens—that the so-called “gentler gender” is by no means above a good fart joke or bodily part euphemism.
All you need to do is take a look at the success of a film like “Bridesmaids” to realize that crudeness can be equal opportunity.
I know some people—male and female alike—pretend to be “above it all” but I think it’s human nature to find our baser animal behaviors humorous. In fact, the more airs people put on, the more sophisticated and civilized they aspire to be, the funnier a booming belch, pants blaster, or explosive act of vomiting in their presence can be.
That being said, I don’t believe that my books are only rude and crude. Certainly there is an element of raunchiness to the stories. But there is a warmth and heart to the books as well. At least, that was my intention. That the characters be portrayed as having many facets. And while the boys’ heads are often in the wrong places, their hearts tend to be in the right ones (or, at the very least, moving in that direction).
Personally, though, I wouldn’t mind seeing some more crude and funny female books. I know there are a few scattered out there (Louise Rennison’s books come to mind) but a few more of them might be a nice balance to the plethora of “falling in love with the undead after the apocalypse” novels lining the bookshelves these days.
Thank you, Don, for a brilliant guest post! Be sure to check out Don's website. Beat the Band was released 1st February. You can also listen to a playlist created to listen to while reading along of the songs mentioned in the book! Check it out here.
Any thoughts on what you Don has discussed?