Adjusting the gender balance

Adjusting the gender balance

I’m in the editing phase for Sam’s Solution, taking into consideration the different feedback I’ve received from both critique partners and a manuscript critique.

One of the comments I received was that there weren’t enough boys in the story. Even though it’s sent in a co-educational primary school, boys don’t feature much in the story. I’m now working out how best to address this imbalance.

Here’s where I have an issue. Both of my boys think that girls are “gross”. They are in grade 4 and grade 6, and the story is set in grade 5. Most of their friends have the same view, so have as little to do with the girls as possible. My own memories from primary school don’t feature boys much at all as we had little to do with them. Occasionally we would be made to sit on mixed tables, however when we able to choose, there inevitably ended up with tables made up of girls and tables made up of boys.

I’m not sure if 10 year old girls are interested in boys yet, I know I wasn’t at that age, as I could have some of the “cool” girls giggling over a boy with a Justin Bieber hair cut, or a boy who looks a bit like the boys in One Direction. However this may also date the book a bit too much. I do remember one incident that happened to me when one of the cool girls said one of the boys liked me and wanted to be my boyfriend, only to find it was all a joke… something that could be worked into the story, possibly.

Anyway, I thought I’d put it out there. Do you have kids around 10 years old and in grade 5 at school and do they mix with kids of the opposite sex? If so, what do they do? What games do they play? Any suggestions to how I can address the gender imbalance in my story?

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