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Librarians Love: Books with Girls Passing as Boys

2013 September 5
by Gretchen Kolderup
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YALSA-bk is a listserv with lively discussions among librarians, educators, and beyond about all things YA lit. Sometimes one listserv member will ask for help finding books around a certain theme or readalikes for a particular title. This post is a compilation of responses for one such request.

The original request
I’m putting together a list of books featuring girls who are passing as boys and I could use a few more titles. Any help is appreciated!

Fiction

    • National Velvet by Enid Bagnold
    • education of bet lauren baratz-logstedThe Education of Bet by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
    • Folk Keeper by Frannie Billingsley
    • Boy2girl by Terence Blacker
    • Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger
    • The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis
    • Nobody’s Princess by Esther M. Friesner
    • Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen
    • Babe in Boyland by Jody Gehrman
    • Eon by Alison Goodman
    • These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer
    • Soldier’s Secret: The Story of Deborah Sampson by Sheila Solomon Klass
    • Love Disguised by Lisa Klein

  • Dead Reckoning by Mercedes Lackey
  • The Agency by Y.S. Lee
  • The Body at the Tower by Y.S. Lee
  • Bloody Jack series by L.A. Meyer
  • A Soldier's Secret by Marissa MossA Soldier’s Secret by Marissa Moss
  • Princess Ben by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
  • Daughter of Venice by Donna Jo Napoli
  • The Floating Islands by Rachel Neumeier
  • Song of the Lioness series by Tamora Pierce
  • Sovay by Celia Rees
  • Pirates! by Celia Rees
  • Here Lies Arthur by Philip Reeve
  • Girl in Blue by Ann Rinaldi
  • Riding Freedom by Pam Muños Ryan
  • Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
  • The Dream Maker’s Magic by Sharo Shinn
  • Leviathan series by Scott Westerfeld

 

Nonfiction

  • ill pass for your comrade anita silveyI’ll Pass for Your Comrade: Women Soldiers in the Civil War by Anita Silvey
  • Disguised: A Wartime Memoir by Rita la Fontaine de Clercq Zubli

Adult

  • A Murder for Her Majesty by Beth Hilgartner

Manga

  • Hana-Kimi by Hisaya Nakajo

As a bonus, someone else suggested creating a list of boys dressing and passing as girls that doesn’t include trans characters, since they identify as girls rather than boys anyway. There was also some discussion of how much shorter this list is! Here’s what the members of YALSA-bk came up with:

Fiction

  • The Marvelous Land of Oz by L. Frank Baum
  • boy2girl terence blacker coverBoy2Girl by Terence Blacker
  • Debbie Harry Sings in French by Meagan Brothers
  • Swim the Fly by Don Calame
  • Madame Doubtfire by Anne Fine
  • Here Lies Arthur by Philip Reeve
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Adult

  • The Good Lord Bird by James McBride

Manga

  • Shugo Chara! by Peach-Pit
  • Wandering Son by Shimura Takako

Have more titles you think should belong on these lists? Add them on the YALSA wiki or leave a comment! Looking for more compiled booklists? Check out the YALSA wiki or other booklists here at The Hub.

– Gretchen Kolderup, currently reading The 100 by Kass Morgan

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7 Responses
  1. Sarah Nelson permalink
    September 5, 2013

    I recommend Scott Westerfield’s “Leviathan” trilogy

  2. Sarah Nelson permalink
    September 5, 2013

    In terms of Manga, I would have to recommend “Pretty Face.”

  3. Stefanie N. Hughes permalink
    September 6, 2013

    I also recommend Alphabet of Dreams by Susan Fletcher.

  4. September 6, 2013

    My own YA nonfiction book, Can I See Your I.D.?, includes a couple: Sarah Rosetta Wakeman and Ellen Craft.

  5. Elise Howard permalink
    September 6, 2013

    The Gentleman Outlaw and Me, by Mary Downing Hahn

  6. September 6, 2013

    All Men of Genius by Lev AC Rosen – a steampunk reimagining of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night – not sure if it’s categorized as adult or YA but a good read for either group.

  7. September 8, 2013

    The Masqueraders. It’s an adult book by Georgette Heyer, a historical romance where a girl and her brother swap genders to hide from people chasing them. I read it as a teen and loved the interplay betweeh brother and sister, and how Robin chaffed at having to wear women’s clothes and finding himself courted by other men while his sister easily made the best of being a guy.

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