Boy-Crazy in MG?

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The Second Moon

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I have a side female character who is crazy for one of my male MCs. She talks about him all the time to her friend and sometimes claims he's actually her boyfriend. The boy of interest knows she's crazy for him but only wants her to be a friend. He even finds her a little embarrassing. (Both characters are 11 or 12)

This female character is important to the series and does more than be boy-crazy, but that's an aspect of her.

I showed a writer I know a tiny snippet of her being boy-crazy over him and the writer said that makes her dislike the girl character. She didn't do anything wrong or inappropriate (she never does). All she did was squeal when she got chosen to work with her crush and make a bunch of people stare at the crush. This deeply embarrassed him.

I was never boy-crazy and certainly not at her age, but I know some 11-12 year olds are. So I know her being boy-crazy is realistic, but can it be in MG?

Thanks.
 

Koulentis

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Hi Second Moon,

You’re right, it is realistic. I’ve also seen it in enough MG books to be widely accepted/expected. Louis Sachar’s Wayside School series has crushes throughout. And the female protagonist having a crush is so central to the plot of Sixth Grade Secrets I’m not sure it would pass the Bechdel test.

Keep writing.
Koulentis
 
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frimble3

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My sister was 12, just started going to my high school. In the lunchroom, a friend calls me to a window, "Hey isn't your sister?" There is a good-looking 14 year-old-boy, head hunched into his jacket, skulking across a sports field, followed, at a distance, by 3 younger girls. My sister and a couple of friends. It was like watching the very slooow hunt of a very embarrassed moose.
First crushes and young love - neither last long, but live in the memory of others.
 

Maggie Maxwell

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I immediately thought of the cartoon Chowder. It was very much one of those cartoons that kids love but also worked for adults. The main character's female counterpart behaved exactly as yours does: calls the MC her boyfriend (at his continued insistence that he is NOT), and is generally obsessed with him, but she also has her own life and goals. If it can work in a kids cartoon, it can work in your MG novel. :)
 

mrsmig

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I was just going to say that when I think of boy-crazy characters, I think of Tina Belcher from Bob's Burgers. She has a thing for Jimmy Junior and talks about him a lot, even going so far as to say he's her boyfriend (a title which Jimmy usually rejects, but sometimes not). She appreciates the male form in general, she's usually out of step with her peers, a bit of a nerd but okay with that, determined to the point of obstinence but still inherently thoughtful and kind. I think she may be my favorite animated character.

It may be that you need to give this side character a bit more flesh on her bones, so she's not just a stereotypical annoying crush-y kid.
 
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The Second Moon

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Thanks everyone. I'll keep her boy-crazy.

Maggie Maxwell -- I was watching a video on cartoon running gags (just for giggles) and I saw some "I'm not your boyfriend!!!" scenes from Chowder. I've never watched the show but the girl and boy reminded me of my characters.

mrsmig--I made sure to give her other stuff besides being boy-crazy.
 

Sonya Heaney

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I know you've already got your answer, but I very distinctly remember sixth grade (11-12 years) being the year everyone at my school got "boyfriends" and "girlfriends" (meaning they never spoke to each other, but were "officially going out":D).

I turned twelve in year seven, and by then most girls were either boy crazy or getting involved in other seventh graders' relationship issues. I actually think that's the age range where it all begins.
 

Roxxsmom

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I have a side female character who is crazy for one of my male MCs. She talks about him all the time to her friend and sometimes claims he's actually her boyfriend. The boy of interest knows she's crazy for him but only wants her to be a friend. He even finds her a little embarrassing. (Both characters are 11 or 12)

This female character is important to the series and does more than be boy-crazy, but that's an aspect of her.

I showed a writer I know a tiny snippet of her being boy-crazy over him and the writer said that makes her dislike the girl character. She didn't do anything wrong or inappropriate (she never does). All she did was squeal when she got chosen to work with her crush and make a bunch of people stare at the crush. This deeply embarrassed him.

I was never boy-crazy and certainly not at her age, but I know some 11-12 year olds are. So I know her being boy-crazy is realistic, but can it be in MG?

Thanks.

I remember being that age and having crushes on a couple of boys, but was terrified someone would find out. Boys didn't like me much when I was that age. They either ignored me, or (if we had squaredancing or something stupid for PE) some would furiously wipe their hands on their pants after being forced to touch me. I remember being worried that boys would never like me, and pretending I didn't like them either and acting like it was stupid for other girls to like them. I don't remember the kind of stereotypical "boy crazy" behavior you read about in books sometimes. No one I knew kept boy books with all the sixth-grade boys ranked, or flaunted having a new crush each week. And boys were far from the only thing girls talked about. But around 5th-6th grade seemed to be when boys and girls started to notice one another as more than adversaries and rivals again at my school. I do vaguely remember there were certain girls many of the boys seemed to like when we were younger than that too.

There were some girls and boys who "coupled up" at that age, though the relationships were really short and involved little more than smooching and maybe going to the beach or roller rink together. I remember my brother went to our local spring carnival with a girl from his class. It was sort of a "double date." He was maybe in sixth grade then, and he was more popular than I had been at that age. I think my first super serious crush, where I dared use the word "love" to myself, might have been when I was in 7th-8th grade, however. That was the age where I started to have some social interactions with mixed groups of boys and girls. I didn't go on my first date or have an actual boyfriend until late in ninth grade, though, when I was 15.

I think concern about the opposite sex is a normal part of life for many kids starting around that age. I know many frown on stories where a girl's life revolves around being liked by boys, but sometimes romantic issues are a big deal that can temporarily eclipse other matters, even for girls who are well rounded and have plenty of female friends and other interests.
 
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