Top Ten Things Ten-Year-Old Girls Would Like to See More of in Books

Last week, a group of thirteen-year-old boys told me what they’d like to see in books. If you missed it, you can read it here:

Today, girls get their say.

Rhiannon Reading on Trampoline1

Only this time, I chose a slightly younger age. Not only did I want to see if gender made any significant difference to the requests, but also if middle grade preferences were vastly different to young adult.

So I gathered a group of eight ten-year-old girls and, after they’d had their fill of cupcakes and cookies, asked them to come up with their top five answers to the same question I’d put to the boys:

“What would you like to see more of in books?”

These are their top responses, from tenth to first:

10. Magic spells

9. Scary setting, like haunted houses

8. More pictures in chapter books

7. Sport stories – netball and equestrian were specifically mentioned

6. Bad guys not losing so easy (one girl even wanted the bad guys to “sometimes” win in the end)

5. Mysteries, not only in terms of plot but also in settings

4. Humour

3. Princess stories

2. Fashion industry settings

And the top answer was…

1. More drama (conflict) between friends, especially best friends

So there you have it. I must admit, I thought the top answer was very interesting. While the young adult boys’ top answer was humour and wisecracking jokes, the middle grade girls wanted friendships to be tested. Make of that what you will.

Happy writing,


The two groups used for this purpose were quite small, both only being eight in number. Do you think their answers accurately reflect the thoughts of young adult boys and middle grade girls in general? And why do you think their top answer is so different?


2 thoughts on “Top Ten Things Ten-Year-Old Girls Would Like to See More of in Books

  1. I found this really interesting, Rebecca – thanks for posting. I’m pleased to see the Ella series ticks quite a few of these boxes – humour, fashion, illustrations – but particularly the part about conflict between friends. This comes up in all of the books – but in the latest one, the conflict between best friends is actually the major storyline. Guess it’s a perennial problem/’issue’ for girls.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, Meredith, I think it highlights that the most interesting stories are those where the conflict requires the character to look inside herself for the answer or way out, such as when close friendships are tested. In general, I found these girls to be quite mature in their answers. It was very interesting indeed!


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