Thanks VERY MUCH contributors. very helpful. And it will be much more fun to write about strong female characters who are role models for younger girls. Has anyone got any differing views - or other suggestions? All ideas welcome. Tennismad
I had a book I loved when I was that age about a girl who became an actress and earned the money to save her aunt's business - it was all about taking on new challenges and responsibilites, and finally managing to do something that the adults hadn't succeeded at. (In restrospect, the 12 year old girl was remarkably business savvy and the adults were all kind of floating along a bit hopelessly.) Which is pretty much the same plot as Harry Potter, but with fewer witches.
My 12 year old dd would not be remotely interested in pink (grew out of pink aged about 8), and is not interested in boys (they are still annoying) / nails / hair / fashion / sport etc. ... agree with Turnip that strong female characters who show initiative, take on the world and win, is more the sort of thing that would appeal to her and her group of friends.
Oh, I really wouldn't do PINK for 11-14 - that's way too young for them.
I think what Tunip says is good - friendships, discovering yourself, taking action, exercising control, making moral choices, changing the world (or the bit of it you can reach) would probably be much more appealing. I heard a chat on Woman's Hour, I think, with teenage girls saying that a lot of the issues about friendship in that age group are that they are trying out who they could be, what sort of person they were, what sort of things they did and didn't like.
I think if it is pink and stereotypical it will fail to excite anybody very much. A lot of them are well past their pink phase by that age, too, and see too much pinkness as babyish. My advice would be to go to a bookshop/library and look at what girls of that age are reading. Get a whole heap of Jacqueline Wilsons and the Hunger Games, to give you the full range. You will find their concerns go a long way beyond hair and nails - even though appearance is a perennial concern that's always there in the background, it's not key to what they worry about IME - love and more universally, friendships (male and female) are more important, and the way appearance plays out in that is important but it is not the primary issue itself IYSWIM. I think from the girls I know of that age, what they really want is strong female characters who take the initiative and really do stuff. (However somebody must be reading Twilight so clearly there is a market for passive and creepy vampire love stories too.)
Hi. I am a commissioned writer of musical theatre and have had 2 musicals produced - one for 7-11 age group and one for 14-20 age group, both for both sexes. I have now been asked to write a musical for GIRLS ONLY aged between 11-14. I am not a mum and basic research suggests girls in this age group today have widely differing interests - from boys/dates to sports to fashion/hair/nails and all things PINK. Your thoughts about subjects/issues/conflicts/desires for 11-14 age girls very welcome. Thanks, tennismad