Genders in Books

What direction to take?
As many of you know, I am writing a children's fantasy chapter book.  The first two chapters are posted here on my Work In Progress page.  The main character is an eleven year old girl, with a second eleven year old girl introduced into the story.  A comment was made that has made me stop and ponder. I know that girls will read books with boys as the main character, but will boys read books with a girl as the main character if there is no boy introduced into the story line?  You would think I would know this since I have two teenage boys of my own. My boys liked Inkheart, which has a female lead, but there are plenty of male characters in the story. I am wondering if I should go back and change the secondary character into a boy, or should I create a new male character to bring into the story?

The quandary of an author.  Do I write the story just as I first imagined it, or do I write it to appeal to a broader audience? Is it being true to myself to introduce new characters to broaden appeal? Or is this part of the editing process when you start looking at the story with fresh eyes?

Your thoughts and opinions are welcome.

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