Yesterday, I posted this about a publisher launching an imprint aimed at boys ages 9-14. I also shared this info on an educational website, School Leadership 2.0, where I received an interesting comment and follow-up email. Both of which got me thinking about the kinds of books I recommend to reluctant readers who are boys, or to my girlfriends for their sons to read.
Starting with the most obvious series, for boys who think they hate reading but love sports, I recommend Mike Lupica books, as long as the child is reading at about a 5th or 6th grade level. If the little sports fan is reading at a lower level, I recommend Matt Christopher books.
Got a future legal eagle on your hands? I recommend the Theodore Boone, Kid Lawyer books, by John Grisham.
Books and series that may be less obvious to parents, but usually enjoyed by my male students include:
Shredderman series, by Wendelin VanDraanen.
With a low readability, and an anti-bullying theme, this will make your reader feel like a hero.
Nate the Great, by Marjorie W. Sharmat
Noir mysteries for very young readers.
The Time Warp Trio, by Jon Sciezka
Combine history and the sci-fi element of time travel to grab your boy's attention.
Bobby vs. Girls (Accidentally), by Lisa Yee
What do you do when your former best bud, a girl who liked to do all the same things you like, suddenly befriends a girly-girl and starts doing crazy things like shopping, and worrying about hair? This middle grade book looks at friendship, boys, girls and families.
For pure fun and easy reading with very little text and hysterical illustrations, I of course recommend the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, by Jeff Kinney. I know some sticklers out there are thinking that isn't "real reading," to which I say, any reading is good reading, especially if it hooks young readers. When students finish this series, I often recommend the Big Nate series, by Lincoln Peirce, but in my opinion, it is not as enjoyable as the Diary books. Sorry.
Does your boy get wry humor and enjoy suspense? I'd recommend A Series of Unfortunate Events, by Lemony Snicket, or The Secret Series, by Pseudonymous Bosch.
For the fantasy fan, I'd recommend the Percy Jackson series, by Rick Riordan. If you've read my blog before, you know that fantasy usually isn't my thing, but all the action in this series keeps me turning pages.
Finally, for some foreign intrigue, action and adventure, I'd recommend the 39 Clues series, by various authors.
If your boy is still not sure what to read, why not start with Guys Write for Guys Read, a collection of short stories, essays and cartoons written by today's most popular male authors?
Literacy Connections Blog