Boy Books

I never had any problem getting the daughter to read. As a matter of fact, even though she works two jobs and an unreal amount of hours, she is still a prolific reader and brings me more books to read than I can keep up with.

It was not so with her brother. He liked to listen, but not necessarily to read by himself. One of the books that he did like were FAHRENHEIT 450, which he read in the fifth grade. I think he liked BRIDGE TO TEREBITHIA, although maybe that was the daughter. And I think he read THE OUTSIDERS. Mostly, I gave up and tried to have magazine around that would interest him so that he would read in short spurts. (As I recall, he did read THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA and some Madeleine L’Engle books.)

I was thinking about this because I read a lot to the high school boys with whom I work. Most of the time, they can’t make heads nor tails of what they are reading if left to themselves, but if you read TO them, they will grudgingly confess that they like books. Well….some books. Currently, I am reading RUMBLEFISH by S.E. Hinton (who wrote THE OUTSIDERS) and SHILOH by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor to some of my boys. The Gary Soto books and the Gary Paulsen books also go over well. If I read to them

I was surprised to find this link on MSN about ways to get boys to read. The author suggests that boys might like ERAGON, JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH, DR.DOLITTLE and HOLES, mostly because there are movies that have been made of these books. I am thinking she might have a point. I remember that my son really liked THE NEVER-ENDING STORY. I bought the book, but I don’t know if he ever read it.  At least all of it. It was quite thick, and he had other things to do.

I don’t want to give you the impression that my son does not read, because he does. Or at least he did before adulthood and marriage and fatherhood got in his way. I think he is reading Dr. Seuss to the boys.  And I am sure he reads his professional literature and keeps up on the news.  But any mom of boys knows that it is sometimes a chore to find a book that a boy will read, and if your school, like the one in which I work, requires Accelerated Reader points, you might have a problem.

If you do, give the MSN article a look. It can’t hurt, can it?

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2 Responses to “Boy Books”


  1. 1 writeathome April 18, 2007 at 12:46 pm

    Hi Becky,

    My son is who is 11, just started getting into reading this year. Since the middle of January, he has read 23 Hardy Boys books. I know these are considered “light reading”, but it’s a start, and at least I don’t have to worry about foul language or filth in these books. I read a lot to my kids when they were younger. We read good children’s classics like Charlotte’s Web, Old Yeller, The Little House Series, Gentle Ben, The Secret Garden, The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, etc. I have a wonderful little booklet called Hand That Rocks The Cradle, which is an essay on the value of reading good quality literature to your children and also a list of recommended books to read. My husband is an avid reader, and I read too, although not quite so much as he does. I think if parents can model reading to their kids, they will have more of a tendency to want to become readers too.

  2. 2 Becky April 18, 2007 at 5:05 pm

    I agree with you whole-heartedly. I think modeling is key, too. Thanks for sharing your guy’s choices. There are a lot of people out there who look for any suggestion they can find.


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