Thursday, December 3, 2009

Great Christmas BOOKS for BOYS.

Okay, here I go again, on my hobby-horse:

This Blog is all about

Identifying terrific books for the kids (especially boys) in
your life, and writing books for them

However today, I can take none of the credit for this post.
I simply copied and pasted this wonderfully
detailed resource for you to read.

The guilty party is . . .
Cathy Camper's




Get that reluctant reader

by giving him books that follow his interests.

Cathy's post to me includes:
links, titles, authors + words of wisdom.

Let's begin with a link to
Multnomah County Library's lists.
( OR the library where you live)

Cahy begins by writing. . .

We did some great book clubs with dads and boys,
a good way to foster male mentors.

Jon Scieszka, of Stinky Cheese fame, is a huge supporter of Guys Read, and has lists on his website. His biography, Knucklehead, is a book for guys, talks about his childhood growing up in a family of 5 boys. Really funny, not hard to read.

I work at the library doing outreach to schools grades K-12.
So I'm always doing book talks: talking with kids
about what they're reading etc.

Please don't forget non-fiction when pitching to boys. One thing we have to get over is that reading = fiction. Reading can equal sports stats, almanacs, poetry, graphic novels. So here's some titles I've seen hands grab:

Heck Where the Bad Kids Go by Portland author Dale Basye...the 2 middle school protagonists are bad, but too young to go to Hell, so they end up in Heck, which is like...ugh! Middle school.

The sequel is now out too, Rapacia the Second Circle of Heck. At one school book talk I did, ALL the boys wanted to read this, and NONE of the girls. I did a podcast interview with Dale. Podcast posted HERE

Mummies; the Newest, Coolest and Creepiest from Around the World. Think mummies are just found in Egypt? Think again, there's bog mummies, Peruvian mummies, mummies preserved in ice...and my favorite in this book are some Eastern monks that drank special herbs, meditated...and mummified themselves! Check out the pictures in this book if you don't believe me.

Just starting to read? Luke on the Loose is a fantastic graphic novel with a controlled vocabulary. Luke's a kid that can't stop chasing pigeons, so he chases them all over New York City. This is published by Toon Books, Art Spiegelman and his wife Francis Mouly, and they have a really good line-up of graphic novel readers. Visit them HERE

For 2-4th grade boys, don't miss The Dunderheads, by Paul Fleischman, about a group of kids who have a horrible awful teacher...and figure out how to use their talents, to get revenge.

For older boys who are into sports, I recommend the novels of Mike Lupica. ( I liked Heat). They talk about sports, but work in other issues as well. Heat is about a boy with fantastic baseball talent, but also involves immigrations issues, and competition between boys.

The Juvie Three is another one for middle school boys, about three boys in trouble with the law, who are assigned to live with a social worker in an apt. in NYC. When the social worker is injured in a fall, and loses all memory, the boys decide they must do everything just as if he were still around, so the authorities won't send them back to jail....but can they pull it off? Especially when one of them becomes a rock star, another falls in love, and the third is pulled back towards his life of crime....

And yes, I'm working on 2 books for boys...because I love writing humor, a lot of what I like falls into the 'what boys like' category, and I often have boy protagonists. As an author, when I book talked my book, Bugs Before Time, I often got asked by kids, "Why did you, a girl, write about bugs?" Answer: "Because they fascinate me." : )

I hope this helps and do please take a look at some of these great titles!

Thanks Cathy.
These add to the growing number of


  1. I write children's fiction and I'm always very aware of writing a story that would appeal to both boys and girls. I believe losing yourself in a book is not only an enjoyable past time, but can also be a learning one.
    Cathy's comment about not forgetting non fiction is still reading, especially for boys, is a good reminder.

  2. Thanks Maureen. Wise words indeed.

    Margot Finke
    Books for Kids - Manuscript Critiques