"Boy books"

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midenianscholar
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Re: "Boy books"

Post by midenianscholar » June 25th, 2010, 10:23 am

When I think boy-book, I think Percy Jackson. My younger brother never really loved reading (even though his school curriculum was heavily reading-based) until a teacher friend of ours recommended the Olympians series. I read them all over winter break, and I can clearly see the difference between those books and a YA Twelve Dancing Princesses retelling.

One thing that fascinated me about the books is that they are written like a boy is writing them. The comparisons Percy uses are funny and blunt. In the first book, the sentences are short and to the point. But as the series progresses, the books get more complex and involved. In the beginning, boys can be entertained by the fast-paced, adventure-per-chapter storytelling. But by the end, Rick Riordan had masterfully tricked his readers into a book that was almost entirely about one battle. I think the books are also a good example because though there a lot of humor, it isn't rude humor. Farts don't make a boy book, so to speak.

(Also, now my brother is an avid reader.)

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aspiring_x
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Re: "Boy books"

Post by aspiring_x » June 25th, 2010, 3:46 pm

midenianscholar wrote:When I think boy-book, I think Percy Jackson. My younger brother never really loved reading (even though his school curriculum was heavily reading-based) until a teacher friend of ours recommended the Olympians series.
You are so right about those Percy Jackson books! The boys love them! My oldest son has read through the entire series twice this summer. And one of my art students who hates reading has put aside the hate long enough to devour each one of them. Now he only wants to draw characters from the books. Rick Riordan sure knows how to capture the imaginations of his audience!

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Susan Quinn
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Re: "Boy books"

Post by Susan Quinn » July 16th, 2010, 8:14 pm

As an avowed lover of boy-lit, I can attest to the appeal of fast paced adventures like Percy Jackson (and now The Red Pyramid series!). But I think we have to be careful about putting boys in a box, and saying "you'll only like this kind of book, so that's all I'm feeding you." Boys need a varied literary diet, just as much as girls. And my boys have never had a problem reading a book with a strong female character, probably because their mom would berate them mercilessly for it. I mean, object with kind words.

Anyway, not forgetting that boys are human and have tastes that are as varied as the rest of us, I did like this guest post by Adam Heine about what boy readers like (speaking as a former boy himself, though still a reader). Also, if you want to know what boys like, ask them. The great thing about kids is they will tell you, if you just listen. The next best thing is asking the parents, and I was impressed with the range on that list of what actual boys read - everything from Frindle to Bunnicula, with a lot of swords, dragons and demons in between.
Susan Kaye Quinn (young adult and middle grade author)
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