I’ve managed to attach a website traffic monitor doo-hickey to this site so I know the posts here that are attracting the most eyeballs.
Books for Boys and Books for Boys 2 are the most-read posts on this site by a country mile. Judging by the search keywords, there are parents and teachers out there desperate for titles that might tempt young males to turn off the PlayStation and turn over some pages.
So, I’ll keep posting lists of books I reckon boys will enjoy. Here are a few titles I’ve read recently that I think boys might tackle willing – and hopefully get hooked by.
Little Brother – Cory Doctorow (15+) – An exciting, contemporary spin on surveillance, hacking and George Orwell’s 1984. Can get a bit mired in techno-babble at times but otherwise this is a gripping, alarming yarn. One for the web-heads and X-Boxers in your household.
The Story of Tom Brennan – JC Burke (15+) – Rugby, testosterone, drink driving and living with guilt and grief. Should be compulsory reading for every teen male who ever wants to drive. There’s a reason why car insurance is so expensive for blokes under 30.
Ten Mile River – Paul Griffin (14+) – Homeless boys trying to survive in New York. There’s a constant sense of dread about what might happen to these kids next.
Jackdaw Summer – David Almond (14+) – This story, about resisting growing up and entering a seemingly crappy adult world, won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. But there’s violence, bullying, running away and an enigmatic girl. I found it utterly persuasive.
Breath – Tim Winton (17+) – This is a story about the addictive, adrenaline-charging nature of risk. It’s a ripsnorter … but might need a “don’t try this at home” label.
Before I Die – Jenny Downham (15+) – A knockout. Yes, I know, the narrator is a teenage girl but trust me and keep on reading guys. I couldn’t put this down.
Skulduggery Pleasant: Playing With Fire – Derek Landy (10+) – Funnier and bloodier than the first book. Currently reading this to my 8.5 yo son for a bedtime story and he is completely entranced.
The Graveyard Book – Neil Gaiman (12+) – Growing up with ghosts. Literally.
For the record, I haven’t read the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer but noted these titles on the desks of Year 7 (13 yo) boys at some workshops I did earlier this year. That was at a boys’ school. At a co-ed school more recently, the Year 9 lads (15 yo) said there was no way they’d be seen dead reading this phenomenally successful series. (Just about every girl had though.) Not sure what to read into that observation but I won’t recommend a book unless I’ve read it. And for some reason, (professional jealousy?) I’m reluctant to go there.
Anyway, if you click on the Books for Boys tag in the left hand column on this page, you’ll get all the articles I’ve tagged as being relevant to boys and reading. Have fun turning those pages.