News flash! Boys are different than girls! Okay, now that you’ve recovered from laughing so hard, it won’t surprise you that boys approach reading in different ways than girls, too. Just like anything else, both boys and girls get better at reading by practicing. With all the entertainment alternatives out there (can anyone say video games?), guess what - guys won’t read if they don’t find books entertaining and fun. Boys have slightly different reading tastes than girls do. Unlike girls, they think books about relationships or character growth are boring. Instead, they go for books with lots of action. They go for books with humor. They tend to read edgier books. And they read lots of non-fiction. Non-fiction is good reading for boys because they can tie it to real world experiences, and in general it provides more pictures, giving them the extra brain stimulation that they need.
Here are some good middle grade boy books that I’ve read recently that you can check out from your local Sno-Isle library:
Kid vs. squid by Greg Van Eekhout: Giant attack squid! Kelp and lobster men! Seagull spies! Mummies and shrunken heads! Curses and an evil witch's head and a creepy Neptune house! Non-stop action and snarky humor give this lots of boy appeal.
Thomas and the dragon queen by Shutta Crum: A great adventure as young Thomas is pressed into a quest to rescue a princess, riding a donkey instead of a horse and wearing a cork-lined vest instead of armor. Boys will like the desperate fight against the bog monster, while grownups will like the ending, where Thomas shows his bravery by talking and understanding to provide the solution rather than blood and gore.
Here are two additional good resources for finding more books that boys will enjoy reading:
http://talestoldtall.com/B4B.html (by Michael Sullivan)
http://www.guysread.com/ (by the author Jon Scieszka)