20 Replies to “I NEED your help … Books for Boys”

  1. I’d suggest some of the classics like Tom Sawyer, Robinson Crusoe, Call of the Wild, Last of the Mohicans. I was reading those at about that age and found the plots fascinating even if I didn’t get all the subtexts. Gulliver’s Travels. Oh, and all of Jules Verne. I was also reading the Three Muscateers at about that age, maybe?

    Then there is Emily Rodda books. A lot of sci-fi books are written for young adults/youth – have a look in the library. I don’t know whether Anne Mccaffrey would be appropriate, but worth a try.

    Good luck!

  2. Amanda,
    Am feeling your confusion – faced the same problem with my eldest .How does he feel about fantasy? What about the “Ranger’s Quest” series, Emily Rodda, Tamora PIerce, There are some Isobelle Carmody such as the “LIttle Fur” series.- my daughter also loved the Chrestomanci Series by Diana Wynne-Jones (apparently JK Rowling was inspired by these).
    OMG of course has he read Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer? Then there are all the historical books, written in the form of diaries by teen’s in the time – ask your librarian about these.
    Hope this helps, I can also ask my daughter and she is sure to give me a list of thousands more. Apparently, according to some reading and people I have talked to, if a child’s reading and comprehension age is way beyond there chronological then there emotional IQ will also be beyond that. So even tho’ he appears young to you, he may actually really have an understanding beyond but just isn’t interested. I noticed this with my daughter – she could comprehend – but just didn’t care as long as the story line was interesting etc.
    Sounds like you are on an exciting road – give him the freedom and he will amaze (and infuriate) you. By the way – ignore the teacher and if he starts mucking up tell her that it is what happens when bright kids get bored and she should adjust her practice to accommodate him .. (so perhaps she could do some professional development and learn to deal with it!)
    Cheers Jo

  3. Thank you 🙂

    I bought a few Emily Rodder’s for my aforementioned niece – wasn’t sure if they were too girly or not, but will suggest them to him.

    He’s funny – he’s a bit aprehensive about reading new stuff (till, of course, he has done it then he wants to buy ALL the books in the series …)

    Jo – yup, that’s waht I was getting at with the intellegence vs emotion – he comprehends it, but not really keen on reading about kissing and euwwy stuff 🙂 It’s gross, apparently LOL

    Really appreciate your comments, girlies – thanks!

  4. What about Terry Pratchet? If he likes them there’s a never ending supply lol. Also recommend northern lights by an author I can’t remember for the life of me!

    Terry Brooks also has a couple of more teeny type science fiction books.

    btw – that teacher sounds like a real PRAT!

  5. Tried the Specky Magee books? I really enjoyed them (so did my son). We were reading them together last year. They’re written in a way that both adults and kids can understand and have everything, comedy, romance, commitment, sport, action – and teach a lesson.
    Don’t know if it matters if he doesn’t like footy……..

    Hope that helps?

  6. I agree with Sim I think Terry Pratchett particularly the extensive Discworld series would be worth a try, it has a great sense of humour and I don’t think it would bore him like The Hobbit.

  7. hey hun, what about the old Lockie Leonard books, goosebumps, see if you can get your hands on some choose your own adventure books. I was a good reader as a young’en and remember getting busted reading mums cleo magazine when I was 10. There is always the beast quest etc, perhaps a little too young for him tho. Good luck!
    Ree (StillWaiting)

  8. Also hun, there is a series, first book is called ‘city of bones’ not sure if they would be a little too mature tho, and there is Power of Five series by Anthony Horowitz. He has another series as well but I cant remember the name!

  9. The Bible? Depending on the translation, it’s mainly Herald-Sun level english … and I can guarantee, the teacher will never ask you again what he’s reading after you’ve told her the first time. 🙂

    On a more serious note, tell the teacher nicely that he’s doing fine thanks and is there some other work he could do. Research shows that (apart from reading), homework for primary school kids is wasted time. They’d be better off playing footy or picking their nose. As long as their literacy and numeracy (which they should be learning at school shouldn’t they??) is at the average level for year 7 when they hit secondary college, they can ramp up their study at any time in that year and cope fine. This is based on conversations with long time principals and teachers … and I work in a high school.

    On another note, the STAR WARS novels are NOT rip offs. The play date is OFF!! 😉

  10. Thanks, Pete – knew I could rely on you.

    Funnily, we’ve had the discussion re reading the Bible 😀

    Not having read any I’m really speaking out my bum – but are there some Star Wars books that are kinda not the Star Wars Star Wars books? I think he’s referring to them, because some he’s read are good, but others are “rip offs” – allegedly. Is that right?

    Emily Rodda seems to be the concensus – looks like a trip to the library. 🙂

    I also really, really appreciate your teacery input 😀

  11. When I was in the later years of primary school I couldn’t get enough of Enid Blyton’s Secret Seven and Famous Five series. Any of Enid’s books actually. Also Judy Blume writes some great books, some are for the older kids but the Fudge books and ‘Then Again Maybe I wont’ are written with a male character. I was also going to suggest Specky Magee as well.

  12. Philip Pullman – awesome, check him out http://www.philip-pullman.com
    His books are intelligent, easy to read as they have you engrossed. I have found 12-15 yr old boys I have taught have enjoyed them as he includes illustrations & I have included an extract from his website :

    After darkness had fallen, and when the stores and equipment had all been safely unloaded and stood in waiting on the quay, Farder Coram and Lyra walked along the waterfront and looked for Einarsson’s Bar. They found it easily enough: a crude concrete shed with a red neon sign flashing irregularly over the door and the sound of loud voices through the condensation-frosted windows.

    A pitted alley beside it led to a sheet-metal gate into a rear yard, where a lean-to shed stood crazily over a floor of frozen mud. Dim light through the rear window of the bar showed a vast pale form crouching upright and gnawing at a haunch of meat which it held in both hands. Lyra had an impression of blood-stained muzzle and face, small malevolent black eyes, and an immensity of dirty matted yellowish fur. As it gnawed, hideous growling, crunching, sucking noises came from it.

    Farder Coram stood by the gate and called:

    “Iorek Bymison!”

    The bear stopped eating. As far as they could tell, he was looking at them directly, but it was impossible to read any expression on his face.

    “Iorek Byrnison,” said Farder Coram again. “May I speak to you?”

    Lyra’s heart was thumping hard, because something in the bear’s presence made her feel close to coldness, danger, brutal power, but a power controlled by intelligence; and not a human intelligence, nothing like a human, because of course bears had no daemons. This strange hulking presence gnawing its meat was like nothing she had ever imagined, and she felt a profound admiration and pity for the lonely creature.
    He dropped the reindeer leg in the dirt and slumped on all fours to the gate. Then he reared up massively, ten feet or more high, as if to show how mighty he was, to remind them how useless the gate would be as a barrier, and he spoke to them from that height.

    ‘Well? Who are you?’

  13. I just came across this blog by accident – I’m working on a junior series and I searched google to find out what boys really want to read!

    Anyway, your son sounds like the ideal reader for my Hal Spacejock SF/humour novels. I wrote them for adults but my daughters devoured them when they were 10-11 years old (they’re both in gifted ed programs and reading well ahead of their real ages.)

    The first half of book one is a free download from my website, and the novels are available through Dymocks, Collins, etc, and many school & public libraries.

    As a huge reader of junior fic I’d have to say some of my faves were Stig of the Dump, Malcolm Saville’s Witchend books and the Just William series amongst hundreds of others.

    Hope that helps!

  14. I was just thinking over your post whilst cooking dinner, and I had to come back with another couple of recommendations. Two of my favourite characters when I was 10-12 (and later) were Hercules Poirot and Sherlock Holmes. Agatha Christie was my first intro to real adult books, and I got hooked in a big way.

  15. How about the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams), or the Eragon series (Christopher Paolini), or the Chronicles of Narnia (CS Lewis)? Good luck!

  16. What about the Hardy Brothers books?? I devoured those and Agatha Christie books when I was that age – I used to get in trouble for ‘reading too much’ even though both my parents were teachers…!!

    I’m still a fan of traditionally ‘boyish’ books. Anything by Bernard Cornwell, Lee Child, Clive Cussler etc is sure to have me staying up all night reading. Some of those might be alright – minimal romance and lots of adventure.

  17. Some good suggestions here – I like the classics Dorothy suggests.

    Is he a Roald Dahl fan? There is a good list of books at the beginning of Matilda (recommended by the librarian to 4 year old Matilda!):
    Nicholas Nickleby

  18. definitely give the Pratchetts a go – start with something like ‘the amazing maurice and his educated rodents’ There is little to no romance in any of the pratchetts, and if he gets sarcasm they are really funny.
    cant believe no one has mentioned John Marsden! Some are probably a little to ‘teenage’ for him, but the tomorrow when the war began series is excellent (but possibly a little ‘old’ for him in the relationship themes?) He also has a brilliant book to keep in mind for a few years down the track called ‘secret mens business’ it talks to boy about becoming a man – not just the physical aspects of puberty but also emotional side – things like treating people with respect etc.
    Victor Kellerher is another fantastic writer, themes should not be too advanced.
    Brian Caswell is another of my favourites and try gillian rubenstein, in particular the space demons series (about kids who get trapped in a computer game)
    That should keep him going for a while!

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