Sunday, October 16, 2011

Fun Books for Boys

Ok, I hate classifying books as boy or girl, because really, a great story is a great story.  However, there is certainly subject matter that appeals more to boys than girls and visa versa.  It also seems to be harder, in general, to get boys to read.  The US Department of Education reading tests for the last 30 years show boys scoring worse than girls in every age group, every year.  So I hope the subject of these books will appeal to boys.  They may not love them all, but it's a start!   So, let's hear it for the boys!

And don't worry girls, my next blog will have a selection that would probably make the boys say yuck!  Please "like" One Great Book on facebook or sign up for my twitter feeds so you know when I have posted the next selections!  I will post new books weekly, but since I need to build up content, it may be even faster in the next few weeks, so I can have a good selection on the site!

Title:        If I Built a Car
Author:   Chris Van Dusen
Title:        Cars Galore
Author:   Peter Stein
Target:    Preschool - Grade 1
Having two boys who were obsessed with anything that had wheels, I read just about every book about front loaders, articulated dump trucks and hot wheels race cars!  I must admit my Barbie camper bus ill prepared me for the world I entered.  So I was always thrilled to find a car book that not only engaged my boys, but also was a fun read for me.  The two books above fit the bill!
If I Built a Car is a fun look at what a young  boy would put in his car if he were in charge.  A pool and snack bar are right at the top of the list!  The ability to go under water and fly, also adds to the fun.  My kids loved the illustrations and always immediately shared with me not only their favorites, but also the things they would add!
Cars Galore also has wonderful illustrations and shows a variety of cars on the road.  The text describes “tall car, short car, fun-filled fort car.” and the kids have a great time finding that car on the page.  Who doesn’t love the “hundred feet car” which has, in fact, one hundred actual feet!
Two really fun books you and your kids will enjoy, that also features cars.  Yippee!

Title:        Melvin Beederman Superhero: The Curse of the Bologna Sandwich

Author:   Greg Trine
Target:    Grades 1-3
Fabulous black and white illustrations throughout the chapters, a superhero whose brain is his best weapon, and lots of references to underwear will make this story appealing to even the most reluctant reader!  My son, who was avoiding chapter books, got his teeth into this series and couldn’t stop!
I loved the humor of the book, and the repetitive style will make readers feel confident without insulting their intelligence.   I also appreciated the fact the book appeals to the silly in boys without being vulgar.
Our hero Melvin has just graduated from the Superhero Academy and is sent to Los Angeles to protect their citizens from villains.  A cape mix up at the dry cleaners leads to a new sidekick and the eventual defeat of the McNasty Brothers.  A enjoyable, fun read to get boys into chapter books.   It was one of the few series that got my son Will to move into fiction when all I could get him to read were Pokemon handbooks and National Geographic Kids magazine.

Title:        The Extraordinary Adventures of Ordinary Boy: The Hero Revealed
Author:   William Boniface
Target:     Grades 3-5
Imagine a town called Superopolis where everyone has a super power, except Ordinary Boy.  In Superopolis everyone’s name has something to do with their super power.  A baby might start out as Floating Baby, as he gets older he will be Floating Boy, and eventually Floating Man.  However, not all the powers are impressive, as we learn from the likes of Puddle Boy! 
In this book, kids get a humorous look at superheroes, villains and who the real heroes are.  I (and most other parents) will love that readers must question the justification of spending all your allowance on trading cards (Pokemon anyone!)  and the economics of supply and demand!  The story revolves around stopping the evil plans of the villain Brain Drain
I think it is a wonderful boy series to get kids reading longer chapter books.  Half the fun is in the unusual powers that some of the kid super heroes posses.  Great messages on friendship delivered with alot of silly humor!

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