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The Little Rex and YA

August 11, 2010

It’s a shell of a time!! One, two, three, four TURTLES…

I pushed my little brother for answers concerning books. He’s not an avid reader, but he’s found some books he’s really enjoyed, such as The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, City of Bones/Ashes/Glass, etc. His Language Arts teacher (who will also be teaching him this coming year) requires that the kids read five books to get an A (and then they had to give little “book chats” – a review, of sorts) per quarter. So… he’s read a lot more in the past year. And many of the were books ones that I love, too. And, I have to say it: Gasp! They have girl main characters! (Those who haven’t, please read my post on boys and YA: The Mutants Want to Read, Too.) Anyway, I decided to ask him about his experiences with book reading/choosing.

Things that made him want to read a book:

Adventure – Something we all like a bit of in books, and something that’s understandably a plus for guy readers.

Looks funny but not stupid – So, the message? Boys aren’t dunces or shallow. Cleverness can go a long way.

The book is under 300 pages – Obviously, this isn’t a deal-breaker. All of The Mortal Instruments books are over three hundred pages. Still, less is more, for him.

Things that made him put a book back:

Lots of pink or other “pretty colors” – If you want the book cover to appeal to guys at large, don’t put sparkles and pink cupcakes on it.

It’s about “five girls and their emotional journey through high school” – I’ll admit, I proposed this topic to him solely to see what he would say. Which was, unsurprisingly, no.

A few other things he said were welcome were a fast pace and a boy main character. Not necessarily a POV character, but my brother appreciates when a boy character is somehow crucial to the plot.

So, really, I wouldn’t hand my brother Secrets of My Hollywood Life, but I knew that he’d like The Hunger Games. He really, really enjoyed The Mortal Instruments series. He also liked Death Run. Boys have a wide range of interests and tolerance, well, at least wider than I think many of us assume. Honestly, a boy who really, really wants to read will pick up something that’s at Borders RIGHT NOW. A boy who isn’t inclined to reading will need a little bit of a push, some incentive. That’s where action, adventure, and all my brother’s other criteria come in.

So, I’ll leave you with this to weed through. What’s you’re opinion? What do we do to encourage the “disinclined to read boys” to pick up a book? Don’t you think it’s cute that my brother answered these questions even though he didn’t really want to?


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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Sabrina A. permalink
    August 24, 2010 9:08 PM

    Hey! Much like yours, my younger brother is NOT an avid reader. My father and I are addicted to books, and we push him a little bit to indulge every one and a while. One thing I’ve learned is that, instead of pushing him to read something, I stealthily (read: not-so-subtly) leave books that I think he’d find interesting on his bed or dresser. I know that’s he’s really loved the Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz, almost as much as I have! I think he’d also like The Hunger Games. 🙂 Thanks for the suggestion!

    • August 26, 2010 5:47 PM

      You’re welcome! I recommend The Mortal Instrument books, too! I should show my brother the Alex Rider books.

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