As a mother of three girls and only one boy I am afraid to say that our book choices may be a bit lopsided. This got me thinking, What do boys like to read anyway? To find out, I interviewed a friend’s ten year old son.
His answers were nothing earth shattering, but his attitude toward reading was completely different than my daughter’s attitude. Below are his answers, what I learned, and book recommendations.
What is your favorite book? To help with this question I also asked if there was one book you would grab if the house were burning down… He said he might just burn with the house trying to make a decision. Later his mom thanked me for reminding her to talk about fire safety. Oops.
These are the handbooks that come in some lego set. Boys really love non fiction. These were the first types of books mentioned as we talked.
Ok, what about your favorite story?
“Guardians of Ga’hoole by Kathryn Lasky”
What are your favorite types of books to read?
“Science books, space books, science fiction, books about shipwrecks, and Lego how-to books.”
Even in their fiction, they enjoy technical descriptions. I tried to read The New Tom Swift Adventures and found it to be dry. I handed the book to this boy and he devoured it.
What makes a good book?
“I like science. So, lots of science stuff. Not science fiction that can have lasers go through planets and then destroy something. Science fiction where it sounds like it might actually happen in the future. I like Hardy Boys because of the mystery and adventure, and the characters are funny.”
He was also quite realistic. He didn’t want science fiction books that were too over the top, but just enough of a stretch for him to believe that this could happen someday!
What advice would you give someone picking out a book in the library?
“Pick a book on a subject you like.”
When you pick out books for the boys in your life this summer, stretch them yes, but help them to enjoy their choices as well. Use our Enchanted Reading map to help them discover books they may enjoy from other sections of the library.
This amazing boy also came to the interview with a piece of paper filled front and back with his favorite books. I raised my eyebrows at his entry for Blood on the River. He assured me not to worry — it was only about Jamestown.
Here are a few recommendations from his list.
- Complete book of the Microscope, Usborne
- The Bravest Dog Ever: The True Story of Balto, by Natalie Standiford
- Sharkpedia by Nancy Ellwood
- The Sinking of the Bismarck: The Deadly Hunt by William L. Shirer
- Apollo 11, The Moon Landing Logbook by Carlton Books
- Michael Faraday: Father of Electronics by Charles S. Ludwig Jr.
- Usborne True Stories
- Leonardo da Vinci, Giants of Science by Kathleen Krull
- Dactyl’s Dragons of the air by Dr. Robert T. Bakker
Historical Fiction – Because this category falls somewhere in the middle, doesn’t it?
- The Captive by Scott O’dell and others by this author
- I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic, 1912 by Lauren Tarshis and others in the series
- Sons of Liberty, Turning Points by Marshall Poe – A graphic novel
- Johnny Tremain by Esther Hoskins Forbes
- Sword in the Tree by Clyde Robert Bulla
- Carry on Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham
- The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare and others by this author
- Blazing West by Kathryn Lasky
- On This Long Journey by Joseph Bruchac
- The Trumpet of the Swan by E. B. White
- My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
- Flat Stanly by Jeff Brown
- Magic Tree House by Mary Pope Osborne
- Nate the Grate by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat
- Chitty Chitty Bang Bang by Ian Fleming
- Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
- Usborne Extreme Adventures
- Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks and others in the series
- Woodsong by Gary Paulsen and others by this author
- James and the Giant Peach and Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl
- Ginger Pye and Pinky Pye by Elanor Estes
- Hardy Boys by Franklin W. Dixon
- Call of the Wild by Jack London
- The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden
What books do your boys like to read?
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My 11 year old son just started the first book in the How to Train Your Dragon series. He was hooked within the first 10 pages! He is loving it!!
I have found that my son really likes to read books in a series. He has a hard time getting into a new set of characters and storylines, so the familiarity of a series allows him to just jump right in.
You know, that is a good point I failed to mention! Boys do love a good series. Thanks for sharing!
I have three girls, then a boy, then two more girls, then another boy, then one last girl. Also, I grew up with three sisters. Needless to say, boys are quite the enigma to me, and I have watched my now thirteen year old grow up with quite a bit of wonder! I agree wholeheartedly with this post: boys love non-fiction and historical fiction and things that could be real but aren’t yet. And the lego books. 🙂 Mine loves all things military, too, and DK Eyewitness books are great, too.
Those are great suggestions! Thanks! My little boy does love to look at DK books as well. He isn’t old enough to read the captions yet, but the pictures are so detailed and engaging!
My son just devoured the Secret series by Pseudonymous Bosch. I have to say I loved them too! Now he’s getting into Limony Snicket.
Thanks so much for the suggestion! Will have to check those out!
The boy you interviewed might love The Great Wheel by Robert Lawson. Historical fiction about the building of the first Ferris Wheel for the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. Such interesting descriptions about the engineering of the wheel as well as life as an immigrant in 1890s America.
You know, I just picked that one up at a book sale! I am glad to hear you liked it. I will pass on your suggestion. Thanks!