I've been reading mystery author Denise Hamilton's books for years. She does a tremendous job making Los Angeles almost a character in her series, which is about a street-smart LA Times reporter who solves mysteries. Today I learned that Denise is also a mother of two boys, and a passionate advocate of children's books and reading. She had an excellent piece published in a recent LA Times summer reading issue about books and techniques for luring reluctant boy readers. She includes recommendations for all age ranges, from very early chapter books to books for teens -- from Captain Underpants to Alex Rider and Percy Jackson to The Dangerous Book for Boys (which she likens to "catnip"). Denise says that her sons:
"like stories packed with action, danger, suspense, technological gadgets, tricks, slapstick and scary supernatural stuff. Books with bathroom humor and mischief-making kids are sure winners. They don't always like the books grown-ups think they will or the ones that are supposed to be good for them -- or those with expensive marketing campaigns.
She goes on to list, with brief descriptions, tons of amazing books. This article is a great resource for parents and teachers of boys, or anyone else who is looking for help enticing boys into the world of books. I'm not sure how long the article will be available online (and you may have to register to read it), but it's well worth tracking down.
© 2009 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved.