Thursday, October 25, 2018

#road2reading Challenge books for boys - books for everyone 10.25.18

All journeys have a starting place.
This is a weekly place to find books and tools
that you may use with readers 
at the start of their independent reading journey.
Join in the conversation at #road2reading.

I'm going to assume most readers here have heard "books are for everyone"... "there are no boy/girl books".  If you've been on Twitter at all, you've seen the threads on these subjects.  To me, it seems obvious.  Of course books are for everyone.  Of course anyone can read any book.  I don't limit choices.  When I book talk I talk about themes or genres, not genders.  I tell students about the adventure, the suspense, the mystery, the way a book lands in my heart.  I tell them about the characters, which includes genders, but the emphasis is on their traits.  I don't tell a child or a specific group that they may not like the book, it's for another child/group.  I don't push a book towards a specific gender.  


I still have readers who are very specific about what they are willing to read.  Where does that start?  At home?  With social media?  With videos and TV?  

Are schools and educators perpetuating this?  I would like to think no, but at the same time I have sat on book committees and teachers/librarians specifically name "boy books" and "girl books".

I will continue to buy books that have boy characters and girl characters and animal characters and anything else an author chooses to put in a book.  I will continue to describe books by genres, themes and traits.  


I will continue to have books that will appeal to all readers.  So that means if I have a boy that walks in and refuses to read books with all female characters or has anything to do with a princess, I'll make sure I have books with plenty of boys on the cover or topics that appeal to that reader.  And if I have a girl that walks in and only wants to read superhero books I'll show her my Marvel section and the Lunch Lady books and the Princess in Black series.  

I want to make sure I have something for everyone.

So for that boy who refuses to read anything with princesses on it, here are some new books I may show him:

Too Much Space! by Jonathan Roth       Party Crashers
Beep and Bob series
Too Much Space! and Party Crashers
by Jonathan Roth

This series focuses on the main character Bob, a young boy who lives in outer space, and his pet alien, Beep.  Bob keeps a "splog" where he writes about his adventures.  Bob always means well, but he typically finds himself in some kind of trouble.  Thank goodness Beep can help him get out of most messes he finds himself in!  
This series has short chapters and is a smaller size book to hold than your typical middle grade books.  Coming in at around 100 pages, this is a perfect transitional chapter book series for readers who are ready to read longer books, but don't have the stamina for longer reads just yet.

Marvel Super Hero Adventures by MacKenzie Cadenhead
Super Hero Adventures: Buggin' Out!
written by MacKenzie Cadenhead and Sean Ryan
illustrated by Derek Laufman

The cover says "Early Chapter Book" but I think Marvel's definition of early chapter book and mine are a bit different.  This is definitely more of an early transitional chapter book for me with longer print on each page, although each double layout has at least one full-color illustration.  However, there are longer vocabulary words that beginning readers will have trouble with, so not an early reader like it is advertised.
Filled with Marvel characters, this series will definitely delight the superhero crowd who is looking for a longer story.  And just like the Marvel movies, at the end of the book there is a special scene - this time a comic that is worth waiting for!

I will be book talking these books with many readers.  I remember when my daughter was in second grade she loved watching the Spiderman Adventures show on Disney channel - she would have loved this series!  Kids love crazy adventures - the Beep and Bob will be perfect for them!  Know your reader.  Know what will hook them and find those books!

Do you work with readers who are starting their journey on the road to reading?  Join Alyson Beecher from Kid Lit Frenzy and me every Thursday as we explore books and ideas to help readers have a successful start to independent picture book and chapter book reading. If you blog or have a Goodreads page, please link up with us!

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