Thursday, March 18, 2010

More books for boys

After yesterday's post, I feel like the pressure is on! I have found a few more blogs for books for boys, and have created a new listing to the right. There are a few blogs done by boys, but they tend not to be updated as often. I do feel a little bad, as a feminist, making this distinction, but as a person who never was a boy trying to help boys find books, I need all the links I can get!

Rhuday-Perkovitch, Olugbemisola. 8th Grade Super Zero.
Reginald has all kinds of problems. He's called Pukey by a former friend. His father is out of work. He has a crush on Ruthie and isn't sure what to do about it. Reggie also writes comic books and is a big buddy for a disadvantaged boy. To top it all off, he is volunteering with his church at a homeless shelter and starts to feel that his school isn't doing enough to give back to the community, so instead of helping the shallow Vicky win the election for class president, he decides to run himself.

This book was a refreshing change from inner-city, African American children with problems of drug abuse and gang wars, and the positive role models in Reggie's life, as well as his earnest volunteerism, will be good for students to read. My only problem-- this is long (324 pages) and does verge on the pedantic from time to time. Volunteerism can be portrayed in an interesting way (see Sonnenblick), but Reggie's involvement with the youth group and pastor, as well as his soul-searching, might not appeal to students as much.

Lynch, Chris. Monkey See, Monkey Don't.
This sequel to Cyberia has Zane once again in the evil clutches of Dr. Gristle, the veterinarian who is trying to use animals to further his own evil ventures. Zane is the victim of mind control, via a bird who talks to him in his sleep and tries to get him to... I got confused. Monkeys are running amok, Zane develops super powers and runs 170 in one day, to the chagrin of his parents who are monitoring him electrically, and I started to forget why all of this is happening... both times I picked up this short book. I did adore the first one, and Hugo the dog is still very fun, but this was a surprisingly difficult read for me.

Kessler, Cristina. Trouble in Timbuktu.
Kessler's time living in Africa lends tremendous detail to the intricacies of daily life for twins Ayisha and Ahmed. The two decide to guide two tourists, who turn out to be an evil archaeologist and his wife who are trying to steal some ancient manuscripts. The twins decide to try to stop them, which forces them into an adventure that involves lots of chases and a sand storm. This is again rather lengthy (350 pages), and while there is some action, the rich language and detail make this more of a cultural book than an adventure. Fans of Staple's Shabanu will like this, but I was hoping for something more along the lines of The Devil's Breath.

Check out Mitali Perkin's list of A Dozen YA Novels with Asian Guy Protagonists!


  1. Love your capsule reviews - great format. Really enjoyed discovering your blog. And thank you so much for commenting on my blog post about the 2 teens!

  2. Will you think me terribly petty if I admit that the main reason I didn't buy 8th grade super zero was the author's name? I thought about trying to pronounce it, trying to remember it, trying to find it on shelves, and trying to figure out what kids were asking for when they wanted it...and i wimped out.

  3. Yes, we are reading a lot of the same stuff.

    I agree with your comment about the length of 8TH GRADE SUPER ZERO. I haven't put it on my shelf yet, but I'm curious to see how it sells.