Friday, November 04, 2011

Guy Friday-- Boys Camp

I am not sure how I feel about the announcement that Valerie Tripp has assembled a group of people (Ann Hendrix-Jenkins, Peggy Thomas and Sarah Smith) to write a Boys Camp series for boys. (Columbus Dispatch article here, describing it as "The “Boys Camp” series will recount the adventures of six fictional kids who meet at summer camp, overcome obstacles and share their stories in clean, middle-grade prose." )

On the one hand, there is a lot of research being put into this. These authors see a need. They have a vested interested in making them appealing so they sell a lot of books. Jon Sciezka is at least quoted in the Dispatch article.

On the other, from the Dispatch article: "To the argument that boys want boogers, not bonding, they say that they have sons at home who are already on board, who would love to read books with gentler humor, where the male protagonists occasionally cry — books with all of the heart of the ”American Girl” series. But, you know, for dudes. "

I'm no literature snob. Captain Underpants rocks. And Jeff Kinney, as much as I personally want to slap Greg Heffley, has a real passion for sharing his stories. The American Girl books are...meh. Formulaic, predictable, rather dry. What really sold those was the fact that they had highly desirable dolls connected with them.

If any of the guys in my Rock Star Guys post were to write these books, I'd be very excited about it. I will certainly read the books, but am, quite honestly, disturbed that all involved with writing these share the same fatal flaw: they are GIRLS.

Gentle Readers, what do you think?

Having just been to a memorial service for graduate student friend and fellow librarian David Ball, my random thought of the day is this: if someone had to write my eulogy based on my actions TODAY, could they speak as positively and as eloquently about me as David's friends spoke about him? The world would be a better place if we could predicate our actions on this thought every day, but as Horace says in ode XI from his Carminum Liber Primus:

"Dum loquimur, fugerit invida
aetas: carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero."

(" While we're talking, jealous time is fleeing. Seize the day, (and) trust (in) tomorrow as little as possible.")


  1. Um...I think moms want their sons to read books with "gentler humor" I don't think the kids really care. Yeah, not all boys like gross humor but I don't see myself taking the time to sell a series to boys about "bonding."

    Maybe they're thinking of something along the line of Alvin Ho? but that's not a particularly popular series for my library. My boys like gross humor, humor, action, adventure, and more humor. My younger boys like Star Wars, Legos, Spider-Man, Batman, Bakugan, Magic Tree House, Titanic, Sports, Snakes, Military, Dinosaurs, Cars, Lunch Lady, Bad Kitty, Dragonbreath, Alien Agent, and really scary stories.

    Hmm, don't see gentle reads on that list anywhere. Nope.

  2. Nothing personal towards these fine writers and their great idea--but, it needs to be guys.