This post is our 100th at Boys Do Read. If you've read our "About Us" page, you'll find that this blog was created from a presentation at the British Columbia Library Conference with the intent on broadening the possibilities at what we can offer teen boys to read. We've covered a little bit of everything, from the obvious (comics, sports books) and the not-so-obvious (Across the Universe; have you seen that cover? No boys would want it).
We've seen a lot of material in our quest to find good boys' reading. Some was great, some not so much. So, without further ado, we present our recap of 2011.
Teen books no boys will ever borrow:
We know that these aren't intended for boys, but they both certainly aren't doing any favours to anyone who claims that boys should read anything. I'll venture there are a lot of girls (two of the bloggers here perhaps?) who feel the same way about these books
Teen books no boys will ever borrow, but they should:
Yeah, the handsome dude and the kissy lips aren't really helping on these ones. But the books were good.
Teen book trends we'd like to see killed off:
Melanie: Zombies that go to high school. Surfer vampires. Fairies. Mermaid struggling with self identity. Pegasuses (pegasi?)? They are really scraping the bottom of the barrel. I hope with the approaching finale of the Twilight film series, the book industry will take the hint.
Unless they all go back to old school vampires and sirens whose bloodsucking and cannibalistic tendencies . Then we'll welcome them back with open arms.
Steven: First person, present tense. Seriously. It seems lazy. I mean, the narrator, in the midst of all this action, has time to write down their every thought? I don't buy it at all, and it's too distracting and I can't suspend my disbelief.
Virginia: Romance novels disguised as dystopian, especially those in which the guy characters serve no purpose other than being the love interest. My second vote would be for series. Stop writing series!
Genre that should come back (but without any girlification)
Science fiction a la Asimov/Heinlein/Clarke. Not that it should be specifically for teens, but there doesn't seem to be much of it around. Eric Walters' End of Days gives me hope, though.
Writers who should write more, more, more
Ransom Riggs (two votes for him!), Lish McBride (yeah, it's paranormal. But at least it's funny).
Adult authors who should never write for teens again
James Patterson, Harlan Coben (really couldn't get through Shelter)
Books for kids that you wish you could give to teen boys
Diary of a Wimpy Kid
All of them can be enjoyed by all ages, but let's face it, it's hard to convince a teen to take something kiddie, and you don't want to insult their intelligence.
Book that, despite all its shortcomings (including being just awful), we still recommend:
Assassin's Creed. The video game tie-in is a big draw.
Books that should be included in library teen collections even though some of them seem completely useless:
Novelty books like F in Exams, Five Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth and Ten Ways to Recycle a Corpse. Why? Teen guys will read them -- and you will find that the rest of your library customers will like them too!
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