Monday, September 27, 2010

Reading especially for boys, from BookDads

Books especially meant for boys to read are sometimes difficult to find. Here's a selection of books for different age groups, most reviewed by BookDads, a unique booksite online since 2008 featuring reviews of material for boys and their fathers. For copies of these books use the WorldCatalog and Amazon search boxes here on BookBag.

Two-Minute Drill: Mike Lupica's Comeback Kids, by Mike Lupica (Philomel Books) Ages 9-12 Two Minute Drill is an appealing YA book about the importance of sportsmanship, determination, friendship, fatherhood, and reading. Chris Conlan is the coolest kid in sixth grade- the golden-armed quarterback of the football team, and the boy all the others look up to. Scott Parry is the new kid, the boy with the huge brain, but with feet that trip over themselves daily. These two boys may seem like an odd couple, but each has a secret that draws them together as friends, and proves that the will to succeed is even more important than raw talent.

The Very Best Daddy of All, by Marion Dane Bauer: illustrated by Leslie Wu (Simon & Schuster) Ages 4-8 The Very Best Daddy of All is a children’s book about thirteen different animal daddies, and one human daddy. Each two-page spread shows a different animal daddy and single child, along with a description of what each daddy does for his children. Fish daddies build houses, wolf daddies comfort crying pups, and fox daddies take care of mamas so they can care for kits. Admirably, all of the animals in this book are factual examples of good animal fathers and include lesser-known instances such as playful prairie dog fathers and fearless frog fathers. The soft illustrations have a sleepytime fell to them, and make this a good bedtime book. The Very Best Daddy ends with a human daddy and his son, since no one but a child’s own daddy is the very best of all.

Half for You, by Meyer Azaad; Illustrated by: Nahid Haqiqat (Carolrhoda Books) Ages 4-9. This original Persian folk tale is the story of a little bird who is learning from his father. Once the father has taught his son how to fly and taught him how to find grain, he sends him into the fields to find something useful. The little bird finds a strange plant that is prickly on the outside and soft on the inside. The father sends the little bird off to visit the spinner, who tells him that he has found a cotton boll, and spins it into yarn. He then visits the weaver, the dyer, and the dressmaker, giving each of them half of what they have crafted for him, until he has a beautiful scarf to show his father.

My Daddy and Me, by Jerry Spinelli; illustrated by Seymour Chwast Ages 4-8 A Newbery medalist writes a kid's book in praise of both the fun things and the practical things about daddies.

My Parents Are Divorced, My Elbows Have Nicknames, and Other Facts About Me, by Bill Cochran; illustrated by Steve Bjorkman (HarperCollins) Ages 4-8.
Ted’s parents are divorced, but that doesn’t mean he’s weird. Instead, there are a lot of other reasons that he’s weird. Like the fact that his elbows are nicknamed Clyde and Carl, or that he sometimes answers the phone and pretends to be a chicken, or that he wears a cape a lot even when it’s not Halloween. Sometimes he makes soap Mohawks with his hair in the tub and then walks around the house like that. He’s done it at his mom’s house and at his dad’s house, and they both think it’s a little weird.

When the Whistle Blows, by Fran Slayton (Philomel Books) Ages 9-12. Jimmy Cannon lives in the little railroad town of Rowlesburg, West Virginia, and is a boy of his place and time. His world is Rail’s general store, and raising mischief with his pals, and going hunting, and playing on the high school football team. He grows up surrounded by the men of the town, from his troublesome older brothers Bill and Mike, to his Uncle Clarence the biology teacher, to the machinists of the railroad yard. Yet among all these men, the one man that Jimmy can never see eye-to-eye with is his father. Jimmy’s father doesn’t hunt, says that the railroad isn’t a worthwhile career for a man, and doesn’t believe that Jimmy’s football team can ever win the county championship. More alike than they know, Jimmy and his father share a orneriness that builds a wall between them. As Jimmy says, “I know I’ll never understand that man. Even if I live to another hundred All Hallows’ Eves.”

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