Where are all the boy books?

Where are all the boy books?

I’m a mom. I’m a teacher. I was one before the other, both at one time, and now technically only one of the aforementioned (though I can never turn a title “off”). I knew a thing or two about reading: to read to my babies, to model reading for pleasure, to move gently with phonics, how to pick leveled readers, and how to find the Lexile of any title. The biggest thing I knew about reading was my own personal philosophy: let them lead. And, I did. They are in charge. And, I bowed out of the competition IN PRESCHOOL when my son’s teacher tried to move him ahead to another reading level to stay with his peers. I told her HE said he wasn’t ready. We repeated a level until he felt good about it.

And, I’m happy to say it all paid off for him. I have a reader. I have the type of kid who walks into the library, asks the librarian for a recommendation, sits down with the books and reads. He reads through checkout, through the walk to the car, and on the ride home.

Apparently, at 5 years old he’s not supposed to exist. According to a study by M. W. Smith and J.D. Wilhelm referenced on Boys and Books research shows that:
*Boys take longer to learn to read than girls do
*Boys read less than girls read
*Girls tend to comprehend narrative texts and most expository texts significantly better than boys do
*Boys value reading as an activity less than girls do

The problem is that these champion boy readers DO EXIST and there’s little for their appetites to devour, at least in comparison to what is offered to girl readers. I see it at the library where he’s read through many of his choices. He made mincemeat of the Fly Guy series at 3 years old. He’s read through almost every Avenger/ DC/ Star Wars level 1-3 reader, some multiple times at 4 years old. He’s on to chapter books now and there are far fewer options geared towards young boys than there are for young girls. I see it on the Scholastic order his teachers sent home. Of all the books listed there were several series with female characters that contained 80+ pages and NONE that were offered to him with more than 32 pages.

He’s started the Magic School Bus series, which is Lexiled at 600L (or roughly a 3.4 gre) with no difficulty, and we’ve got quite a few titles to go. But, besides the boring old Berenstain Bears I don’t know what to offer him next in way of a good series. Why is it that only the ladies can fall in love with a good character and keep her around for awhile?

Or, am I just missing it? Is there an awesome fiction series out there for young male readers that DOESN’T center around blowing things up or saving the world (because males do more than just that, right?). There are books out there with a plot, character development, and a moral still, correct? We’ve got oodles of non-fiction that, not surprisingly, seems more geared towards my sons, but so little in the way of fiction for his level. PLEASE HELP A MOM AND TELL ME.

Or, do I have to write one? Because, I will.

Want to hear more from the Mables? Please type your email address in the box and click the “create subscription” button and you’ll never miss a post. Our list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.

Or, like the Stable Mable Facebook page. Join here: Stable Mable. We can also be reached through email at stablemable31@gmail.com. We love to hear from our readers!

Leave a comment