Monday, January 3, 2011

Boy Books

Since my other blog is mostly just complaints and random information about my child that is interesting to almost no one, I decided to start an actual book-and-library-related blog. We'll see how it goes.

Nothing drives me battier than teen and children's librarians wringing their hands and begging for somebody to please think of the boys.  Plenty of people are thinking about the boys.  The boys are fine.  But I'm willing to concede that there are probably more good girl books out there, especially for teens.  This is mostly because publishers feel more confident marketing to girls, I think.

So I've been trying to read more boy books the past few weeks with, I must admit, not a ton of success.  Here are some recent failures.

Finnikin of the Rock, by Melina Marchetta
This must be a good book--all the reviews are glowing.  But I can't seem to get past chapter two.  Soooo booooring.  Maybe I'm just not a good fantasy reader, because any fantasy book that opens with "And then this people slayeth that people, and lo, there was despair across the land, and then many eons passed" leaves me cold.  Actually, Saving Francesca is the only Marchetta book I've been interested in enough to finish, so maybe I just don't get this author.

I Am Number Four, by "Pittacus Lore"
As you have probably heard, James Frey of A Million Little Pieces fame is now spending his time preying on desperate, impoverished MFA students.  In a nutshell, he has them sign away all their rights to their work, then he throws a giant marketing push behind their work.  I felt like I should read this, because the premise--alien teen on earth is our only hope for survival--was interesting, and the teens are reading it.  But I thought it was pretty bad.  Repetitive and bad.  Bad, while at the same time being repetitive.  If you know what I mean.

Borderline, by Allan Stratton
I wanted to like this book, about a Muslim Canadian--I mean, American*--teen whose father is taken away by the FBI under suspicion of planning a terrorist attack.  But the resolution was a little far fetched, and the subplot about bullying kind of dumb.  Still, it wasn't bad, and I'll probably recommend it now and again.

Clearly, I need help.  Have you read a great boy book lately?

*Stratton is Canadian, and he set the book just over the border in New York, I guess to entice the larger American readership.  But these kids are so Canadian.


  1. I just saw a preview for the movie version of I Am Number Four. Timothy Olyphant is the dad. I wanted better for Timothy.