Boys, boys, boys. Again.
I've been wondering something. Perhaps the adults who write the books and make the movies and create the video games have been missing the boat with boys for the past few years. Perhaps they've been too focused on battles and Star Wars and comic books. Perhaps they've forgotten that, though boys hardly have a chance to do this today, they really like to get dirty, explore, make messes, build stuff. Get in trouble.
I know! I'm stereotyping again. But I'm not saying girls don't like to do this either. I'm just saying, picture the boy with the rolled up pants from the 1950s. Out playing with sticks and floating boats down a river and nearly drowning as he jumps off a rope swing.
Perhaps boys still want to read about adventures like that, even if they don't get to do that themselves any more?
So this post is not going to have any brand new book suggestions. It's going to have old suggestions again, and it's going to have suggestions I've posted before and you've probably read. But I'm going to post some good ol' boy books with the idea that you might snatch one of these up and either present it to your son or read it aloud to him and see what happens. Does he identify with these kids that light off firecrackers in the outhouse? What about the boys that climb on top of the water tower and swim though the beams keeping it up in the air are about to bust? What about the boys that stole a ride on a wild horse and nearly lost their lives doing it?
The Soup books by Robert Newton Peck. Oh, these are great read alouds. Please try them. Please! (This is the same author of the very serious and very sad, The Day No Pigs Would Die. These books are completely different but of the same great writing caliber.)
The Great Brain books by John D. Fitzgerald
Pretty much anything by Richard Peck (who I love!) A Year Down Yonder, A Long Way from Chicago, The Teacher's Funeral (This is a great one for this kind of thing!), Here Lies the Librarian, On the Wings of Heroes, Fair Weather. These would especially be good for older boys ten and up. (Maybe even twelve and up.)
Owls in the Family by Farley Mowat
Mad Scientists Club by Bertrand Brinley (This collection has fourteen short stories—perfect to read aloud)
And here are some nonfiction books about some pretty cool cowboy heroes—:
Bill Pickett: Rodeo-Ridin' Cowboy by Andrea Pinkney
Black Cowboy, Wild Horses by Julius Lester
Paul Bunyan, Pecos Bill, Johnny Appleseed, Mike Fink, and Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind Crocket by Steven Kellogg (okay, so these aren't exactly nonfiction)
John Henry: An American Legend by Ezra Jack Keats