Read With Boys—Ideas for All Ages!

See below for this month's featured books, complete with a summary and discussion prompts. We also encourage you to look around the website to get other great book ideas!

One great way to encourage boys to read is to do it in a group—if you don't already have a book club for boys, click here or scroll down to see some suggestions on how to start one. To sign your book club up to receive free prepublication copies of great books through Penguin's Books 4 Boys Club, send an email with "Books 4 Boys Club" in the subject line and a description of your program and your shipping address to Books4Boys@us.penguingroup.com



Books for Boys in Elementary School

In a Mood

by Tameka Fryer Brown
Ages 4 up | Grades PreK up

What color is your mood?

On a really good day, Jamie feels purple
like the first bite of a juicy cold plum.



And with a crayon in his hand, Jamie eases into a green feeling
like a dragon dancing through a jungle
made of green jello.

But when his brothers push him around and make fun of his drawings, Jamie feels gray like a dark storm brewing.

What will it take to put Jamie back in a bright-feeling mood?

Through Jamie, young readers will learn to describe how they’re feeling in a unique way.

For similar titles, visit the chapter grade listing.




For Boys Reading Middle Grade Books

Buddy

by M.H. Herlong
Ages 9 up | Grades 5 up

Tyrone "Li'l T" Roberts meets Buddy when his family's car accidentally hits the stray dog on their way to church. Buddy turns out to be the dog Li'l T's always wished for--until Hurricane Katrina comes to New Orleans and he must leave Buddy behind. After the storm, Li'l T and his father return home to find a community struggling to rebuild their lives--and Buddy gone. But Li'l T refuses to give up his quest to find his best friend. From the author of the BBYA Top Ten selection The Great Wide Sea comes a powerful story of hope, courage, and knowing when to let go.

For similar titles, visit the middle grade listing.




For Boys Reading Chapter Books

The Vindico

by Wesley King
Ages 12 up | Grades 7 up

The Vindico are a group of supervillains who have been fighting the League of Heroes for as long as anyone can remember. Realizing they're not as young as they used to be, they devise a plan to kidnap a group of teenagers to take over for them when they retire--after all, how hard can it be to teach a bunch of angsty teens to be evil?

Held captive in a remote mansion, five teens train with their mentors and receive superpowers beyond their wildest dreams. Struggling to uncover the motives of the Vindico, the teens have to trust each other to plot their escape. But they quickly learn that the differences between good and evil are not as black and white as they seem, and they are left wondering whose side they should be fighting on after all...

With fast-paced action, punchy dialogue, and sarcastic humor, this high-stakes adventure from a talented new YA voice pulls you in from the first page.

For similar titles, visit the Young Adult book listing.




Think it would be hard to start your own book club? Think again!

Here are a few tips to get you started:

Get a group together. You can use your school library, local library, or bookstore as a place to find interested boys and as a place to meet.

Choose books. It's important to give an idea of what might be read in the book club—include some suggestions, but make it clear that the boys will be able to have some control over what will be picked.

Arrange meeting times. Sometimes, a group will be able to read a whole book before the meeting, but it can be a good motivator to meet up more often and discuss parts of the book weekly rather than all at once monthly.

Organize the discussion. Will you lead the discussion? Will the boys take turns leading or figure out questions in groups? Figure out what you want to do as a group.


Things to Keep In Mind:

CHOICE: Let the kids in your group feel like they have control over the group. The more that's left up to them, the more they'll be invested in its success!

INTEREST: Make sure that you're engaging the interest of the kids in your group. Pay attention to what they get excited about discussing and to what they like reading so you can guide them to more of the same!

CONNECTIONS: A lot of kids will get a lot more out of a book when they can make a connection between what they're reading and something else—magazine articles, websites, and other books are all ways to provide interesting links and show that books are relevant!

COMPETITION: When you add elements of competition to a book club, it can draw in kids who might not be reading otherwise—seeing who can finish a book first, answering trivia about the book, or participating in activities around the book's themes.

ROLE MODELS: Having male mentors can help increase boys' interest in reading—whether it's a teacher, a guest, or the authors of the books you're reading! Check out our author feature section for some great examples.