Now, I am not a boy, and never was, so it may be a tad pointless to say that none of these books appeal to me(with the exception of Time Bomb, by Nigel Hinton, because Danger: UXB was such a great PBS program). Why do so many books about boys have to be about team sports??? Why aren't there more books for boys along the lines of An Abundance of Katherines, featuring the eccentric intelligensia, with only a faint whiff of sport? Are there in fact any teen aged boys who like An Abundance of Katherines, or do they feel cheated?
I am very interested in what teen aged boys want to read, because I buy books for my library. A lot of them are books that the libarians ask me to buy, but I like to shop a bit on my own. It is easy to buy books I want to read myself, but I don't know what special books to get that might interest the one teenaged boy I've seen in our y.a. section. Our librarian has put a bulletin board soliciting suggestions, but none have come. I went to google, and found this article on the subject--a few years old, but interesting none the less, and I've decided that more graphic novels are the way to go.
When my boys are older, unless, god forbid, they have fallen into the pit of reluctant young male readers, I will give them Rosemary Sutcliffe to read--great historical fiction, from Bronze Age England to 18th-century Scotland, featuring a fine array of boys growing into men. There is also violence (wolves, Picts, Romans, Vikings, Saxons, etc, although not all in the same book), young men dealing with physical handicaps, and the development of emotional maturity.
Nobody does heroic, lovable,and believable historic boys growing up better than this author. I will also give them Taran Wanderer, by Lloyd Alexander, another great coming of age story that also introduces very nicely the techniques of blacksmithing, weaving, and pottery. And there is my favorite book of 2006, The King of Attolia, which is the third of a series about a teen aged boy growing up, although I am not quite sure what lessons might be drawn from it...
When our first son was born, we were still building the book cases for his room. This were mainly to give me a place to put my own children's books, many of which feature girls. I hope that reading books with a female point of view will help him grow up to be the non-gender-stereotypical male type person (it's too hard to think of my baby as a man) I want him to be. I did draw the line, however, with A Little Princess, which is still in my room. There are limits.