"Not really," says my son. "I like loners." That's my boy!
The new series, Project X, features three boys, Max, Ant and Tiger, and a girl, Cat, who is something of a tomboy. The four friends are pitched against Dr Evil, a wicked scientist who wants to shrink the world.
Sophie Quarterman, of the Oxford University Press, said the books had very fast-moving plots, plenty of computer-generated images and stories involving teamwork: this has been shown to appeal most to boys.
I also think it strange that computer-generated images are apparently a Good Thing. Um, Diary of a Wimpy Kid seems to be doing rather well. And I don't see why girls in boy books have to be "tomboys." Can't today's definition of "girl" include classic tomboyish behaviors?
And I am wondering in general about this whole Boys as Reluctant Reader business. It seems to me like it's becoming a oversimplified marketing ploy. I'm not an educator, and so I have little data of my own, but so far there has been no drop off in the reading enthusiasm of any of the eight year old boys I know...and the boys in my son's class are impressive readers. Yet I feel nervous, and anxious, and as though I should buy the Dr. Evil books right now, lest I doom my boys to a future with no books. Oh well. Maybe they are good in their own right.