Sunday, April 12, 2015

Bandits Peak


I'm thrilled that one of my favorite authors, Chris Eboch has recently released a  new suspense novel.  Bandits Peak will definitely appeal to boys who like stories set in the wilderness.  It reminds me a lot of Hatchet.  Chris does a nice job of putting the main character, Jesse in a position where he has to make tough choices.  After discovering dried blood on a rock, Jesse meets strangers hiding in the mountains, he gets drawn into their mystery, and a fast-paced adventure story unfolds.

This unique plot will most certainly appeal to reluctant readers.  What I like most about the book is its length.   It's long enough to hold your attention, but not at all intimidating.  I call these kind of books, Skateboard Books.  These kind of books are great confidence builders. 

To learn more about Chris' books click here.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Brookings Report



A recent Brookings Report has concluded that trying to get boys to enjoy reading doesn't improve reading scores.  Boys Read doesn't have a large scale scientific study to refute this report.  However, we have consistent, common sense anecdotal evidence from across the country from many caretakers and educators that demonstrate that if boys are served up enough interesting choices, they do learn to love reading.  Here's a quote we received via email just this week from a mom and Literacy Specialist: "I love your website. My 11 year old is a great reader, but hates to read because he never can find a good book.  Your recommendations have helped him get back into reading again."

Boys Read consistently receives best-practice quotes like the one above.  Our conclusion of the Brookings Report is best summarized as:  "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics."

To read the report, click here.



Monday, March 9, 2015

Surviving Bear Island



After a sea kayaking trip with his father takes a dangerous turn, Tom Parker is stranded on the remote, outer coast of unpopulated Bear Island in the waters of Prince William Sound, Alaska with only a survival kit in his pocket. Desperate to find his father, Tom doesn’t know how long he can survive and must put his survival skills to the test as he fights to reach safety.

This cool adventure story is by Paul Creci.  Paul's been living in Alaska for 25 years, and has seen bears fishing for salmon, a pair of bald eagles building a nest, polar bears gnawing on a whale carcass, 10,000 walrus hauled out together on the Bering Sea coast, and120,000 caribou gathered on the Arctic Coastal Plain. And when he’s not teaching school or exploring the Alaskan wilderness, Paul Greci is thinking up ways to keep hungry moose out of his garden. Surviving Bear Island is Paul's debut novel.

Click here to learn more about Paul and be sure to see his cool pictures of Alaska's amazing wilderness.  What a life!  We look forward to reading more of his adventure stories.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Young Knights of the Round Table: The King’s Ransom

Meet 11-year-old Prince Gavin, 13-year-old orphan Philip, and 15-year-old blacksmith apprentice Bryan. Each wants a future different from the others, but they all want to belong. They owe their friendship with each other to one man they call The Wild Man. When an advisor to Gavin’s dad King Wallace is murdered and the valuable jewell known as The King’s Ransom is stolen, The Wild Man is captured and proclaimed to be the culprit. Gavin, Philip, and Bryan bravely vow to clear their friend by taking the Knight’s Oath and embarking on individual quests to save The Wild Man. In the end, each one faces their fears and even death in their determination not to fail.

This adventure story is by Cheryl Carpinello.  She loves the Ancient and Medieval Worlds! She's a retired English teacher, and her stories inspire young readers to read more.  Click here to learn more about Cheryl's books. Click here to read an excellent article about Cheryl's writing.

Sunday, October 26, 2014



My Name Is Not Easy is a powerful story that many boys will find compelling.  It's told in a voice they can relate to.  Inupiaq, the protagonist knows the teachers and other students will call him Luke when he gets to his new boarding school because his native name will be forbidden to be spoken.  Luke and a cast of other colorful characters come together and survive the wraith of an overbearing School Master. This very cool book was a National Book Award finalist and is by Debby Dahl Edwardson. She's an award winning children's writer. Her picture book, Whale Snow was named to the International Reading Association's Notable Books for a Global Society list and was also an Independent Publishers winner. Her novel Blessing's Bead was named to the ALA/Yalsa Best Fiction for Young Adults in 2010. She lives, teaches and writes in a Inupiat community in northernmost Alaska.

To learn more about Debby and her books, click here.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

BREAKAWAY


A year ago, 16 year-old Nick Macklin had it all. He was an A student and a talented hockey player, with a beautiful girlfriend and an awesome dad - a man who was not only there for him when his mom died, but who was also a star player for the Vancouver Canucks.

Then the bottom fell out. His father was convicted of a murder and sentenced to life in prison for a crime Nick is convinced he didn’t commit.

Nick’s life spirals downwards. Angry and bitter, alienated from school and friends, he devotes himself to seeking justice for his father. Who framed him? And why? But Nick’s biggest challenge isn’t getting his father out of jail, it’s coming to terms with the fact that he’s going to be there for a long, long time.

It’s not easy, but Nick finally learns to live with the sadness that he knows will never disappear and starts to put his life together again. Then, just when he has accepted the cards he has been dealt, he stumbles on a clue that eventually reveals the identity of the real murderer. When he is unable to find the evidence to prove it, he uses his own life as bait in order to trap the killer and set his father free.


Click here to access a great article that has very helpful information about BREAKAWAY.

This cool hockey book is by MICHAEL BETCHERMAN.  He's an award-winning screenwriter and author with numerous credits in both documentary and dramatic television. He is the author of two young-adult novels, Breakaway, which was shortlisted for the John Spray Mystery Award, and Face-Off, which was published by Penguin Group (Canada) in 2014 (not yet available in the U.S.). He is also the author of two online novels, The Daughters of Freya and Suzanne. Betcherman lives in Toronto with his wife and daughter.

Monday, April 21, 2014

DYNAMO



Dynamo is a story where a mission turns into a quest and where friends discover what it means to take a stand and make a change.  An action-packed novel perfect for twelve and older boys keeps the reader engaged as Matt the protagonist clashes head-first with powerful and violent people.

Sixteen-year-old Matt knows his world is changing. Living in suburbia New Jersey he witnesses a violent crime and doesn't do anything to stop it. He begins a series of secret missions to somehow make himself be able to take a stand when it matters. That personal quest tests the limits of his friendships, and it also kindles a school-wide revolution. The characters are real and charged with teen passion and emotion. It's relatable. It's realistic. It's got teeth and nerves and tension in the interaction between characters. It's got the inner thoughts and emotions associated with facing fears and bullies, which allow readers to find their own voice in their own lives. Readers definitely find pieces of themselves in the different friends in the book. In that sense, it's reminiscent of The Outsiders or The Goonies or The Sandlot. The book inspires debate about friendship, loyalty, risk-taking, courage, self worth, and identity.

This very cool book is by Zach Lichtmann.  Zach earned his B.A. in English at Penn State University. He went on to graduate Arcadia University's Secondary Education program for teaching. He was an English teacher for several years before writing full-time.

Click here to visit Zach's website