Childrens book reviews by StorySnoops, judge a book by more than its cover, serving fresh scoops of new books for you every day
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Archive for the ‘Books for Boys’ Category

20 Books for Tween Boys Reading Up

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

One of our lovely users recently commented that while we had lists for tween girls who read “up”, we had no such list for boys. Although we hear about the tween girls reading beyond their level (and age-appropriate material), we rarely hear this about boys. (Scratch head here.) But – that doesn’t mean there are not super-reader boys out there in the same boat! In fact, there are probably LOTS of younger boys who read  “up”, too.

For these boys (and their parents), we Snoops have come up with a list of books that will challenge their minds while still being as close to age-appropriate as possible.

Parents, while browsing this list, don’t forget to read our Scoops to make sure these are a good fit for your child, and be sure to let us know if you have any titles to add  :-)

Happy Reading!

-Shannon, StorySnoop

Summer Reading – Old Faithful Books for 4th/5th Graders

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

School is out for many of our kids, already, and for the rest of us it is rapidly approaching. We want to keep our kids reading this summer, but sometimes it is hard to find a book that will keep their attention during the non-school months. Summertime is the perfect time to relax in the sun with a book – and sharpen those reading skills while they are at it!

In addition to our summer reading lists (for boys, teen girls, and tween girls), my child’s teacher asked me for a list of “old faithful” books for 4th and 5th graders, so I thought I’d share this list with you. These might not be the newest releases, but they are tried and true, and certain to be loved by the 9 and 10 year olds in your life.

Old Faithful Books for Tween Girls

My Life in Pink and Green (#1) by Lisa Greenwald, and
• My Summer of Pink and Green (#2) by Lisa Greenwald
Close to Famous by Joan Bauer
11 Birthdays by Wendy Mass
Eleven (The Winnie Years Book #1) by Lauren Myracle (Parents, check the scoop on the site)
The Candymakers by Wendy Mass *
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead *
Whatever After #1: Fairest of All by Sarah Mlynowski
Old Faithful Books for Tween Boys

Peter and the Starcatchers #1 by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko  *
Holes by Louis Sacchar *
• Any of the sports books by Tim Green and Mike Lupica
Island Book One: Shipwreck by Gordon Korman
Maximum Ride #1: The Angel Experiment by James Patterson (kids love this series, but read the Scoop on the site) *
* Books that would be enjoyed by both genders.
Click here for our 2013 Summer Reading lists for teen gals, teen guys, tween girls, and tween boys.
Happy reading!
- Shannon, StorySnoop

“Boy oh Boy” the StorySnoops Summer Reading Lists are here!

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

School is almost out for summer!  When hear your first, “Mo-om, I’m bored,” don’t panic.  We have just the thing for you. You’re guaranteed to find something on this list to keep your son engaged, whether he likes fantasy, action, humor, sci-fi, or sports, we have something for everyone.  We’ve got both tween and teen boys covered on this list, and check our upcoming blogs to get the scoop for tween girls and teen gals.

Books for Tween Boys

Books for Teen Guys

Be sure to click on the covers to get the scoop on each book and check out our full list of Summer Reading for tween boys and teen guys.

Earth Day and Books

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

Am I mistaken, or was Earth Day even a thing back when I was a kid?  I kind of think not.  I guess I was a kid a really long time ago though :-) I did a little checking on it, and it turns out that it was first celebrated in San Francisco (named after St. Francis, the patron saint of ecology) on March 21st, 1970. It is now celebrated in over 175 countries around the world, with the intention of increasing awareness and appreciation of the Earth’s natural environment and resources. I give a big thumbs up for anything that gives our younger generation an opportunity to think about what the Earth has to offer, and how to make it last for generations yet-to-come. So in the spirit of Earth Day this week, StorySnoops has created a list of books for teens and tweens that have environmental themes or environmentally conscious characters—just a little something to reinforce what they’ll be hearing about in school this week. Enjoy!

-Eden, StorySnoop

Suggested Reading for a Fifth Grade Boy

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

There are a lot of great boy books out there for middle graders. However, a parent recently commented to me that she is having a hard time finding good matches for her fifth grader, as he prefers realistic or historical fiction. There is a lot of fantasy and dystopian fiction out there, and although it’s very popular, it’s true that it’s not for everyone.  She mentioned that her son enjoyed the book Hatchet, likes historical fiction, and that as a family they have read The Hunger Games. With these clues, my mind got to working…

What is a boy such as this to read?  Since he liked Hatchet, he should definitely check out the companion book to called Brian’s Winter. And here are some additional suggestions:

As with any of the books that we recommend, please be sure to click on the cover and read the Scoop to make sure it’s the right fit for your child.  Let us know if you have a book match challenge. We’d be happy to make some suggestions for your reader.

Happy Reading!

-Shannon, StorySnoop

Super Scoop: 33 Minutes (…Until Morgan Sturtz kicks my butt) by Todd Hasak-Lowy

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

Friendship is a common theme in children’s literature, and why wouldn’t it be, since it is a huge part of what kids are experiencing in their lives. And I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that most friend-drama books are about girls (mirrors real life, eh?). Boys have friend troubles too though, and I just finished a wonderfully funny and poignant book on the topic.

33 Minutes (…Until Morgan Sturtz kicks my butt) is about two boys who used to be best buds in elementary school, Sam and Morgan. They were different even then, but those differences were fine and made things interesting. Sam has always been crazy smart (and now in seventh grade, he heads up the ArithmeTitans math team), and Morgan has always been athletic (he is now the star of the middle school football team). If asked, Sam might say that he and Morgan hadn’t been as close since middle school started, and since a new kid, who has more in common with Morgan than with Sam, moved in to their neighborhood. BUT, Sam knows they are still friends because it’s only been a couple of months since their TAMADE (The Absolutely Most Amazing Day Ever)—where they played their favorite old video game for nine hours straight, and worked together as a team like never before.  And this is why he is so confused about why Morgan so very clearly wants to kick his butt now.

The story flips back and forth between past and present, so the thirty-three minutes of same-day suspense are stretched out over snippets of what has led Sam and Morgan to this point. The reader can see Sam clinging to hope beyond unreasonable hope that there is some magical way that his friendship with Morgan can go back to what it used to be.

I won’t reveal any more about the plot except to say that this book does not have a neat and tidy, “wrapped up with a bow” kind of ending. It has a very real and poignant ending, which will be appreciated by anyone who is old enough to have grown apart from a former special friend. As adults we intellectually know that these transitions are a part of life, but as a kid, sometimes there is nothing more painful than losing a friend you weren’t ready to move on from.

This story is smart and funny and sad and hopeful all at the same time. It will work for upper elementary or middle school boys who are mature enough to understand Sam’s somewhat complicated emotions around his friendship with Morgan, as well as the bit of complexity added by the plot flipping back and forth, and the author’s sly sense of humor.  All told? Two thumbs up from this StorySnoop :-)

Happy Reading!

-Eden, StorySnoop

Getting My Reluctant Reader to Read, Plan B

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

Who am I kidding? I must be up to Plan G by now. I love my reluctant reader but he is tough. Just when I think I have him well on his way to reading bliss, BAM, we hit another wall. I’ve tried fiction, non-fiction, historical fiction, graphic novels, fantasy, adventure, dystopian, bribery — you name it. To be honest, it’s hit or miss. There is no formula for success.

But, I have recently struck upon something that is working — for now — so I had to share. Audio books. Yup. I get an audio book version of something I think my son would like and, for some reason, I don’t get the eye-roll or the wrinkled nose. Instead, he disappears into his man cave of a room every night (WITHOUT BEING ASKED) and listens to his book. Granted, I picked a really good one — a slam dunk — to start with, but now he is actually enjoying “reading.”

So what follows is a list of books I’ve listened to that are particularly engaging for boys, starting with the one that has captured the attention of my fourteen-year-old son, Carter Finally Gets It, by Brent Crawford. These are all terrific stories paired with terrific narrators. Hopefully there is something for everyone — all ages and interests. Click on the book cover to get the details. And please let me know if there are any books I should add to the list. I’m always looking for the next great read (or listen).

Happy reading!

- Jen, StorySnoop

Holiday book help found here!

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

The shopping season is upon us, and let’s admit it, even the most prepared shopper can use a little bit of help sometimes :-) We’ve already posted our Holiday Gift Guide, which includes many of our favorites from this year. But there are so many books to choose from. Maybe you are looking for an award-winner, or something named on a “Best of 2012″ list by a major book review publication–or how about those few books that fit into all three of those categories? Here are a few other sources that may provide just the inspiration you need to choose a book gift for a young reader in your life.

These immensely readable books have all been School Library Journal Best Books of the Year.

Love a good mystery? The books have either been nominated for, or won the Edgar Award for kids and young adults.

The Schneider Family Book Award is given to books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience.

Kirkus Reviews has just added their favorite children’s books for 2012 to this list.

Perhaps you’d like a book for a tween reader featuring families worth reading about.

These YALSA Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults may not be 2012 releases, but they’ve got wide appeal!

How about a book for a teen guy who is a reluctant reader?

The William C. Morris Award winners and finalists are all celebrated first-time authors.

If you know a budding young chef, here are great books with a cooking theme for teens and tweens.

Celebrate baseball! Books about either playing or simply loving the game.

And after all that shopping, here’s a little something for you too: books for teens that will appeal to adults :-)

Happy Holidays!

-The Snoops

Black Friday Book Bonanza!

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

It’s hard to believe the holidays are upon us!  Is it just us or does it seem like the holiday paraphernalia gets displayed earlier each year?  Do we really need to be able to purchase our holiday gift wrap before Halloween? But now that it’s Thanksgiving, we Snoops are getting in the holiday spirit. And to make your lives easier should you choose to jump into your shopping in a post-turkey-induced coma, we have pulled together our picks that are sure to be a hit with the tween and teen readers on your list, and even a few adults.

Books for Tween Boys

Books for Tween Girls

Books for Teen Guys

Books for Teen Gals

To see our full Holiday Gift Guide, click here for tween boys, tween girls, teen guys, and teen gals. And be sure to check out our list of books for teens adults might enjoy.

Happy reading!

-The Snoops

Super Scoop–Capture the Flag by Kate Messner

Monday, November 5th, 2012

Attention teachers and librarians! Looking for great addition to your elementary school library? Well, I have a fun recommendation for you.

Capture the Flag by Kate Messner is a smartly-written and really fun mystery/action/adventure book. The premise of the book is that four seventh graders, who have never previously met, are snowed in together at an airport in Washington D.C. When news comes that the actual famous flag that inspired the song “The Star-Spangled Banner” has been stolen, the kids have a sneaking suspicion that the culprits are right there in the airport, snowed in with them. So begins a fun, action-packed, mystery that will keep those pages turning to find out just whodunit!

Capture The Flag is wholesome while still being exciting. The characters are both male and female, and this book will appeal equally to either gender. This crowd-pleaser would be a fun read-aloud, addition to a classroom library, or just a great book to check out for 3rd-7th graders, depending on his or her reading level.

Happy Reading!

–Shannon, StorySnoop

P.S. Here are two other great middle grade titles by Kate Messner that we loved.