When he was small, my youngest son had a habit of filling his pockets with treasures he encountered in his daily adventures. I didn't always understand the value he saw in his chosen objects -- really, how many rocks and sticks could one boy keep? In his eyes, though, each one was beautiful and important. Life is just like that on a larger scale, isn't it? We gather up the precious bits of our experiences and save them all to learn from and enjoy later. Perhaps you'll find a little something here that you'd like to keep in your own pockets. Thanks for visiting.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Books for boys

When I was a child, I passed many happy hours with my nose buried in the pages of good books. I loved getting lost for awhile in other lives and other places, and I remember often hanging off the end of my bed, straining to read just a few more pages by the dim hallway light outside my room long past my bedtime. This passion for reading has stayed with me, resulting in a university degree in English and a career teaching highschool literature. As a mom, I'm thrilled to have two boys who share my love of words and who also delight in a good story!

Some of the best times I spend with my boys are the hours we pass cozied up on the couch together, reading. Noah has been able to read on his own since he was very young and spends much of his free time doing just that, but even at nine years old, he still looks forward to hearing me read to him from a book of his choosing each night before bed. Most recently we've been captivated by the Harry Potter series, and I've been reprimanded seriously more than once when I've been caught trying to read ahead on my own! Sharing these books together opens up great opportunities for Noah and I to talk about all sorts of things, and now that he is getting older (and sometimes too cool for his mom!), I'm glad for the chance to connect with him at the end of every day.

Will is at the wonderful age where the world of books is opening up for him. His ability to read on his own is developing at a furious pace, and it's a joy to see how excited he gets when he figures out new words for the first time. He is fascinated by both fiction and non-fiction, and is often in the middle of several books at once. There's nothing better than sharing a big laugh or an "a-ha!" moment with him over a book, his warm head resting on my shoulder as he stares intently at the scenes unfolding on the pages before him.

The boys and I have spent countless hours at local bookstores and libraries, browsing and reading, and we've found many excellent stories to enjoy. If you have school-aged boys in your life with whom you'd like to share a good read, perhaps you might like to check out some of our recent favourites. (Of course, many girls might enjoy these books as well!)

For 9-12 year olds:

the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling ~ the How to Train Your Dragon series by Cressida Cowell ~ boom! by Mark Haddon ~ the Guardians of Ga'Hoole series by Kathryn Lasky ~ the A Series of Unfortunate Events series by Lemony Snicket ~ the Screech Owls books by Roy MacGregor ~ the Percy Jackson books by Rick Riordan ~ the And Then It Happened books by Michael Wade ~ the The Time Warp Trio books by Jon Scieszka ~ Frindle and other books by Andrew Clements

For 6-8 year olds (early readers and easier chapter books):

The Cat on the Mat is Flat by Andy Griffiths ~ the Stink series by Megan MacDonald ~ the Horrid Henry books by Francesca Simon ~ the Henry and Mudge and High Rise Private Eyes books by Cynthia Rylant ~ the Mercy Watson series by Kate DiCamillo ~ the Mr. Gum series by Andy Stanton ~ the The Pain and the Great One books by Judy Blume ~ the Jacob Two-Two books by Mordecai Richler and Gary Fagan ~ Stuart's Cape by Sara Pennypacker

In an age where boys have endless distractions with which to fill their free time, I still think reading is one of the most valuable to encourage. I have a feeling that, like me, my boys will carry their love for the written word with them wherever they go in life. I hope it will take them far.

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