The government want boys to read more. Good idea, but how do you do it? Setting a good example at home would be a start, but I wonder if it’s been left too late. A lot of parents don’t read.
And what to tempt the boys with, should they be willing to give reading a try?
Among the books recommended by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals was Bloodtide by Melvin Burgess, which is an incredibly good book. But hardly for the reluctant novice reader. It’s rather like suggesting Wagner for someone’s first go at opera.
The adviser at the Reading Agency recommended Marcus Sedgwick’s The Foreshadowing. Also a really good book. But do boys want to read about a girl’s attempts at going to France as a nurse in World War One?
Having grumbled and complained this far I ought to whip out the perfect solution, but I don’t have it. Something by Tim Bowler, possibly. Or Terry Pratchett’s children’s books. The Gasfitters’ Ball by Philip Pullman, or the Missing Link trilogy by Kate Thompson.
I loved Anthony Macgowan’s Hellbent, it’s filthy, irreverent, hysterically funny and definitely not for grown-ups (including me, really, yuk). About a boy who gets run over by an ice cream van and goes to hell. Apparently his next one Henry Tumour (?) is also very funny.
I loved Ben Mikaelsen’s Touching Spirit Bear.