Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Calling All Writers . . . HELP!

I need help, and it has to come from the entire writing community: authors, agents, editors, publishers. I need a middle grade book that will hold the interest of an 8 year old boy. Is there anyone who can help me??

My son came home yesterday with his first book report assignment EVER. The book has to be 100 pages. I read the assignment, like a good mother, and suggested we take a book walk through our library to find him a book that he could read over the next month.

We traveled down to the basement (only after his hot turkey sandwich was finished--he couldn't let it get cold) and pulled out a Magic Tree House book; only eighty some-odd pages. None of the Jack and Annie books that we have are any longer. Then I started searching through the kids' section and they were all "girl" books.

He's not a strong reader and this is going to be the challenge of third grade. But I need books for him, now! The boy easy chapter book section is very small. Junnie B Jones doesn't have many male counterparts. And the ones that he is capable of reading are so insulting to his intelligence (in other words "They are baby books, mom!").

So that is my rant for the day. Please write easy chapter books for boys (and if they are over 100 pages, so much the better). By the time they are published, he will hopefully have moved on to Faeblehaven and such, but he can't be the only boy who genuinely wants to read, but can't find anything of interest in his skill level. The need is there, what can we do to meet it?


  1. Sadly, I don't have a boy at that reading level yet, so I don't know what's out there.

  2. A lot of books by Louis Sachar ought to fill that--and not just Holes. I think he wrote the "Wayside School" books, and I know he wrote "There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom", but I can't remember how long that one is. I loved his books when I was in elementary school.

  3. I have this friend who has a great idea for a middle grade boy series...

    With that aside, though, my six year old LOVED the "Spiderwick Chronicles". We also read "A Series of Unfortunate Events". Both are really good for boys.

  4. My son is facing that in 3rd grade too and has been reading the Animorph Series...not sure of the word count. I am sure he could do a report on The Magic Tree House books. The Tales of Despereax were fun and the Chronicles of Narnia are much simpler than you probably remember. Why not look at fablehaven and take it a chapter at a time.

    Or Throttle Jones I hear that series is perfect for a boy his age...oh wait ITS NOT OUT YET!!!!! Finish that one and have him write a report. Then you can send his report in as a query letter attachment.

  5. Katie is reading Harry Potter and she's completely enchanted by it. She just finished the second book today.

  6. Deb was so kind to bring over Spiderwick Chronicles. Drew then informed me that we already have it. So I sat Jacob down and read with him. It took twenty monutes to read four pages. I figured out that he needs to read 5 pages a day to get it done by the due date. It's gonna be a long year.

    How I wish that he loved to read . . . but I guess I'm lucky that I have one child that LOVES to read--she does at least 100 pages a day. What a contrast.

    As for Throttle, I've thought about having Jacob do a report on it . . . I'll have to wait till his real teacher comes back ;)

  7. My fave for that age is Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Others I know boys that age like are How to Eat Fried Worms, the Goosebumps series, The Mouse and the Motorcycle, and Henry Huggins.

  8. My son is the same; I had the hardest time finding books. He finally found two series books he REALLY loves: Michigan Chillers and American Chillers. I'm sorry I don't know the authors names off the top of my head.

    Good Luck