Friday, 13 January 2017

Book for Boys


Being a mother to both a girl and a boy, I am quite certain that it's (generally) more challenging to get boys to read than girls. To make it more difficult, it is also hard to find chapter books that would interest them. 

Unlike girls, who read a wider selection of books, boys have a narrower preference in the type of books they like to read. Typically, they prefer comics and slapstick  comedy (with lots of farting). But if your sons are anything like mine, they WILL pick up bad habits and languages from such books. So although I try not to restrict his preference for books, I do my best to 'distract' him away from these books by recommending better (in my opinion) reads. 

It all seems gloom and doom when it comes to encourage our boys to read. But, before you throw in the towel, there are successful stories of boys who love to read. Apart those who naturally love books, there are boys, like my son, who have mothers who orchestrated their boys love for books. Today I'll share my successful story. 

To be fair, Sonshine love books right from the start. I remember when he was still a crawling baby, he wanted me to read a book to him. But I was in another room and he couldn't speak. So he went down on all fours, push the book and crawled all the way to me. Even at that age, he would sit on my lap and have me read books to him. He would stay on my lap for as long as I allowed him to. 

My difficulty only began when he was about 6 year old. I wanted him to transition to chapter books which he showed little interest in then. I suspect like most boys, he didn't like chapter books because it was too time consuming to read all the words and it took too long to get to the ending. He also prefers general knowledge books, those non-fiction, all facts type of books (ok, I think mostly are encyclopaedias). Chapter books were too much of a hard work for him. So what did this mama do? 
How I transition Sonshine to reading chapter books
I started with reading a chapter book aloud to him, yes, word for word, chapter by chapter. It is hardwork but it is worth it. Moreover reading aloud to my son means I get to bond with him AND enjoy a good book myself at the same time! I made sure to choose a book that will grab his attention and I also read it with a lot animation to make it even more interesting. When he was somewhat less resistant to chapter books, I continued to read aloud to him but this time I would always stop at the climax of the story. I would tell him that I will continue the story the next day. But he could not resist his curiosity and did not want to wait for another day to find out what happen next in the story. Curiosity got the better of him and he eventually picked up the book and read it himself. And that's how he began reading chapter books.
Recommended Reads
Finding chapter books for boys (that are not slapstick comedy) is not easy. At least I had a hard time. So, I am listing down some books that Sonshine really enjoyed. As you will see, Sonshine loves books that are quirky and out of this world- he finds them hilarious.  I also think it stretches his imagination which he loves doing. He also love to read about mischievous boys (SIGH).You will also find that he tend to read from the same authors.
 I'll be adding onto the list as he reads more books. I won't be summarizing all the books only a few.
1. Horrid Henry

This was the series that got him liking chapter books. The key thing is the content of the book, it is funny and Henry is every boy's dream because he is so mischievous (but never gets away with it).
2) Wayside School, Louis Sachar

This is not your ordinary school. The teacher is a little quirky and perhaps even dabbles with a bit of magic. The children are a little quirky themselves. School days are never normal here. This story is sure to entertain anyone who picks it up, young or old. I give it a all ten fingers up!
3) George's Marvelous Medicine, Road Dahl
4) Matilda, Road Dahl
5) The Witches, Road Dahl
 6) Danny the Champion of the world, Road Dahl
7) Gangsta Granny, David Walliams

How cool is it when your white hair granny turns herself into a thief in the night! Okay, for parents it is not that cool. But that is why Sonshine loves this book. Things that are not okay and normal in real life is suddenly made a reality in this book. He loves it!
8) Billionaire Boy, David Walliams
9) Mr Stink, David Walliams
10) Awful Auntie, David Walliams
11) Demon Dentist, David Walliams
12) The World's Worst Children, David Walliams
I think this book is written specifically for boys. You know boys who love to talk about farting and all that? Each chapter is about a child with different grotesque habits, one who drools non stop till it floods the street, one who plays the trumpet with her fart etc. I can almost hear now the parents and the girls are going EEEEWWWW and the boys going OOOOOOO. Yep, boys kinda books. (Honestly, I found it funny myself! LOL)
13) How To Train Your Dragon series, Cressida Cowell 

I am surprise that Sonshine is loving the books in these series. Of all the books he has read, I think this is the one that really sucked him in. Sonshine is a thrifty boy who never allows me to buy him books, instead always insist that I borrow the books no matter how much he likes the book. But this, this is the only series that he requested me to buy. I am surprise that he is absolutely loving this book because the setting is a little different, something that he has no clue about nor has interest in (he doesn't like dragons and pirate and all that stuff). Yet he is so drawn into the book- he can read 3 to 4 books simultaneously at the same time!  
I hope to add more onto the list!


Nicholas in Trouble

This series was recommended by Domestic Goddess, and she was very right. My son loves this series. I read it a couple of chapters itself, it tickles my funny bones. But it is relatively hard to look for this book for some reason, even the library (or at least the ones we visit) only stock up like two to three titles of this series. Sonshine has already read all that the library has and we are looking out for more..oh wait , that is, after he is done with the other series he is reading at the moment...

The Chronicles of Narnia


I saw the entire set at a second hand books fair and thought I should get it since I've heard many good reviews about it. I did watch the cartoon version of it as a young kid and I remember being drawn into it. But I have never read the books before. After purchasing it and reading the first pages of the first book, I immediately regret buying it. I thought the passages are pretty dry and difficult to comprehend. I personally dread passages with too much details such as describing the house, the dress, the chair and everything- which this book happen to have loads of it. also reckon that my son would feel the same. But I was pretty surprise that he actually loves it. He is completely drawn into the story.
I suppose the storyline IS fascinating. And some boys do like it. Well as they say, never judge a book by its cover. :P


  1. My boys love How to Train the Dragon series too. We have the whole set as well, but I reckon it is money well-spent because they read the entire 10 or 11 (I think the book 11 is fairly new) at least 3x each. Has Sonshine tried Harry Potter or the Nicholas series? I have blogged on the many series that my boys love/used to read at your son's age. I am sure your son will also enjoy given his interest.

  2. Hmm... not sure what happened to the comment I left one or two weeks ago. Anyway I shall try again. :) My boys love the How to train the Dragon Series too. They also enjoy love the Nicholas series by Goscinny and the Harry Potter series. Sonshine may enjoy it too!

  3. Okay! Mystery solved! It went to my junk mail, sheesh. Thanks for recommendations. You were very right. I gave the Nicholas book to my son and he loves it ( I doubted it at first, ha!) Thanks for the recommendation! Keep it coming muhahaha!