We Recommend, Video Boy Edition

This feature, in which we recommend books based on what you tell us in an email, is going to be around throughout our summer vacation. I am trying to catch up on all the kind people who have been patiently waiting for a recommendation.  If you have specific questions, needs, or desires (my child is a reluctant reader who loves carnage but hates cats) send it to us here, and we will do our best to recommend the right book for you. And, as always, please don’t hesitate to put in your own recommendations!

A concerned aunt writes in about her 8-year-old nephew, who loves video games but doesn’t want to read! He’s very “boy,” and has read the Magic Treehouse books but isn’t exactly galvanized by them.
For this reluctant gentleman, I have a number of ideas. There are the very good bets of Captain Underpants and Bone, which I would suggest she find, but even more, for some reason this kid makes me think of this:


They’re really fun to read, and they can help him remember just how great reading can be (we hope). Any other ideas?

7 thoughts on “We Recommend, Video Boy Edition

  1. One of my reluctant to read students from last year (who was also obsessed with Mario from the video games) looooved the Beast Quest series. They will make the local adult want to claw their eyes out, but they were the only books he actually WANTED to read all year.
    So if the goal is quality literature, I got nothing. But if it’s just to get a book in this kid’s hands, check them out.


  2. On a similar note, how about considering graphic novels? They’re not “just” comic books anymore, and some are now being recommended for schools. I haven’t read any geared at kids, but I’ve very much enjoyed the adult ones I’ve read. Phone around and find a librarian or bookseller who can give you some suggestions.


  3. Seconding graphic novels, which are great. Also, if he plays video games, he is probably okay with age-appropriate suspense, so why not try out some scary stories. Lemony Snicket comes to mind and well… I’m not sure what is age-appropriate actually. I started reading Stephen King at 11, because I had already run through all the teen stuff. R.L. Stine, maybe or that may be too old.


  4. My 9-year-old has read this series over and over and over and over. We have a rule that he has to read before he gets to play wii. This morning when I asked what he’d read, he told me Diary of a Wimply Kid. I told him that no longer counts. He was not pleased. He read another chapter of The Lightening Thief to gain access to the wii. Other favorites of his are a Calvin and Hobbes compilation (the vocabulary is challenging), Holes, the Mystery of Hugo Cabret and The Calamitous Adventures of Rodney and Wayne.


  5. Eager to hear more suggestions… My son (almost 9 with a DS semi-permanently attached to his thumbs) has already read the Wimpy Kid series, Bones, and Captain Underpants. The books I remember loving as a kid don’t interest him.


  6. What about the Percy Jackson books? Septimus Heap? Time Warp Trio is big in our house–particularly now that we have found the cartoon on Discovery Kids. My son will read the stories now and compare what he sees on the tv. Magic Tree House is big with him too. Holes. Tunnels is a good Harry Potter style book that might be good too. Whatever he chooses, enjoy!:)


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