Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Action-Packed Reads for Boys

These three chapter books for grades 4 and up center around sports. Put one into a boy's hands for a fun summer read. In the comments: what are some other sports chapter books that the boys in your school have enjoyed?

Wild River, by P.J. Peterson
A "Big brother-Little brother" kayaking trip turns into a nightmare when the pair hits rough water on the river and big brother, Tanner, gets seriously injured. Usually Tanner is the hero. Can his little brother find a way to save him? In this fast-paced story the main characters uses examples from video games to figure out how to get help. Told in first person, we hear the main character's though process as he works through the various obstacles, and we join his emotional highs and lows as he struggles to keep going despite difficulties. This is a page-turner that boys relate to.

Top of the Order, by John Coy
Four boys in fifth grade (Diego, Gig, Isaac, and Jackson) are together in everything: baseball, family problems, and a teacher who bores them. The problem is finding a good guy to play second base on their community baseball team. When Gig's sister shows up to play, it makes Gig furious and threatens to ruin his friendships. The other boys on the team are just happy that she can throw and complete the team so they can play. Can the gang hang together through the season?

Also try Eyes on the Goal, in the "4 for 4" series, great for soccer fans.

Skinnybones, by Barbara Park
Alex is the ultimate class clown, always ready with a snappy comeback or dry remark in an attempt to make up for his slight stature and pathetic athletic skills. But when challenged to a duel in softball, who will have the last laugh: nemesis T.J (aka Little League stud) or Alex? The action in this one comes from the tension leading up to the showdown. We're terrified that Alex is going to get creamed! Since it's a short novel, it's a good choice for a class read-aloud with a focus on bullying, but also makes a fun independent read for athletes and bench-warmers alike.

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