You all know how I feel about the problem of boys and books. I'm going to be asking for help soon to launch my Give a boy a Book initiative, so look for that in the beginning of August. But there have been a lot of really great posts about this lately with some really different takes, and I want to direct you to them because they make for some awesome reading.
The first is an AP piece about getting boys to read by giving them what they want...namely farts. How to get boys to read? Try a book on farts.
The second is was written by Leah Cypess over at The Enchanted Inkpot. TOTW: Boy Books The article itself is short but there are some really awesome comments there.
The third was written by Hannah Moskowitz about getting boys to read YA by giving them real boy characters instead of resorting to gimmicks. Full disclosure: Hannah totally pimps my book in the article and is a fellow Simon Pulse author. The Boy Problem.
I think all three articles have a lot of validity to them. I'm personally all for getting boys to read any way we can. I think there's a lot of value in YA literature for teenage boys and that we're missing the boat on bringing them into the fold. But I think it can be done without dumbing down the books or resorting to gimicky tricks. I also think there are two distinct problems. When boys get older they either move from middle grade book into adult books, bypassing YA, or they stop reading altogether. And I think we have to address both of those problems.
But these three writers have said it all better than I could, so go read their articles and then come back and tell me what you think. Is there really a problem? Should we cater to the tastes of boy or should boys be taught to value what's written even if it doesn't appeal to them? Or is there a middle ground? What can be done about the problems?