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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Are We Missing a Segment of Readers?

I was in my local Barnes and Noble today and I made an interesting discovery.  There is a distinct lack of books for sixth grade boys.  The "young readers" department stops at the grade five reading level and jumps directly to the "teen" or YA books.

My eldest grandson is eleven and in sixth grade.  He's in the advanced program at school and has no trouble with the YA reading level - he's read all the Twilight series and Patterson's Maximum Ride's - but the content or subject matter in the majority of the books I looked at today on the teen shelf were not geared to and/or not appropriate for his age.  Except for fantasy (Dragons or Vampires), there was a very small selection.

There seemed to be a larger selection for age eleven, sixth grade girls (I've got one of those, too).

Help me out here.  Is it just me?  Is my local B&N poorly stocked?  Or are we overlooking a segment of the reading public?  Does anyone have any good book recommendations for a jr. high level boy?

Unwriting progress: From the original 150,000 words down to 111,618. (Haven't had a chance to write yet the weekend.  Very frustratng.)

I'm currently enjoying: Just finished Weeding Out Trouble by Heather Webber  - Wish I had discovered the Nina Quinn series back in the day.  And I still haven't gotten it back to the library.  (Oh, the fines, the fines.)

Quote of the day: Where is human nature so weak as in a bookstore? - Henry Ward Beecher

14 comments:

Mason Canyon said...

Not having children, I'm no help on this question. But I have been looking more at children's book lately because of my cousins.

BTW, I love your Quote of the Day. That is one place I'm weak - around books. LOL

Have a great Sunday.

Mason
Thoughts in Progress

Dru said...

Food, clothes or books and I'll choose books all the time.

I can't help you there, but on Mason's blog, she mentions/reviews children's books.

Stacy McKitrick said...

My son loved the Goosebump books (by RL Stein). Have no idea what age level they are for, though.

Is he not interested in Harry Potter?

Linda Leszczuk said...

Mason - Thanks. And I loved that quote, too. Fit me perfectly.

Linda Leszczuk said...

Dru - I'm with you on books over clothes, but sometimes books vs. food is a tougher choice. :-)

I've read a bunch of reviews for children and/or YA books - but that's the trouble, he's too old for children's and not old enough for some YA. Maybe I'm naive but I'd like him to at least get through puberty before I buy him books that deal with some of the common YA topics.

MaryC said...

Has he read Rick Riordan's Lightning Thief series?

My nephew is in 6th grade and my sister said he loved the Shadow Children series by Margaret Haddix.
This is the blurb:
PLOT: Luke has never been to school. He's never had a birthday party, or gone to a friend's house for an overnight. In fact, Luke has never had a friend.

Luke is one of the shadow children, a third child forbidden by the Population Police. He's lived his entire life in hiding, and now, with a new housing development replacing the woods next to his family's farm, he is no longer even allowed to go outside.

Then, one day Luke sees a girl's face in the window of a house where he knows two other children already live. Finally, he's met a shadow child like himself. Jen is willing to risk everything to come out of the shadows--does Luke dare to become involved in her dangerous plan? Can he afford not to?

Linda Leszczuk said...

Stacy - Thanks for the suggestions. He went through the Goosebumps books a couple years ago (and did enjoy them). Pretty much finished all the Harry Potter's, too.

Of course, the Potter books reinforce my point. The only thing out there for his age is fantasy - dragons, vapires, wizards, etc. Personally, I like fantasy, and so does he, but shouldn't there be some other options?

Linda Leszczuk said...

Hi Mary - Yes, he's read the Lightning Thief. Not sure if he's finished the series but I remember seeing several. I know he read all the Shadow Children series last year because we read some of it together. Those were great.

Heather Webber said...

Linda, LOL on Weeding--why not just renew it (via internet or phone?) until you get a chance to return it?

As for books--has he tried the Eldest series by Christopher Paolini? Also, Chris Grabenstein has some YA books, too. http://www.chrisgrabenstein.com/ya/index.php

You're right, though. It's slim pickings for young teen boys. Mine always liked the Star Wars books--and there are a ton of them, too.

Stephen Tremp said...

Those fines from the library can add up. Especially movies at the rate of two dollars a day. I leave the library receipt on my refrigerator as a reminder.

Stephen Tremp

Maria Zannini said...

Not having children I'm probably not much help, but I kinda liked the Lemony Snicket books. That might be his grade level.

Linda Leszczuk said...

Aw Heather, now I have to admit I already renewed that batch of books once before I even started reading them and couldn't renew again. But I really did enjoy Weeding enough to make the fine worthwhile. :-)

I will check out the authors you mentioned. Thanks for the tip. And I'll have to ask my grandson if he's ever read any Star Wars. I know he loved the movies. Good idea.

Linda Leszczuk said...

Steven - Luckily I rarely rent movies so I escape those fines. But I have to admit it wasn't a matter of not remembering they were due, I simply hadn't finished them yet and refused to take them back until I did. (I think it's called stubborn.)

Linda Leszczuk said...

Maria - I'm not sure if he's read the Lemony Snicket books, or what reading level they are, but that gives my another idea to look into. Thanks.