YA Books for Boys, with giveaway

by Nancy


There has been big push in recent years to get boys more interested in reading. Jon Scieszka’s Guys Read collection is a good start, but his lists are geared toward middle grade boys, and rightfully so, since that’s when boys who like reading start to lose interest. But there’s still a pretty big gap in boys for books in the Young Adult genre, and 3 new books from Scholastic make good strides in closing that gap.

Markus Zusak won awards for The Book Thief, but years before that book’s release he wrote 3 short novels about Cameron and Ruben Wolfe, teenage brothers from a working class family. After several years out of print, those novels are available in one collection, called Underdogs. The first of the three, The Underdogs, establishes the characters but doesn’t have much of a plot. But the first person narration by younger brother Cam is intelligent and insightful and his view of the world around him more than makes up for the lack of anything happening. Things get going in Fighting Ruben Wolfe, a title with multiple meanings, where Cam and Rube get involved in a fight club of sorts. In the final book, Getting the Girl, Cam falls for one of Rube’s many girlfriends, but realizes his brother is the most important person in his life. Each of the books take place during winter, a year separating each of the events chronicled by Cam, and the cold and dreary setting sets the tone for the books. Cameron grows up, both physically and emotionally, and Zusak’s writing also evolved, with Getting the Girl the best of the three books.

The reviews for The Eleventh Plague and iBoy were written by Elizabeth’s 16-year-old son, Elliot.

The Eleventh Plague The only life Stephen Quinn has ever known has been that of a forager. He and his father live in the ruins of North America, hunting, gathering and trading whatever they can to survive. After his father is injured, Stephen needs help which he finds in a small community of people trying to survive as well. Stephen learns many new things which he has previously had no experience with, things such as school and baseball, etc. But some in the community are suspicious of Stephen, thinking he is a spy for another community a little ways away. These two communities harbor a strong distrust for each other, which soon leads to war after Stephen and a friend play a prank on the strict community leaders, and make them think that the other side is responsible. The elders hire mercenaries to wipe them out, but the people of the community won’t back the elders or mercenaries and attack them. The other community arrives prepared for battle but winds up helping the people fight off the mercenaries. This book, placed in the ruins of nuclear war, sends a clear message, that though humans are capable of great evil, they are also capable of good. This is a great book for anyone who likes to read. Good plot and storyline.

iBoy is a really great book. It’s got a good plot and a fun idea to write about. Tom Harvey wakes up from a coma to find parts of an iPhone lodged in his brain, and that his best friend has been raped. He soon discovers that he can do everything an iPhone can do and more. He can hear all calls, look at all messages, etc. He can access any part of the internet whenever he wants. He decided to punish the gang that raped Lucy. He gets back at them in many ways–he beats them up, gets them in trouble with their gang bosses, etc. This is a very intriguing novel and had me hooked quite quickly; I finished it within 24 hrs of starting it. It has a good story line and the characters are well developed. The book is narrated in the first person, which gives the reader a deeper understanding of Harvey’s conflict. He struggles with what he should do with his power. He is unsure how far to go, who to tell, etc. He struggles with taking things that aren’t his from the internet, even though it is for a good cause, and he knows the people can spare it. When his grandmother needs money, he takes £1 from each of the 15,000 most richest people in the UK. They aren’t going to miss £1, but the money is not his. Once again this is a great book, and I would recommend it to anyone.

Scholastic has graciously provided a prize package for one (1) winner, consisting of copies of Underdogs, iBoy and The Eleventh Plague, along with a $50 Visa Cash Card! Leave a comment below to enter, and the winner will be announced on December 28. The Giveaway is closed.

Though this giveaway ends after Christmas, these would make great gifts for teenage boys looking for new material. Girls would enjoy them too.

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Nancy is stockpiling lists of middle grade and YA books for boys. She writes about her 2 boys, books and life in Colorado at Life With My Boys and Books..

Email Author    |    Website About Nancy

Nancy enjoys reading, cross stitch and carting her kids to sports practices and games. She chronicles life with her boys and books at Life With My Boys and Book

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{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

1 bin December 14, 2011 at 10:28 am

Sounds like fun books. And thanks for highlighting books for boys! Cheers!!


2 Liz December 14, 2011 at 2:17 pm

Would love to have for my greatnephew, whose mom encourages reading by sharing the adventure with him.


3 debbie December 14, 2011 at 6:52 pm

My son would love these books.


4 Megan Earley December 14, 2011 at 8:34 pm

Markus Zusak is one of my favorites! I’d love to win this for the Underdogs alone!


5 Dianne December 14, 2011 at 8:58 pm

My daughter teaches reading in a Title 1 school. She is always seeking reading materials that will interest her students and that she can add to her classroom library. Her students frequently seek out her books over those in the library teling her she has better book choices.


6 Jan December 14, 2011 at 9:12 pm

My daughter’s a middle school librarian–I’d love to win this for her!


7 Sandra Stiles December 14, 2011 at 9:47 pm

These would make great books for my shelves. I enjoyed The Book Thief very much but had not heard of his other stories. I loved Kevin Brooks book “Martyn Pig”. It has been the number one stolen book from my classroom over the years. I have not had the privilege of reading “The Eleventh Plague” yet.


8 Jessica T December 14, 2011 at 9:49 pm

This would be a great prize pack for my son!


9 Jennifer December 27, 2011 at 11:00 pm

Congrats! You won. Please reply to the email with your shipping info.



10 Natalia December 14, 2011 at 11:41 pm

Great books for boys, would like to win1


11 John December 14, 2011 at 11:41 pm

Please I would like to win it for my son.


12 Isabelle December 14, 2011 at 11:42 pm

Great selection, thanks for the chance.


13 Mary Preston December 15, 2011 at 4:43 am

I would love to read these books thank you!! They all look very interesting.



14 Garrett December 15, 2011 at 6:24 am

These sound pretty good, I’ll have to read them all.


15 Beth C December 15, 2011 at 8:55 am

I know a young boy who would love these books! Thanks for the great givaway.


16 DogEar December 15, 2011 at 9:30 am

I have heard so many great things about iBoy! I’m adding it to my to-be-read pile now.


17 Barb December 15, 2011 at 12:58 pm

I’m still finding it difficult to find books for my reluctant reader son. If we find a book that “hooks” him, he reads it rapidly. But if it doesn’t hook him right away, he won’t read at all. ARGH!!


18 Alison S. December 15, 2011 at 1:01 pm

I would love to win these for my teenage brother. Thanks!


19 Staci A December 15, 2011 at 11:40 pm

Love seeing books for boys featured! My son is such a reader and I’m always on the lookout for books he might enjoy!


20 Some Lucky Dog December 16, 2011 at 12:35 am

Hurray for boys! I’m always looking for something new for my grandson to read.
someluckydog at gmail dot com


21 Mark December 16, 2011 at 1:24 pm

I’d love to win copies of these books.


22 Carol M December 16, 2011 at 3:50 pm

My older grandsons would love these books!


23 tennillle December 16, 2011 at 6:24 pm

great boy friendly list-thanks


24 Van December 17, 2011 at 1:37 pm

Good for the younger teens to read.


25 Melissa P. December 17, 2011 at 3:51 pm

What a great set of books!


26 Tabathia B December 17, 2011 at 9:41 pm

This would be great for my younger cousin


27 connie black December 18, 2011 at 3:45 pm

Glad you have this post. My son is reguired to read one book a week and it is hard to find titles and authors to keep him interested. We will def. try some of these.


28 Kelly December 18, 2011 at 5:18 pm

My daughter was always a big fan of Guys Read. I also recommend it for girls who like action, fantasy and adventure much more than girlie stuff.


29 Chris December 18, 2011 at 5:29 pm

I have a houseful of boys and they are always in need of new books to read. They don’t know any of these titles – great picks!


30 Chuck December 18, 2011 at 9:14 pm

What great reading material for the young people at our house.


31 Mami2jcn December 19, 2011 at 10:54 am

My son would really enjoy this!


32 June December 19, 2011 at 7:32 pm

Our son would enjoy reading this.


33 Don December 20, 2011 at 6:49 pm

All of these books are so good. Will enjoy reading them.


34 Michael Gettel-Gilmartin December 20, 2011 at 11:45 pm

WOW. Just WOW!


35 Christine W December 22, 2011 at 1:05 am

My son would enjoy these…thanks for the chance!


36 katklaw777 December 22, 2011 at 12:39 pm

My son would enjoy these very much,,,thanks for the neat giveaway!


37 Elena December 24, 2011 at 2:57 pm

I would love to win for my son!


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