I recognize that one of my weaknesses is reading books that appeal to boys, especially 6th grade boys. I’m a sucker for teen problem books, but humorous fiction for boys just isn’t my forte and yet I’m constantly asked about them. Here are two books I’ve read recently. One I loved, the other I tolerated.
The Titan's Curse by Rick Riordan
One of the things I love about the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series is the theme of friendship. I also love the humor and the adventure. In this installment, Percy and Grover set out with Thalia and two of Artemis’ Hunters to rescue Artemis and Annabeth and, of course, save the world. Just like the other two books in the series, The Titan’s Curse doesn’t disappoint. It is just a blast to read, and it’s a great series to recommend to reluctant readers.
Qwerty Stevens Stuck in Time with Benjamin Franklin by Dan Gutman
Qwerty Stevens has a machine that can bring people back and forth in time. He also has a problem with remembering to do things, like his American Revolution report. With less than an hour before the report is due, what choice does Qwerty have but to plagiarize someone else’s report and copy it off the internet.? In the process he accidentally brings Benjamin Franklin to the present time. It’s a shock for old Ben, but fortunately he’s a good sport and even agrees to go to school with Qwerty as “extra credit.” Things are seemingly going well for Qwerty and his friend Joey UNTIL they make the decision to send themselves back to 1776 so that they can accompany Ben and see the signing of the Declaration of Independence for themselves. They forget, however, to arrange for someone to bring them back. Are they stuck in 1776 forever?
I must admit that I can see how my 6th grade boys are going to like this book. It’s silly, and they will certainly be able to relate to Qwerty’s problem of forgetting his assignments. I, however, had a hard time relating to it – the premise of the Anytime Anywhere Machine was just a bit much for me.