Great reading in middle school English
Award-winning Australian author, James Moloney advises in Boys and Books that boys like to read:
• books that reflect their image of themselves – what they aspire to be and to do;
• books that make them laugh and that appeal to their sense of cheeky mischief;
• fiction, but preferably fiction that focuses on action more than on emotions;
• books in series, such as the Harry Potter series, which provide boys with the excitement of on-going adventure and the ability to spend more time with characters they like and admire;
• science fiction or fantasy because they love the new worlds they are taken to; and
• newspapers, magazines, graphic novels, cartoons, sports cards, and instruction manuals.
That’s why MBBC’s English Teachers and our Teacher Librarian have taken Mr Moloney’s advice to heart and introduced some great novels to meet our Middle School boys’ needs.
- Roland Smith’s PEAK encourages boys to aspire to great heights like climbing Mount Everest of sacrificing your dream to do what is right.
- Michael Gerard Bauer’s Don’t call me Ishmael makes the boys laugh particularly as they recognise the gross nicknames boys are drawn to while they learn how to deal with bullying.
- Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games combines brutal action with moral questions about whether teenagers should be exploited in reality TV shows for their loved one’s survival. Many Year 9 boys have already started reading the second and third books in this series!
- Morris Gleitzman’s Once uses the innocent humour of a small child to help teenagers process the sad losses of the Holocaust.
- James Moloney’s Dougy reflects an image many young boys aspire to: being brave and loyal to family in times of strife. Two more books follow in this trilogy: Gracey and Angela
- Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief brings the ancient gods into the modern world when a teenager is endowed with fantastic powers and abilities.
- Charlie Higson’s The Dead, the second in a series of possibly seven novels, provides the boys with the opportunity to spend time with characters they like and admire as they battle a world where all adults have become the enemy.
Please join your sons on their reading adventures. Read with them and to them and explore the myriad moral questions that these talented writers pose to help build and shape our men into empathetic, socially just, ethical young men.
Middle School Team Leader