I’m the dad of a 14 year old boy. Specifically, a reader who happens to be a 14 year old boy.
Why mention this? Because we love to find books to fill his summer list, especially when he heads off to camp with a stack that he often rips through within a couple of weeks. So when the Globe published a list of books aimed at “14 and up” we read it with great attention. Until our heart sank.
Every book is aimed at girls. All have a female main character and a romantic plot. Reads one description: “The year is 1918. The Spanish flu and World War I are testing everyone’s strength, but when Mary Shelley Black, 16, discovers she can see the spirit of her dead true love…”
So, what’s he carrying to camp this summer?
World War Z by Matt Brooks, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick, The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley and The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman. He seems to have a focus on guys named Philip. That and science fiction. Last summer he went through a bit from guys named Ray, Isaac and Arthur.
It’s not that he objects to female protagonists. Also on his list is Outcasts Unlimited, since it’s the Newton North book for this coming year, but he also isn’t about to read a “gothic romance,” as one book Globe’s list is described.
Yes, there are other lists, but seriously Boston Globe? You don’t think boys read?