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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Best Books for Boys: A Booklist Compiled by a BOY

I read the neatest post awhile back and wanted to share it with you.  You can read the article in it's entirety at A Holy Experience.


"He said these are the books that shaped him.
“You have to make sure they read these, Mom.” He’s the oldest of four brothers.
He’s spontaneously come to me with them all in his arms, a stack of worn spines. I watch how he runs his fingers across their titles, how he turns to certain pages, passages, and his eyes remember.
“I’ve sorted, and deliberated, and yes, these are the best.” He’s taken it upon himself. He wants his brothers to travel the same word roads.
He’s a good guide.
He read all 1488 pages of Les Misérablesin less than three days this summer, proving to Farmer Dad that he could still do his barn chores (3 hours a day), and still finish the book in less than 72 hours. And too this summer, Pride and Prejudice Frankenstein Gulliver’s TravelsThe Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin,Foxe’s Book of MartyrsAutobiography of Charles G. Finney : The Life Story of America’s Greatest Evangelist. Currently he’s reading, for the umpteenth time, The Pilgrim’s Progress. He’s fourteen.
He didn’t pick all the ones I thought he would. How many times has he read My Side of the Mountain ? With all it’s sticky notes hanging out of it, the notepad he filled after reading it… again? Or God’s Smuggler, pages we absolutely couldn’t stop turning?
“I thought about those. So many. It’s hard to choose. But these are the ones a boy might not pick up himself. And these are ones he really shouldn’t miss.”
Last time I turned he was five and we were sounding out Dr. Suess in the summer kitchen of the old house. I’ve been gathering books for him off others’ lists for a decade. Hundreds and hundreds of books I’ve served and he’s eaten, and body’s grown tens of inches, and words have formed a soul, a mind. And now, near man, he’s come with books of his own, books he owns and books that own him.
This is not a mama’s list. Perhaps there are other books I perhaps would have chosen, books I would have selected as formative boy reads, and I mention a few titles. But this is his list. After ten years, I get to listen to which ones meant the most to him. A boy’s list for boys. Doesn’t that carry weight? I’ve never been a boy. I listen. He’s keen to tell.
We spend a morning of it, he and I in the study, around the table inherited from his great-grandparents, paint-chipped and crackled. And tables have turned and it’s me paying attention to him, expert, him telling me why these pages, why this story, what he loved most about this book.
It’s me tracing the shape of who he’s become by the words he unpacks, treasures carried. He stands in light I haven’t seen and I see sides that live in shadow. Words unmask.

He doesn’t see me watching his eyes, that face. He’s introducing me to his friends.
He has become one of mine.
22 Best Books one Boy thinks Every Boy Should Read"

Make sure to visit A Holy Experience for the rest of the list.  I LOVE her style of writing!  It's heart warming to say the least!  

Just the other day I decided to take all the "boys" books and put them together on shelves.  Jon cannot read them yet but when he's ready, they will be there.  We've also added in books like....

The Complete Gentleman by Miner
Wild at Heart by Eldredge
Every Young Man's Battle by Stoeker
The Count of Monte Cristo
Stories of King Arthur
Around the World in 80 Days
Book by Chuck Black 
and more...

I've heard it said over and over that boys don't like to read.  Part of me wonders if these boys just haven't had exposure to good books.  Exposure to good literature can make all the difference.  

So...for now I'll wait.  Wait till my son is older to read these fabulous books.  Until then, we'll read together The Rumpoles and the Barleys, The Jingle In My Pocket, A Boy To Help, Paddington, The Boy with the Sling and other lovely books.  

What a treasure little boys are!

1 comment:

plann2walkonwata said...

Thank you for this. Simply thank you.