Great Picks for Guys
Reviews by Melissa Oxborrow

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[September 10, 2016]   Sometimes it can be a trick to find titles that engage guys, from grade school through middle school and into high school, especially if reading isnít their thing. Here are some fabulous titles that have cracked some of the hardest reading nuts. I dare you not to like them!

No Talking
by Andrew Clements,
c2007


Andrew Clements has a gift for storytelling that encourages profound thought in children and adults alike, without ever sounding preachy. And heís funny. So funny! No Talking is one of my favorites and is a perfect pick for boys and girls, grades 3 Ė 6. Itís a celebration of communication and the power of language to shape our lives, for better---or for worse.

Laketon Elementary has never seen a fifth grade class like this. First of all, the boys and girls donít like each other much and theyíre pretty loud, as a rule. Until one day, that changes. It starts with an argument between Dave Packer and Lynsey Burgess, both big-time big mouths, that turns into a challenge. Boys against girls: whose team can say the fewest words during two whole days? They say silence is golden, but it can also be unsettling. How will the teachers react? What will the principal do? Who will win? One thingís for sure---Laketon Elementary will never be the same again.

Slacker
by Gordon Korman,
c2016


Cameron Boxer would spend every waking hour playing his favorite video game if his parents allowed it. But when he almost lets the house burn down around him while immersed in his game, they decide itís time for Cam to engage more in the ďrealĒ world. First on the list? He has to join a school club. The problem is, clubs take time, take PARTICIPATION---which would totally ruin his lifestyle. So Cameron creates the Positive Action Group to get his parents off his back. But then kids actually want to start joining his club and before he knows it they even have a school staff advisor! Soon the group is doing good deeds all over town. Add a homeless beaver and some high school meanies to the list and Cameronís life has officially spun out of control!

This humorous and incredibly relate-able tale of a slacker turned do-gooder will make you grin. Itís a wonderful choice, especially for reluctant readers, grades 4 Ė 7.

Elephant Run
by Roland Smith,
c2007


Elephant Run is a fascinating historical novel set during the WWII in the Pacific and is a great pick for boys and girls, grades 6 and up. The jungles of Burma come to life with the description of elephants and their trainers, while the dangers around every corner keep readers biting their nails to see how things turn out.

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Itís 1941 and when Nick Freestoneís London apartment is destroyed during an air raid his mother sends him to live with his father in Burma, where she hopes he will be safe. Not long after Nick arrives, though, his fatherís plantation is taken over by the Japanese and his father is made a prisoner. Nick hides in plain sight, pretending to be a servant, then makes a plan with his new friend Mya to escape---on the back of an elephant. Will they fall victim to the dangers of the jungle before being captured by the Japanese---or will they miraculously escape? And can they rescue Myaís brother and Nickís father from the Japanese POW camp before itís too late?

Insignia
by S.J. Kincaid,
c2012


Tom Raines is just another fourteen year old kid with a deadbeat dad, living from meal to meal, until the government approaches him. He has skills that they need---virtual reality gaming skills that prove he can control the battle drones that are busy fighting World War III in the outer solar system. Theyíve made him promises. Promises of a real life with a roof over his head, food, friends---and the opportunity to be a war hero without every physically having to go into the battle zone. But things arenít always what they seem. As the world fights over its dwindling resources, Tom will have to decide whatís right and who to trust. Itís a deadly game. And time is running outÖ

Insignia is the first in a fabulous science fiction trilogy where the action never stops. Computer simulated war games, robot space battles, government plots and industrial espionage, friendship and romance, love and betrayal---itís got it all. Perfect for guys and girls alike, grade 8 and up.

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To check out these books or to get recommendations for other great reads on the Lincoln Community High School Reading List, please come see us at the Lincoln Public Library, 725 Pekin Street.

[By MELISSA OXBORROW, Lincoln Public Library District]

 

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