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Books for boys encourage father and son bonding

Author Alex Bellamy
Submitted 16-06-2008

Books featuring pirates and aliens are better for father and son reading than traditional children’s classics, experts have suggested.

A list of 200 novels suitable for boys – particularly those aged 11 to 14 – has been produced for the British government, which is trying to bridge the gap in reading standards between boys and girls, the BBC reports.

Traditional authors like Roald Dahl do not feature on it – instead, spy novels and fantasy books are considered ideal for grabbing boys’ attention and giving fathers and sons something to bond over.

Chris Brown from the School Libraries Association, which authored the list, suggests that dads should try and set a good example to their children by reading themselves, rather than spending all night in front of the TV.

"Boys tend to choose books with action that seldom flags, humour in large dollops with characters slightly larger than life," he told the news provider, adding: "Currently extremely popular are fantasy tales of every shade – mock-medieval scenarios, wizardry, future-set alternative worlds and places existing in parallel to our own time."

For dads looking for books that they can read with their daughters, something like "Daddy Goes to Work" by Jabari Asim, which offers a touching portrait of the relationship between a father and daughter, may be appropriate.
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