Do you find your child only reading one kind of book, or are they a literary omnivore?
My first son, the now-infamous Dark Omen, was a dedicated adventure book reader. He would dabble in non-fiction on occasion, but for any serious curling up time, it had to be Tom Swift or Artemis Fowl or Peter the Starcatcher. Epic adventure, spaceships optional. He seemed equally happy to read stories with strong female protagonists as a young male adventurers, warming the heart of Mom-the-scientist.
I supposed that these were boy-books, but then came along son number two, hereafter known as Worm Burner. He was more interested in human interest stories like Charlotte’s Web and Little House on the Prairie and the delightfully sinister Lemony Snicket. And while Worm Burner loves his books, he’s a more selective reader and will put down a book and not finish it (gasp!) if it doesn’t hold his interest. So I guessed those were boy-books as well.
So what do the girls read?
Not having girls, I relied on my friends with female offspring to enlighten me about girl-books. Titles like American Girl and The Babysitter’s Club floated by and I realized there’s an entire universe of books that I have somehow missed. And I have seen my boys turn their noses up at a cover that’s too pink or filled with too many pictures of ponies or curlicues, so I guess those are girl books.
But girls must read more than that, because best-sellers like Harry Potter don’t sell 400 million copies without attracting boys and girls, men and women. The epic story of the boy wizard captures their hearts, both male and female.
I’ve always believed the best books are simply that. Books. Meant for the human race. And children, resembling humans, will enjoy them even if they are more naturally inclined toward one genre or another. As a writer, I hope to pen books that will enthrall my young readers and make them think. Whether they’re girls or boys, their great little minds are just waiting for a new story to captivate them.
So, gentle readers, what kinds of books do your children like to read?