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Great Essay on Boys and Reading

And it comes from someone who knows something about the subject.

From the essay by author Robert Lipsyte:

To me and I think to many prospective readers, today's books for boys -- supernatural space-and-sword epics that read like video game manuals and sports novels with preachy moral messages -- often seem like cynical appeals to the lowest common denominator. Boys prefer video games and ESPN to book versions of them. These knockoffs also lack the tough, edgy story lines that allow boys a private place to reflect on the inner fears of failure and humiliation they try so hard to brush over. Editors who ask writers of books for boys to include girl characters -- for commercial reasons -- further blunt the edges.

The argument over boys' reading is not just about gender. This is business, not prejudice. Why publish books if they never reach prospective readers? That many of the edgy books boys would like to read are either not taught or are banned does nothing to promote the cause.

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