John Schirle

Hi, and welcome to my blog!

I’m a guy (once a boy), and I like to read books.

I also work in the Children’s Department of the Decatur Public Library (DPL), in Decatur, Illinois.  It’s a great job, and I get to do lots of fun things, like tell stories, read books,  and work with computers.  But my favorite thing is helping kids connect with books.

Lots of kids come to the library knowing exactly what they want — Captain Underpants, or the latest in the Percy Jackson series, or a book about snakes.  But just as many come unsure of what to read, or IF they want to read, or if reading ANYTHING could possibly be fun.  I love to help those kids discover books that will keep them up at night, hiding under the covers with a flashlight because they HAVE to find out what happens next.  Or books that they’ll beg Mom or Dad to read to them again and again.

Since I’m a guy (once a boy), this blog is all about books for boys.  I’ll include everything from picture books for little guys to big ol’ Harry-Potter-size books for bigger guys, as well as information about research on reading and boys.  I hope to be straightforward and succinct enough (and not use too many big words like “succinct”) that a 3rd-grader can find good reading suggestions, and detailed enough to help moms & dads make good choices for their boys.

Though there is no “typical boy” — each of us is as individual as our fingerprints  — there are types of books that appeal to a majority of boys.  You or your boy may have different tastes, and that’s cool — you read what you like.

Unless otherwise noted, the books I recommend are in the Decatur Public Library, or at least in the library system that we’re part of.  Book titles are linked to our catalog, so you can click to request a copy if you have a card from any library in the same system.  For those whose schools use Accelerated Reader (AR) or lexile measures to help kids select books, I’ve included that information as well.  (For more information on AR & lexile measures, see my blog post here.)

And thanks to Tedd Arnold, author of the seriously cool Fly Guy series, for permission to use his drawing in the header.

(By the way, my picture is from Halloween 2009 at the library.  I do not always dress like Indiana Jones at work — but I do think I look exceptionally cool.)