Kids in our school love that book, too. The author's web site has a really amazing teaching guide to go along with it that includes discussion questions and tons of cool activities. The book is a great combination of adventure, mythology, and humor. The chapter titles are totally hilarious!
I've had success in the past using these books with middle school boys: Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelsen; The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan; Phineas Gage: a Gruesome but True Story about Brain Sciece by John Fleischman (great nonfiction with lots of scientific info); The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin; The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper (we also watched the move The Seeker to compare/contrast with this).
My boys really like Alabama Moon by Watt Key. This is a book about a boy (Alabama Moon) who was raised by a survivalist father, when the father dies the boy who has never lived anywhere but in the woods with this father is moved to a group home. When he doesn't like living in the group home he breaks out, and brings all the boys from the group home with him to go and live together in the woods.
I booktalked Stuck in Neutral by Terry Trueman a few weeks ago and a few boys "who don't like to read" all wanted the book. Their classroom teacher had to decide who would take it out first. Cruise Control also by Terry Trueman is sort of a companion title about the same family. Our district did a literacy fair recently and the title chosen for middle school was Rules by Cynthia Lord. The boys seemed to like this one.
My 6-8 grade boys have loved the Ranger's Apprentice series by John Flanagan. Almost every boy I've recommended it to has come back for the next title in the series. There are five titles in the series so far, and the fifth one ended in a real cliff-hanger so my students & I eagerly await the next installment.
The boys in our MS love the Cherub series - as soon as they read the first title in the series, they are totally hooked for the whole series. If your kids like Anthony Horowitz Alex Rider Series than they will love the Cherub series.
Mansfield University Scholarship Program – Begin in January 2012
In an ongoing effort to recruit a new generation of school library leaders, Mansfield University recently received a fifth Institute of Library and Museum Services (IMLS) grant to fund scholarships for its totally online School Library & Information Technologies Master of Education degree program with school library certification. If you know of an educator or non-certified librarian seeking school library certification, please pass along the news that we are still accepting applications for the spring 2012 semester.
The Master of Education program, ideally suited for working educators
with no time to drive to a university, offers a convenient and effective path to school library certification. For detailed information and contacts please refer to the Fulfilling the Promise homepage, at http://libweb.mansfield.edu/promise/, or contact Cynthia Keller, Department Chair email@example.com