March 20th, 2011 04:22 am (UTC)
These are the kinds of books my boys (10 and 13) like:
books with humor
books with real stakes (as in, doesn't have to be realistic fiction, but stakes high enough to care about with tangibility to them. As in, NOT the kind of award winning book that's mostly internal). This generally means they prefer action/adventure/fantasy over High Literary where the MC faces Depressing Life and the Dog Dies and the MC is unable to change anything for real in his life.
NOT straight romance (if there's a little, okay, but definitely not the main focus!!)
As long as the MC does enough interesting things, a girl MC is permissible, but they do take more to books with male MCs. (They love The True Meaning of Smekday, for example, and also books with dual male-female MCs, like Riordan's Egyptian series.)
What-if books with a cool premise
Books with explosions
Fantasy, action, adventure, survival, gadgets, extremely ingenious kids, and any combination thereof
Graphic novels and books with graphic novel pages in them (again, see Smekday)
Books where the MC actually triumphs at the end, instead of it all being a dream or something where the MC realizes that Life Is Just Bad, So Deal with It.
The kind of books they won't touch:
books with too much estrogen on the covers
anything to do with fashion or anything that smacks of a Barbie mindset (so, books about girls who like to shop, or books about girl pecking orders or er, PMS or anything like that)
books where the story is a bunch of people sitting around thinking but where they never actually get up and do something about it
books that are just too depressing
books where the dog dies (or the mom, or the mom AND the dog)
Some of this is personal taste, of course. But they tend to share a lot of likes and dislikes with their friends, so...