Who says that there are no books for boys out there?? If you are looking for a really, really great "boy" book, read Watt Key's award winning book Alabama Moon.
As part of our book conference, several wonderful groups within our community also brought in an author to speak to the ninth graders (see our previous post about the fifth grade author Ingrid Law).
Watt Key started his speech with a completely gross story about trying to go out into the woods and live off the land . . . he ate a cottonmouth snake. And, it was
still squirming around after he had cooked it. And, while he was eating it. Yeah . . .gross. Naturally, he had those ninth graders' attention from the get-go!
Alabama Moon tells the story of a boy who is the son of an anti-government Vietnam vet. His mother had died when he was two-years-old, and the boy had been living with his father in the woods in Alabama his whole life. When the boy's father dies, Moon has to survive on his own, eventually returning to the society he has feared his whole life. But, he does so, as (in Watt's words) "a total badass".
This is a beautifully written book that is full of all things "Southern boy"--guns, snakes, adventure, jails and trucks. But, I have to confess that this Southern belle absolutely loved it. I was right there with Moon, feeling every bit of his confusion, instinctive reactions, and general "badassness".
Put it in your must read pile, and you should also add the companion book Dirt Road Home which will be coming out in July.