Thursday, February 6, 2014

Bill Konigsberg, OUT OF THE POCKET

Excellent, deeply satisfying debut YA novel, about a star high school quarterback who, somewhat unwillingly, comes out of the closet. I felt like BK nailed the teen boy voices, and the writing seemed virtually transparent. Read it in one sitting. One of my favorite things about this book is the cast of secondary characters--imperfect and evolving.

Rosalind Wiseman, MASTERMINDS AND WINGMEN: Helping Our Boys Cope with Schoolyard Power, Locker-Room Tests, Girlfriends, and the New Rules of Boy World

There's a lot of good, solid information in here--including lots of quotes from boys, ages 10 to 17, about everything from girls to gaming to lying to fighting. She says it is a mistake to think that boys are easier than girls; her thesis is that boys aren't easier, they're just quieter. As with her book on girls (QUEEN BEES & WANNABEES) she has a lot of specific and practical advice on how to guide and support them and get them to share their thoughts, including the words to say in certain situations and the landmines to avoid. Maybe my favorite was the contract she has her boys sign about the rules of gaming, which begins: I realize I have no ability to accurately agauge how long I've played because I lose track of time. Therefore, when my mom or dad tell me time's up, I won't respond with, "What!? But I've only been on for a few minutes! I'm about to get to the next level! Let me just throw myself off this cliff! It'll only take one minute, I promise!"