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Boys don’t read? – Try 100 Sideways Miles by @MarburyJack #NewRelease

I am late, late, late 24-hours late! But that is OK because it is Andrew Smith! I am sure he will forgive me, right Andrew? Wait, what am I late for? Today, well I am writing it on the 2nd so technically when this posts it will be yesterday but still… 100 Sideways Miles is right! Anyway, Andrew’s 8th novel is here, finally!!! I happen to be one of the lucky wenches who will be touring and creating graphics for said tour in October but I could not let release day go by without going.. eep! eep! woot! And an occasional squeal! Before we get to the book let’s talk about the statement of “Boys don’t read“.


Boy’s don’t read?

Let’s talk about the title of the post “Boys don’t read?”, what do you guys think about that? At a recent book fair/conference this subject was brought up in a conversation while a certain male author was enjoying his diet coke. A few other authors were discussing with disdain about readers, books and reading habits and it was said, “Boys don’t read..”. This offhanded comment prompted said author to point out and make note of all the male authors and other men milling around the event. If the men are writing, they are reading and therefore are consuming books much like my eldest son did growing up. Geoff was… is a reader, my ex-husbands were readers, my father is a reader, and many I know still are readers even after college. The comment which caused the Diet Coke to go flat was about young adult reads, and that prompted this post more than anything. What is there for boys to read in the midst of all these great Hunger Game inspired spin offs and romance?

So why do people think boys don’t read? Perhaps there are not enough great books which appeal to boys. One study says boys will read anything that holds their interest, and from experience I agree. Over at they discuss the studies claiming it is biological, sociological etc. Boys brains develop slower than girls, so a boy at 12 is not going to have the same psychological ability to maintain interest as a girl that age would have. Answer? Give the boys books they want to read! Andrew Smith has eight… EIGHT books and he is not the only one! Check out the Goodreads Listopia for Good Teen Boy Reads. You will see Harry Potter, Ender’s Game (the book which changed my son’s life at an early age), the Percy Jackson books (my youngest son, Liam loves these), and so much more.

boy-teen-readingIt’s interesting if you think about all the things we are putting on our children. Boys don’t read huh? **insert sarcasm** Well of course not,  boys also are the boss, and make more money because they are men, after all. And they can get away with hurting girls because girls are not very smart and live in a world of fantasy with those silly books (can you tell I am watching Once Upon a Time right now?). **end** Ridiculous right? The thing is this little statement sets a boy up to hide his reading and fake who he is because it is a stigma that is still being pushed upon the malleable brains of boys.

It is a fact many of the world are not readers, that little bit still shocks me. In 1978 8% of the people didn’t read books quadrupled to this year at a raging 23% who never picked a book up. Do you think the internet, the availability to binge watch TV online, video games complexities and availability too are a factor? Of course they are. You really cannot argue when the amount of books available are huge and the easy access is out there, even without a library. Speaking of libraries, did you bring your kids to get their cards this summer for summer reading? I bet a lot of you do not do that anymore. Even if their are e-books out there, nothing is as powerful as checking out a book from the library and reading it.

Percentages may not add to 100 due to rounding. Sources: Pew 2014, Pew 2012, and Gallu

Percentages may not add to 100 due to rounding. Sources: Pew 2014, Pew 2012, and Gallup

But if we look at this, we can see the book isn’t dead. Sure it is still down a huge amount and nothing compared to the book junkies like me. I am well over 125 books this year, I stopped counting actually. I think I over indulge on anything consumable that makes me feel good..bacon, books, bad movies. 🙂 That we are still reading is great news, so keep it up! Get your kids hooked on books, guys. It is one of the greatest gifts my parents have given me. The other studies in this area say that reading for pleasure has not declined and so.. again, go grab your kids some books! Get them a library card, listen to books in the car, anything!

I don’t get people who don’t read. Call me a snob, because I am, but I have friends who don’t read and I love them dearly but part of me wants to cringe because I can tell they are not readers. Reading is empowering. It makes you feel part of something, it causes you to think and feel and can save you from the horrors in your own life. Certainly better then discussing the latest YouTube video with the latest twirling accident (though this is occasionally not without merit). Readers are better at many things and a boy who reads well written young adult books and allows the worlds to empower and enlighten him, will contribute to his own world by becoming a better adult. I stand by that statement. I know not every boy turns out this way and it also gives those evil twits extra power to mess with others (insert the ex-husband) but over all, people are inherently good or want to be. Think about it, words have power. Share one of these with your boy who reads and find out!


Boys don’t read? – Try 100 Sideways Miles by @MarburyJack #NewRelease100 Sideways Miles
by Andrew Smith
Pages: 288
Published by Simon and Schuster
on 2014-09-02
Genres: Action & Adventure, Boys & Men, Family, General, Parents, Young Adult
Amazon • Barnes & Noble • Book Depository • iTunes • • Goodreads •

Destiny takes a detour in this heartbreakingly hilarious novel from the acclaimed author of Winger, which Kirkus Reviews called “smart” and “wickedly funny.”

Finn Easton sees the world through miles instead of minutes. It’s how he makes sense of the world, and how he tries to convince himself that he’s a real boy and not just a character in his father’s bestselling cult-classic book. Finn has two things going for him: his best friend, the possibly-insane-but-definitely-excellent Cade Hernandez, and Julia Bishop, the first girl he’s ever loved.

Then Julia moves away, and Finn is heartbroken. Feeling restless and trapped in the book, Finn embarks on a road trip with Cade to visit their college of choice in Oklahoma. When an unexpected accident happens and the boys become unlikely heroes, they take an eye-opening detour away from everything they thought they had planned—and learn how to write their own destiny.

Check out the video from Simon & Schuster about 100 Sideways Miles and the history which was researched and is part of Andrew Smith’s own California. Anyone who researches William Mulholland’s great mistake, the St. Francis Dam disaster–you can find some remarkable accounts and photographs of that little-known catastrophe (probably the worst single-day loss of life in California history), which complements the story in the novel. Even the little girls Finn sees (they are named in the book) can be found in photographs from various online archives. (see links above also)


About Andrew Smith

Boys don't read? - Try 100 Sideways Miles by @MarburyJack #NewRelease

Andrew Smith is the award-winning author of several Young Adult novels, including the critically acclaimed Winger (Starred reviews in Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, Booklist, and Shelf Awareness—an Amazon “Best of the Year,” and an ALA Top 10 for 2014) and The Marbury Lens (A YALSA BFYA, and Starred reviews and Best of the Year in both Publishers Weekly and Booklist). Grasshopper Jungle has also won the 2014 Boston Globe Horn Book Award for fiction. He is a native-born Californian who spent most of his formative years traveling the world.

His university studies focused on Political Science, Journalism, and Literature. He has published numerous short stories and articles. Grasshopper Jungle, a starred novel by Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, and Shelf Awareness, is his seventh novel. Just recently the New York Times called it a "Literary joy to behold!"  and Sony has will be releasing the movie in 2016. 100 Sideways Miles is his 8th novel published by Simon and Schuester.

Andrew lives in a very remote area in the mountains of Southern California with his family, two horses, two dogs and three cats. He doesn’t watch television and occupies himself by writing, bumping into things outdoors, and taking ten-mile runs on snowy trails.


  1. Boys don’t read? Tell that to my 12yo boy who is literally reading his way through our local library. He’s already read a lot of the nonfiction, and all of the popular “middle school” books, as well as a few several-hundred-page Star Wars tomes from the adult section. Since he no longer has any ideas about what he wants to read, but knows he wants to read *something*, I have started walking into the library and grabbing 10-15 books off the shelf. Picking which ones to read is up to him. So far, he’s read all of them. Apparently, if it has words, it holds his interest. 😉

  2. I think the reason is because we are readers. Our children will read. I also believe one of the reasons why is there are TOO MANY books now for boys and girls to choose from.


  1. '100 Sideways Miles', a side of Grits: #YA by - […] 100 Sideways Miles broke me the first time I read it. This last week I have re-read it and ..(looking…

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