In June there was a poll to see see which city was the MANLIEST city in America and guess what?? CHARLOTTE made the #1 spot!! Woo hoo!! You can't see my now, but I'm beating my chest and giving a big Tarzan yell. The poll used a lot of criteria, like the number of pickup trucks and closeness to MANLY sports like football and NASCAR to determine the manliness of cities but they didn't mention this blog. It was obviously just an oversight. After all, how many blogs out there are devoted to books for MANLY MEN like us? And how many of them are in Charlotte, North Carolina, the officially-recognized Manliest City in America?
So that got me to thinking--what are the MANLIEST books for boys? My MANLY brain couldof course, think of dozens, but I decided to narrow it down to eight. Here you go:
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. Percy Jackson jumps on a minotaur's back and kills it with its own horn! And later he has a one-on-one sword fight with the god of war. How much more macho can you get than that?
The Last River: Major John Powell and the Colorado River Exploring Expedition by Stuart Waldman. Major Powell lost his right arm in the Civil War but didn't let that put him on the sidelines of life. In 1869, he became the first person to lead a team down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, an area so wild that the naitve people wouldn't take their canoes into it. An incredible feat! And a fantastic book.
Black Whiteness: Admiral Byrd Alone in the Antarctic by Robert Burleigh. Another incredible feat of endurance and survival. In the the 1930's, Admiral Byrd attempted to live by himself in the coldest palce on earth. Did he make it? You'll have to read to find out! But what a story!
Hatchet by Gary Paulsen. A ficitional survival story and probably the best. Brian crash lands in the Canadian wilderness and has to survive all alone with nothing to help but a hatchet. And winter will be there soon. A terrific book!
The Adventurous Deeds of Deadwood Jones by Helen Hemphill. Two African-American boys, Prometheus Jones and his cousin Omer, have to flee Tennessee after the Civil War when some racist creeps cause trouble. They go to Texas, where Prometheus looks for his father. They join a cattle drive to make money and have to face wild raging rivers, a possible Indian attack, and all the other dangers of the Old West. Truly MANLY adventures and a rip-snorting good read!
How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell. One boy bets another $50 that he can't eat 15 worms in 15 days. Could you do it?? Hmmm?? Are you MANLY enough? This is a really funny book guaranteed to make you laugh out loud.
Call It Courage by Armstrong Sperry. Mafatu is the son of a chief of a South Sea island but he's also afraid of the ocean. Which is a bad thing for the son of a chief. When the taunting gets bad enough, he slips out one night, steals a canoe, and sails off to see if he can survivie. Along the way he fights a hmmerhead shark and tries to escape from cannibals! I had to read it all at one time because I couldn't tear myself away from this action-packed story.
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. Pirates. More pirates. Buried treasure. And young Jim Hawkins is caught up in the middle of it. At one point, a pirate climbs up the rigging with a knife in his teeth after Jim. The boy points two pistols at the pirate and says, "one more step and I'll blow your brains out." Does he do it?? Oh, man, you won't know if you don't read! But you'll be sure to thrill to one of the most exciting pirate books ever written.
So what do YOU think? Can you think of any other books that should go on this list? If you can, hit that "Comment" tab and tell us!
And to give you incentive, any boy who sends us a reivew of a MANLY book for boys can come to the Myers Park library and claim a prize out of our ultra-cool giveaway box! We have t-shirts, free books, reading journals, and other great stuff. Can't get to the Myers Park library? Call me at 704-416-5800 and I'll find a way to get it to you. (same thing if you live outside of Charlotte) Here is just a smaple of the things we have to give away.
All right, men, send those reviews and claim those prizes!