According to this article in the Wall Street Journal, most boys don't like to read unless the book is full of blood, guts, boogers, and farts, not necessarily in that order. So publishers are giving them books full of blood, guts, boogers, and farts. Excuse me while I go write my memoir, which I now know will have an audience:
Publishers are hawking more gory and gross books to appeal to an elusive market: boys -- many of whom would rather go to the dentist than crack open "Little House on the Prairie." Booksellers are also catering to teachers and parents desperate to make young males more literate.
"There has been a real revolution" in books that "have more kid appeal," especially when it comes to boys, says Ellie Berger, who oversees Scholastic's trade division. "It's a shift away from the drier books we all grew up with."
Last year, U.S. publishers released 261 new works of juvenile fiction aimed at boys, more than twice the number put out in 2003, according to Bowker's Books in Print database. There were 20 nonfiction entries for boys, compared with just four in 2003.
Scholastic last fall started selling both "Wicked History" and "24/7: Science Behind the Scenes," a series inspired by the cadaver-heavy hit TV show, "CSI." One title in the series is "Help! What's Eating My Flesh: Runaway Staph and Strep Infections!" Readers are treated to color pictures of putrefying limbs and the warning that "sometimes, relatively harmless bacteria can turn into a gruesome killer." The two series already have more than 300,000 copies in print.