The Book of Rule

For the trivia nerd, little bits and pieces of information on any topic will be vacuumed and absorbed into the system.  I did this as a kid (and still do) by reading all the weird little atlases, almanacs and topic guides that I could find. Publisher DK does a great job of this kind of thing for younger kids with the Eyewitness series: visual guides for every little topic.  They do make adult books, too

The Book of Rule explains the system of government of for every country in the world.  Don't know the difference between bicameral and unicameral?  Democracy vs. Republicanism vs. Theocracy?  Absolute Monarchy vs. Constitutional Monarchy?  Is Canada run by the Queen of England? Is their a country where their king is elected? (There is, but the ruler isn't called a king) Who, exactly, elects the US president? (Hint: it's not the people)

I acknowledge that this book is a touch out of date (nearly 10 years old), but generally speaking, the information holds true.  Most countries don't change that much that frequently.
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Fast and Furious Reads

The Hub by Yalsa shared a nice movie-inspired Fast and Furious reading list with books promising "lots of action, adventure, and danger".
What else would you add to this list?

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You may have noticed that we haven't posted a whole lot in the past month.  It happens.  I've read a lot of books lately, but none of them felt quite like something I ought to recommend.  Dan Brown's Inferno? Not very good, compared to the other three in the series.  Weird Al: The Book? A bit underwhelming, plus not super relevant to kids of this generation.

So I've got nothing. 

And so do kids, sometimes. 

You want to get them to read.  You've offered all of the books that we've recommended, but they've read it all, or maybe they just aren't taking anything.  If the boy in your life reads occasionally, then there probably isn't anything to worry about.  Maybe they've just hit a dry spell.  It happens to me sometimes. 

Maybe you've just read a heavy book and are mentally exhausted.  Maybe you found a cool game that distracted you for a few weeks (worse if it's a mobile or portable game). Whatever the case, one distraction and he's off  books.  If he isn't reading anything right now, just wait it out.  Chances are he'll find something.

(Note that this really doesn't apply to guys who don't ever read at all.  That's a separate issue entirely.  Another post for another day.)
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Crap Kingdom by DC Pierson

Be careful what you wish for. Isn't that what they always say? It's not until now though that Tom fully appreciates the warning. He has dreamt about being whisked away to some magical fantasy land or parallel universe on countless occasions, so when it actually happened, when he was told that he, plain old boring Tom Parking, is the Chosen One in the prophecy to restore the "Kingdom", he can't wait to see this place.

It didn't take long to lose all the excitement because: a). the Kingdom is made from garbage from Earth and b). everyone is depressing and the King hates him. So, Tom does the smart thing: he says "no, thank you" and goes back home.  Forget about it.

Until he finds out his best friend Kyle is now the Chosen One. Not only that, Kyle is making things work. He has even acquired magical powers. What? No one says anything about magical powers.

A story about an unlikely and reluctant hero who figures out how to take on responsibility and focus on the important things in life. Tom and Kyle are both very likable characters and sometimes it's hard to find a book where you get to read about just a bunch of normal guys. The target audience for this book will find the story quite amusing and funny I think.

Recommend The Magic Kingdom of Landover series by Terry Brooks when they finish this one, starting with Magic Kingdom for Sale. Sold!

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