To Turn Boys Into Readers, Gross Them Out

Publishers embrace books about farts, boogers, blood
By Sam Biddle,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 8, 2008 11:18 AM CDT
Publishers are going after young boys with books that revel in their grossness.   (Penguin Group)
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(Newser) – Young boys, who trail far behind their female peers as readers, are reversing that trend with help from publishers who seek to exploit their love for everything gross. The Wall Street Journal examines the wave of children's’ titles rife with farts, boogers, blood, and flesh-eating bacteria—and talks with some grown-ups who don't see a problem.

Scholastic’s ‘Wicked History’ series of bloodthirsty leaders is selling well, as is its "24/7: Science Behind the Scenes” series, featuring books with vivid illustrations of rotting limbs. Some wildly popular books aimed at boys skip the quasi-educational content altogether, but the challenge, says the publisher of Sir Fartsalot Hunts the Booger,  is to "pull a boy away from a videogame."