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Teen Boys and Reading November 21, 2006

Posted by sharynheili in Uncategorized.

teen reading 

My son read everything and almost anything growing up and he still does.  So, as a mother and a librarian I did not have to try hard to interest him in reading or convince him of the power of books. 

Not so all boys, especially teen boys.   Beyond Harry Potter,  it’s hard to find books of interest to teens.  A local author featured in our Marathon County Reads, Gerald Morris, writes adventurous books about  knights, castles and chivalry, and the teens love them.   Several other new authors and publishers are attracting this group and librarians would be wise to buy and promote them. Teens can’t play games all the time, or can they?

The Associated Press list titled “Books that might resonate with teenage boys” in this week’s newspaper may be of interest.  Included on this list are:

  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
  • Dark Water Rising by Marian Hale
  • Deadly Invaders by Denise Grady
  • Desperate Journey by Jim Murphy
  • The Dragon’s Eye by Dugald A. Steer
  • The Eldest by Christopher Paolini
  • Escape! The Story of the Great Houdini by Sid Fleischman
  • Maximum Ride:  Schools’s Out Forever by James Patterson
  • One-Handed Catch by M.J. Auch
  • Operation Typhoon Shore by Joshua Mowll
  • Peter and the Shadow Thieves by Dave Berry and Ridley Pearson

 And if this doesn’t give you enough ideas, the new book by Anita Silvey, 500 Great Books for Teens will.  Let’s get those teens lining up to come into our doors for more than the Internet!




1. william - December 14, 2006

when can we expect to hear about the new book that christopher is writting.

2. Christopher J. Holcroft - August 14, 2009

Looking for gripping yarns for teenagers? Try Australian author Christopher J. Holcroft’s Scott Morrow trilogy.
In the first book, Only The Brave Dare, events turn Scott Morrow is into the hero he never thought he would be.
He is a Venturer Scout on a Christmas holiday camp with his Unit when international drug smugglers try to pick up their prize booty that has the potential to turn thousands of Australians into drug addicts.
Follow Scott as he pits his bravery against the might of war experienced drug runners in a race to free his fellow Venturers who have been imprisoned in a Convict jail.
 Join the race by Australian Defence and law enforcement authorities as they chase a mother ship believed to have dropped off millions of dollars in drugs off the coastline where Scott and his Unit are holidaying.
Only The Brave Dare is a novel full of adventure and cunning as a teenage boy grapples with his fears and rushes to understand a technology that provides the key to the final climax.
In Christopher’s second book, CANYON, Scott Morrow and his Venturer Unit take a canyoning trip that will pit them against the raging elements and force them to make a life and death decision nobody wants.
The actions of the deft teenager will unite a nation behind him as time starts running out to save both he and his best mate.
Take the journey with Scott and his Venturers as they hone their abseil skills with Army Commandos and go on a trip of a lifetime down a canyon that will be etched into the national psyche forever.
Follow the intrepid Venturers as they are forced to face a daunting challenge that only their bravery and skills will help them overcome.
 Join Scott as he is forced to rescue his best mate in a life and death struggle against the canyon in a gripping exploit to keep them both alive.
Once again, the Australian Defence Force joins the fight against time in a perilous race to save Scott and his fellow Venturer from certain death.

Canyon is a novel full of adventure and daring do as a teenage boy comes to grips with staring death in the face in a vain bid to save his best mate and himself.
Both these books are available through Poseidon Books at http{//www.poseidonbooks.com/

Christopher’s third book in the trilogy, A Rite of Passage, will be published late 2009.
In the final book, Scott Morrow and his Venturer Unit organise a scuba dive and a special ceremony to welcome a new Scout into the Unit at a picturesque seaside setting.
All calm is shattered when a vicious war between two motor cycle gangs erupts at the dive site. Follow Scott, his Venturers and hundreds of Rovers as they battle to save a group of Girl Guides who become caught between warring bikie gangs.
Scott and his fellow Venturers are forced to answer questions of courage when the lives of the Girl Guides are threatened: Will they stand and be counted when their own lives could be at dire risk? Will they stand at all?
A Rite Of Passage is a novel showcasing the determination of teenagers who become young men when fate steps in.

More details are available at http://www.christoperholcroft.com

3. ChrisGantert - November 13, 2009

Only The Brave Dare
Review by Christopher Ganert,18, Ramsgate, NSW, Australia
Only The Brave Dare, by Christopher Holcroft, is a novel about Venturers on a camping trip who cross paths with the Russian Mafia.
The book begins with a Queens Scout presentation and then introduces the main character.
The world of Scouting and Venturing is described as the novel incorporates an emotional touch to the characters’ interactions.
The novel switches between different characters in different locations with different roles in a fashion that is simple to understand.
Although there is the occasional violence, the author’s description is acceptable for teenage readers.
Only The Brave Dare portrays the Scouts as an organised, independent unit with some of their feats and routines seeming almost unbelievable.
However, their feats and routines are plausible with the Venturers’ training and experience.
With the novel being set for a younger age, and using younger characters as the main role players, Only The Brave Dare is a gripping read for any teenager.
Although the novel has several corny pages at the start, overall, it is a suspenseful and entertaining read.
The novel is definitely a decent, educational experience for any teenager.
Only The Brave Dare is available through Poseidon Books at http://www.poseidonbooks.com/

4. Michael Lee - November 13, 2009

When the Brave Dare to Canyon
New South Wales, Australia

CANYON by Christopher J Holcroft, is the second instalment in a series that follows the adventures of Scott Morrow and his Venturer Unit. The novel tells the story of a canyoning trip that places the Venturer Unit against the elements and forces them to make a life and death decision.
The book begins with the characters practicing their abseiling skills, as they learn to trust each other, in a controlled environment before they have to put these skills into practice in the most extreme weather conditions.
With meticulous detail the author impeccably describes the scene, painting a picture in the reader’s mind. As the story builds in intensity the author switches between characters at different locations keeping the reader’s intrigue.
The book shows the important connections between the different sections of the scouting family, particularly the bond between Venturers and Rovers.
Like Only the Brave Dare the book is targeted towards teenage readers with a passion for adventure.
Throughout the adventures of the Venturer Unit the author highlights the importance of team work.
The novel is a suspenseful and entertaining read that keeps you on the edge of your seat.
CANYON is an adrenaline filled story that will be thoroughly enjoyed by all teenagers.
CANYON is available through Poseidon Books at http://www.poseidonbooks.com/

5. Christopher J. Holcroft - February 7, 2010

Australian author Christopher J. Holcroft’s paprback books ‘Only The Brave Dare’ and ‘CANYON’ are now available for ebook readers.

Both ebooks are available through Poseidon Books at http://www.poseidonbooks.com

6. Christopher J. Holcroft - May 27, 2010

Third book in the Scott Morrow trilogy now out!

The long awaited final book in the Scott Morrow adventure series by Australian author Christopher J. Holcroft is now available online.

A Rite Of Passage is available at http://www.buybooksontheweb.com/product.aspx?ISBN=0-7414-5938-8

In the book, Scott Morrow and his Venturer Unit organise a scuba dive and a special ceremony to welcome a new Scout into the Unit at a picturesque seaside setting.

Calm is shattered when a vicious war between two motor cycle gangs erupts at the dive site. Scott and his fellow Venturers are forced to answer questions of courage when the lives of a group of Girl Guides are threatened: Will they stand and be counted when their own lives could be at dire risk? Will they stand at all?

A Rite Of Passage is a novel showcasing the determination of teenagers who become young men when fate steps in.

A Rite of Pasage was written specifically for boys aged 11-18 to encourage them to readand enjoy the great outdoors.


7. Jordan Aitken - June 2, 2010

A Rite of Passage- A Novel by Christopher J. Holcroft

A Rite of Passage details the latest exploits of Venturer Scott Morrow and his unit, his latest endeavour; learning to dive. Scott is already famous for his escapades with the Russian Mafia after they captured his unit, and furthermore from his daring and brave rescue of a fellow Venturer and then a Rover during a canyoning accident.
A Rite of Passage is aimed at teenage boys to encourage them to read and experience more of life by getting outdoors and living the adventure. It should surely achieve this, because it is easy and pleasant to read and provides a simple to understand, yet highly insightful look into perspectives we wouldn’t usually see which could only be formulated by someone with great experience and knowledge.
We are allowed to see into the lives of gang members, which we are not usually exposed to through the media – we get to contrast our existing perceptions, challenging us to think more broadly about what we really know about people who are so often stereotypically portrayed. We gain a better understanding of what goes on behind the badges in the investigations of police
A Rite of Passage promotes Venturing and Guiding movements in an accurate and positive light (although potential members shouldn’t expect to help fight the Mafia or dispel bike gang wars) by highlighting the different opportunities available through the movements. Not only outdoors activities like scuba diving, but social activities like the formal McDonald’s which appeal to the target audience as growing, socialising people are featured, exploring the dynamic of the movement and the variety of experiences to be had. The novel also touches on the various formalities within the movements, adding to the accuracy of their representation.
A Rite of Passage touches on issues common to the targeted responder: balance of study and leisure (which Scott is forced to deal with), friendly and romantic relationships (such as those between Scott and his unit, and then that which develops between some of the Unit and the Guides) and growing up (taking on adult actions and responsibilities like leadership and bravery, and acting out of consciousness for others) and through the central character, Scott, we are shown that life can be hard, but manageable and there is no limit to what we can do if we set our minds to it.
Existing members of the Venturing and Guiding movement will enjoy examining this perspective on a part of their lives, Scouts and Guides can look to it as a taste of what they can (within reason) experience in the older sections and outsiders of the movement can see it as a written reason to look up their local group.
Most outstandingly however is the notion that ordinary individuals can, when placed in a situation that demands it, do extraordinary things. We, as responders, may not ever experience the crossfire of warring gangs, but we can, as average, everyday people, embark on our own extraordinary adventures by getting out into the world, challenging ourselves and trying something new – we place ourselves in the situation to achieve. It is within all our capabilities to try something new and it is through Scott Morrow that we can realise that.

8. Alex Baehnisch - November 17, 2010

A Rite of Passage is the final novel in Christopher Holcroft’s trilogy about the adventures of Scott Morrow and his Venturer Unit. It is set in the harsh realities of the modern world with the story of Scott Morrow interwoven with that of a biker gang turf war which conclude with a gripping and heroic ending.

The novel follows on from Scott Morrow’s other adventures and focuses on him learning to dive and the ensuing dives. Scott is in the last months of his time as a Venturer and the task of courage exhibited by Scott in the climax of the novel can only be described as his rite of passage to rovers.

A Rite of Passage also incorporates the parallel movement of the Girl Guides, specifically the Ranger Guides as they socialise and interact with the Venturer Scouts. The two groups of teenagers are realistically represented participating in activities such as scuba diving and a formal dinner at McDonald’s. These interactions show the blurred lines between the two movements in the 21st century which is highlighted by the Rangers requests for more adventurous activities.

A Rite of Passage has an excellent story relevant to modern society and the challenges which await us, both morally and physically. It, as with the other two books in the trilogy are must reads for anyone interested Venturer Scouting. It has a suspenseful plot which will engross the reader till the very end.

9. Christopher J. Holcroft - May 11, 2011

A new book directly aimed at Young Adults and Adults alike that explores near death experiences is now out.

Finding Thomas, published by Infinity Publishing, is a must read for anyone that wants to know about dying, where you go and the possible differences in you when you return.

Finding Thomas’s central character Kit Green, is your average teenager except he has had a near death experience.

He ‘died’ on the operating table after a pool accident and is sent back to Earth to complete his life. Kit finds he is changed and now has the ability to see and talk to spirits.

His father works for a politician who is drawing up a list of who will be axed from the civil service if the Opposition party wins government.

The spirit of the politician’s dead son and Kit race to stop their fathers being murdered by the State’s top cop.


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