Books for Boys: There's been a vicious circle in kids' publishing in recent decades. As women came to dominate education and publishing, the books assigned in class got girlier and girlier, and boys lost even more interest in reading books, so publishers brought out even girlier books, and boys got even more bored, etcetera etcetera ...
Finally, two publishing industry veterans, Steven D. Hill and Peggy Hogan, decided to make money off this market failure by launching Sterling Point Books, which specializes in nonfiction books about heroes aimed at boys in the 10-17 range. Most of the initial titles are reprints of out-of-print books from Bennett Cerf's Random House Landmark Books of the 1950s onward. Cerf signed up heavyweight authors like John Gunther (Inside Europe), C.S. Forester (Horatio Hornblower), Alistair MacLean (Guns of Navarone), and William L. Shirer (Rise and Fall of the Third Reich) to write about warriors and adventurers for boys.
My younger son has now read a half dozen of the Sterling Point titles. Geronimo: Wolf of the Warpath has been his favorite. They've inspired him to ask me lots of questions, mostly of the unanswerable "Could John Paul Jones beat Lawrence of Arabia?" variety.
They come in handsome paperbacks for $6.95, with good-sized typefaces and lots of leading between the lines to make the pages inviting to the eye.
They would make good graduation presents. Here is the list so far, with more due in November.