None of this misogyny rings true for a contemporary fourth-grade boy. Fourth-grade boys in 2013 know better. First-grade boys do. My own son knows that girls can do anything boys can do. It's not even a question.
There's something magical about going into a bookshop or library with a child who's just learning to read by herself. The sense of wonder is infectious, and you can almost see new ideas popping up as children excitedly survey the shelves and reach out to the books that call to them.
Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys have never gone out of style, nor have mysteries for young people. In fact, a new mystery series by Kim Harrington called Sleuth or Dare debuts this week with the first novel, Partners in Crime.
Reluctant readers, it seems, like fart jokes. They also seem to like gross food, nonstop action, and the occasional illustration. For those not in the business, the term "reluctant reader" tends to be a synonym for "boy."