Of Boys and Books and Brains


Mr. E: [crunching breakfast] You know how boys aren’t smart at school?

Me: [slightly panicky and defensive] Huh? What do you mean? Boys are just as smart as girls.

Mr. E: Well, you know how boys in books are never “the smart ones?”

Me: Hmmm.

And this little conversation has got me thinking. He’s kind of right. You know, there’s Harry, who’s smart….but then there’s Hermione, who’s brilliant. Where are the smart boys? In recent books? So far I’m coming up with brave boys, boys willing to take a stand, resourceful boys, clever boys, but none who are just the plain, straight-A, good-at-school, “smart ones.”

I know they’re out there. Can you help me out with a list?

3 Comments for “Of Boys and Books and Brains”


The favorite smart boy from my childhood was Encyclopedia Brown. A more recent one would be computer savvy Nolan Byrd from Wendelin Van Draanen’s Shredderman series.


Thanks. That’s a good one. We also came up with The Benedict Society, STORM: The Infinity Code, and The View from Saturday.