London, June 14 : Ministers in the UK have recommended a list of spy books, comics, thrillers and ghost stories for primary schools to encourage more boys to take up reading for fun.
The recommended selection is aimed at five to 11-year-olds who spend more time playing computer games than reading a book.
However, there is no place for children's classics such as Roald Dahl or the Famous Five stories. Shakespeare earns a mention in the form of a Japanese Manga comic version of Macbeth.
Billy Bonkers, by Giles Andrae, a book that contains almost a burp for every page, is highlighted for having "maximum appeal for boys of a certain age".
The third volume of The Troll Fell saga, Troll Blood by Katherine Langrish, is described as "a gorgeously scary book", that follows the adventures of Peer and Hilde as they chase Vikings.
Charlie Higson's young James Bond story, Hurricane Gold, and authors Anthony Horowitz, Stephen Hawking and film maker Luc Besson all make the list.
More than 200 popular titles are being sent to primary schools in England on loan under the 5-million-pound Government scheme.
Jim Knight, the Schools Minister, who has commissioned the list said: "While many children have already discovered the joys of reading for pleasure, sadly a large proportion, particularly boys, remains to be convinced."
He said the list, stretching to 100 pages of advice and reviews, would allow schools to select from "alternative genres of writing including graphic novels".
The report, entitled Boys into Books 5-11, said: "The comic-strip style, or graphic book has great appeal for many boys. On the Continent, picture-strip books take up quite a high proportion of the whole children's book sales and are very prominent in shop displays. But here we still tend to be a little nose-in-the-air about them. Perhaps that adds greatly to their attraction for boys!"