In an article by Thomas Newkirk entitled "Misreading Masculinity: Speculations On The Great Gender Gap In Writing", he cites research that analyzes the reading and writing differences between boys and girls.
In one study, second-graders were asked to write a story. Girls chose to keep their main character in "primary territory" (home, school, parents, friends) while boys chose to send their protagonist out into "secondary territory" (wars, space, professions).
Girls wrote about joint action and protagonists who struggled to remain connected to the community while boys wrote stories which focused on contests in which the protagonists acted alone.
In a study of first-year college students, women wrote autobiographical essays that included crisis in a relationship while the men tended to write about times when they acted individually, often in physical challenges that built confidence.
Here's the take-home message. When selecting a book for an aliterate boy reader, (one who CAN read but chooses not to because he has deduced that books are boring), do NOT consider the gender of the protagonist ONLY. Choose books where the protagonist 1) acts alone, 2) embarks into secondary territories, and 3) must overcome physical challenges.
K.A. Nuzum in "A Small White Scar" has her main character, a BOY, stay at home to overcome a relationship challenge. Don't misunderstand me, I love this book about Will, who wants to become a professional rodeo cowboy, and brother Denny who has Down's Syndrome. The writing is stellar and the message is touching, but a hard-core aliterate reader, more than likely, will think it boring. Show him later, once he's discovered that books are amazing.
If the protagonist (boy or girl)
1) acts alone
2) heads "out there" (secondary territory)
3) and overcomes physical challenges
you have a better chance of capturing the interest of an aliterate reader.