Connecting Boys with Books
May 31, 2012
School is out, and as far as many kids -- er, boys -- are concerned, so is reading. I know that sounds like a generalization, because many boys do like reading. But studies show that, from elementary through high school, boys in America are reading at lower levels than girls. The fact is many boys are reluctant readers, and we need to do all we can to encourage their reading.
The simple truth is you've got to find books your boy is going to love! This is the takeaway of a CNN.com article by bestselling novelist James Patterson titled How to Get Your Kid to Be a Fanatic Reader. Patterson says, it’s your job, moms and dads—not the schools’—to seek out books that will appeal to your reluctant reader and to make sure they read them. Comic books, magazines, bios of sports stars, novels, Guinness World Records -- these are all possibilities. Another tip: let your boy read a book on your tablet or eBook reader. Researchers at Southern Methodist University reported recently that middle school boys who had been reluctant readers liked reading more after two months of using a Kindle. Maybe it's just a tech thing, but hey, whatever gets them reading!
Your library branch can offer lots of ideas for good "guy" books. When my own reluctant reader was in second grade, the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney really fast-forwarded his reading skills. He read and reread those books. The next year it was the Big Nate series by Lincoln Peirce, which was equally HUGE, and the Fudge books by Judy Blume. Dan Gutman's time-traveling baseball card adventure series also has been a hit.
Practice makes progress, and it just makes sense that the more kids read, the better readers they become. Sign your kids up now for the Library's Summer Reading Program, and click on the links below for book ideas and strategies for connecting boys with books. Let’s get ‘em reading!
- Oprah.com (Kids' Reading List under Books)
- Novelist Plus K-8 database
North Oak Branch