|Giles reading one of his favorite books|
Colleen Mondor, a reviewer for Booklist, seems to get this right:"There are literally hundreds of Young Adult books published every year for helping teenage girls navigate the twisty landscape of growing up. The problem is that there are hardly any comparable books out there for [TEENAGE] boys to read... Why girls read more than guys? To any sane children’s book reviewer (or librarian) the answer is obvious -- writers aren’t writing as much for boys, and so boys aren’t reading."
What are your solutions to getting boys to be lifelong readers? What do you think of Michael Morpurgo's solutions to the problem? (borrowed from the Teacher Network Blog of the UK's The Guardian):
1.Why not have a dedicated half hour at the end of every school day in every primary school devoted to the simple enjoyment of reading and writing.
2. Regular visits from storytellers, theatre groups, poets, writers of fiction and non-fiction, and librarians from the local library.
3. Inviting fathers and grandfathers, mothers and grandmothers into school to tell and read stories, to listen to children reading, one to one. The work of organisations such at Volunteer Reading Help and Reading Matters are already doing great thing to help young people and schools.
4. Ensuring that the enjoyment of literature takes precedence, particularly in the early years, over the learning of the rules of literacy, important though they are. Children have to be motivated to want to learn to read. Reading must not be taught simply as a school exercise.
5. Parents, fathers in particular, and teachers, might be encouraged to attend book groups themselves, in or out of the school, without children, so that they can develop a love of reading for themselves, which they can then pass on to the children.
6. Teacher training should always include modules dedicated to developing the teachers' own appreciation of literature, so that when they come to read to the children or to recommend a book, it is meant, and the children know it. To use books simply as a teacher's tool is unlikely to convince many children that books are for them, particularly those that are failing already, many of whom will be boys.
7. The library in any school should have a dedicated librarian or teacher/librarian, be well resourced, and welcoming, the heart of every school. Access to books and the encouragement of the habit of reading: these two things are the first and most necessary steps in education and librarians, teachers and parents all over the country know it. It is our children's right and it is also our best hope and their best hope for the future.
Visit my site for resources that might help boys love reading. Dads reading (or male disciplers where dads are not present) with their sons is more important than can be calculated. Check out my Fathers & Sons page.