Getting boys to read can be a challenge, as evidenced by conversations our staff have with parents and educators and among themselves, and by articles such as this one from the Washington Post. Just do a Google search using the terms "boys" and "reading" and you get more information than you can possible absorb on the topic of how to encourage boys to read, including a link to author Jon Scieszka's terrific Guys Read website. (as an aside, Jon Scieszka was recently named as the Library of Congress' first ever national ambassador for children's literature - very cool!)
Here at PVLD Young Readers Librarian Michael Barb has a passion for getting school-aged boys to read, and to that end is planning a great father/son program for this spring. Keep an eye out for "Knights in Training"!
As someone who comes from a family of readers (boys and girls alike) and who has no children of my own, I don't have a clue what makes a book enticing to a young boy, so I'm always fascinated by articles on this topic. Late last year I spent an enjoyable and educational few minutes listening to this National Public Radio interview with John Scieszka while running errands on a Saturday morning - and it inspired me to actually go read some of the Stinky Cheese Man (although I confess I just skimmed it!)
This past Sunday the New York Times had a great article about the very popular "Wimpy Kid" books and how they are inspiring boys to read, which in turn inspired me to check out Diary of A Wimpy Kid:Rodrick Rules (the one and only Wimpy Kid book available on the shelf at the Peninsula Center Library, which tells you something). I just started reading it and am already chuckling.
I loved the NY Times article's closing paragraphs, too -
"Slightly older readers vouch for the accuracy of Mr. Kinney’s observations. Ethan Bloom’s brother, Josh, 13, who is an eager reader, said, “A lot of spy and fantasy books are ridiculous, but this isn’t ridiculous at all. Everything in it is completely true — the way the parents reacted to things, the dumb things we do, all the annoying things you have to do with younger brothers.”
And is he looking forward to the next “Wimpy Kid” installment?
Absolutely, Josh said. “We’ll be making a trip to the library,” he replied.
Not a bookstore?
“Naw,” he said, “ I don’t buy books. I can waste my money on other things.”
What a great plug for the Wimpy Kids books, and for libraries!