How Do You Get Boys to Love Reading and What Books Should They Try?
I was thrilled to see this new book from Scholastic, Pam Allyn’s Best Books for Boys (K-8). How to Engage Boys in Reading in Ways That Will Change Their Lives.
Pam is also a mom and literacy advocate. She is the Executive Director of LitLife and LitWorld, organizations developing strategies for children’s literacy on the national and global level. In this book she focuses on strategies to encourage boys to love reading. Just what I was looking for.
I had heard friends say that it was harder to get boys reading than girls and Pam shares a list of statistics supporting that boys do struggle with reading more. Because of that, she founded and directs an initiative called Books for Boys and created this book for teachers and parents to use as a guide.
Pam gives a variety of modern tips about how to engage boys in reading. She suggests books aren’t the only things we should have boys read. Additional reading options include video games, texting, sports page/magazines, websites and blogs. Anything that interests them, encourage them to keep reading. Surround them with words. We also shouldn’t stereotype books into gender as it is just as fine for boys to read Anne of Green Gables as much as Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Find out what they are interested in and find something they can read about it.
Pam presents the “READ Model” including four elements to create a love of reading.
E – Environment
D- DialogueWe need to create a reading environment, make reading accessible, make reading a habit and talk about what we are reading.
The final and largest section of the book, Pam shares her favorite books for boys by reading level and genre. Starting with Flat Stanley for emerging readers, she gives a description of each book she suggests and gives a discussion or activity idea to go with each book.
This book was very well organized and will be a great reference book to use now and as my son grows older. Pam Allyn’s Best Books for Boys is a much needed resource for anyone teaching boys to read. After reading this book, I can’t wait to check out the books Pam suggests for emerging readers. I’ve already put several books on hold at the library that I hadn’t heard of.
CREATING A READING ENVIRONMENT:
I loved how Pam separated her picks into categories so much that I decided to organize the books in my son’s room by genre so he could find his favorite books better.
I grabbed some containers from IKEA and grouped his books into categories.
Box #1 – Trucks, Trains and Cars
Box #2 – Dinosaurs and Animals
Box #3 – Story books, Pirates and Lego
Box #4 – Superhero books, Star Wars and Firefighters
He has a transportation themed room so we have the alphabet train (a classroom border) along the wall so we can play letter games and recite the alphabet together. (Anything to get more letters around him.)
I found some pictures on Google Images to match my categories and printed them out. Some were outline images I had my son color to get him involved. Then I helped him sound out the words to match the pictures and put them on the boxes.
What are your favorite boy books? My son has been on a pirate kick lately.
Disclosure: I was sent a free electronic copy of Pam Allyn’s Best Books for Boys. All opinions are truthful and my own.
Linking this idea to more great ideas at: