Helping Boys Read
We recommend Guys Read (guysread.com), a web-based literacy program founded by author Jon Scieszka and dedicated to helping boys become self-motivated, lifelong readers.
Research shows that boys who are having trouble reading, will read—if they are given reading that interests them. Boys in first or second grade who don’t have the skills to take on dense chapter books have no interest in picture books they consider to be “for babies.” Enter the graphic novel.
The interplay of words and pictures in graphic novels allows boys to comprehend the story and feel successful in reading. Other juvenile series like Captain Underpants and Diary of a Wimpy Kid offer a similar look, feel and level of satisfaction.
Advice for parents
We recall author Richard Peck’s apropos advice: “Never say to yourself or to others, ‘My child isn’t into reading, but he has so many other interests,’ because your child won’t get far with those other interests as a functional illiterate. There’s a literature for every field: scientific, artistic, athletic, vocational, professional, parental. Successful people in those fields must have access to it.”
Peck further advises that parents give their pre-school children literacy training, read aloud to them even after they
can read for themselves, play vocabulary games with them, encourage and reward the memorizing of short passages, make sure there are maps in the house and library cards in hand, and that they present reading and writing as adult activities. “The young are hungry for the advantages of maturity. Reading is one of them, and they can have it now, with your help.”
We especially like the part about library cards, and we’d love to match your children’s interests with our great reads.