Friday, July 15, 2016

Guys Read Too

Both research and anecdotes  (including my own) say that boys can be hesitant readers.  Since my first year as a teacher, I have tried to adopt a policy to both teach reading and foster reading.  By this, I mean:  I tried to develop reading skills and strategies, but also focused on putting books into the student’s hands, giving plenty of time for reading during the school day, and having lots of conversations and interactions with students about books and reading.  I have made mistakes teaching, no doubt.  But, I had some success in fostering readers in my classroom.  I still remember one parent who pulled me aside to ask about a popular series of books.  She had explained that her son never seemed that interested in books, but recently had been asking to go to the library and even asked for books as a Christmas gift.   Can you imagine what a gift this child had already gotten, the gift of enjoying reading?

Over the years I have had boys who wouldn’t open a book, finish reading a book, choose a book in the library, or show any interest in independent reading.  I mean, I get it; there are so many other interests in boys’ minds, right?  Playing sports, collecting things, drawing, playing video games, building forts, running around getting dirty, and just plain having fun, right?  But, all it takes is getting lost in one or two great books to hook a child (even a boy) into reading. I strongly believe there is a book for every reader.  There are probably a thousand books for every reader to be more exact.  But, this is all about matching a boy’s interest to a good book.  Need help finding the right book?   There are tons of for parents, boys,  and teens.  Librarians, teachers, and other readers will guide readers.  There are even countless book blogs that can guide a parent, teen, or middle age reader to wonderful books.  

Don’t limit reading for boys to traditional novels.  Boys enjoy non-fiction, reading in chunks to gain information.  They also might enjoy graphic novels which offer strong, well developed characters, and graphic elements that sometimes mimic video games and movies.  Other times, boys are into fiction which is strongly tied to their hobbies.  Sports, video games, music, science fiction, movie and television adaptations are all popular choices for boys.  Here are some popular books for teen guy readers.  The list is mixed with both newer books and older books that offer classic stories.  In addition to these books, check your non-fiction sections often to match interests.  Just remember, don’t focus on finishing non-fiction texts, let guy readers explore and read in chunks that interest them the most.
A Few Teen Guys Book Suggestions:

  • Forged By Fire by Sharon M. Draper
  • The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
  • Gym Candy by Carl Deuker
  • Fight Club: A Novel by Chuck Palahniuk
  • Fang: A Maximum Ride Novel by James Patterson
  • Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream by Buzz Bissinger
  • Running with Scissors: A Memoir  by Augusten Burroughs
  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
  • Slam! by Walter Dean Myers
  • Crash by Jerry Spinelli
  • Night by Elie Wiesel
  • Bang! by Sharon Flake
  • The Catcher in the Rye  by J. D. Salinger
  • Million-Dollar Throw by Mike Lupica
  • The Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins

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