Thursday, May 17, 2007

Boys Into Books

Getting boys to read and keeping them at it is a huge challenge.

In the UK it's been found that:
... boys who were enthusiastic readers at primary school tend to put down their books and forget to pick them up again.
To help combat the problem, the School Library Association has compiled a list of 160 titles expected will appeal to the 11-to-14 age group to encourage boys to read for pleasure. Some are old favourites, but many are newer classics, and according to the Guardian, every state school in the country is going to be allowed to choose any 20 of these books for:
... a dedicated "boys' bookshelf" in the library
The government initiative will cost £600,000 (RM 4,049,919).

The full list is here and I hope it will be useful to teacher, librarians, parents ... and bookshops on this side of the world too.


savante said...

Hey! I still read! Tons. About one in two days actually. Think it's just a matter of making books interesting enough for boys to enjoy.

Dean said...

I sailed, played rugby and cricket, tennis and soccer as a boy. And I loved it all. My big brother gave me his sci-fi paperbacks and I read a lot of Gerald Durrell.

I was more than slightly 'arty' at school, and got several drawing awards.

Then I went to uni.

My interest in books exploded. Henry Miller, Marquez, Nabokov thrilled me.

Kids will do what they feel like. It's fine if they never read before the age of 12.

Now, I do not have a stereo. When I'm not studying -- I complete this year -- I read at least two books weekly.

But you can't force kids to get here. They must want it.

bibliobibuli said...

agree with you both. create the opportunity, make great books available and then don't stress about it.

but there is a problem. there is a reading gender gap. and a lot of kids simply do drop out of reading.

in malaysia a more likely problem is that boys never really start to get hooked on books. school libraries have very little, public libraries aren't really used and are understocked, books are expensive to buy, many parents haven't a clue what to buy anyway, bookshops don't have the staff to advise ...

... a list like this might just give those folks a place to start ... :-D

bibliobibuli said...

oh ... and dean, i grew up on gerald durrell. must blog about hium another day.

and oh - it's great that you played rugby. good game!

lil ms d said...

i loved gerald durrell. captain biggles. the hardy boys. the dr doolittle series. tintin and asterix. and i agree with what the gentlemen have said here - there are more girly wirly books which are rather sickening to read - boys, makeup etc - there are hardly any good books for young men. i know because it's tough for me to buy books for my nephew. they have loads of spidermen books tho and that's really not where i'm heading!

but you must get the dangerous book for boys!

SecretHistory said...

Read books? Bah. Boys don't read books. Boys hit each other. Boys kill insects for fun. Boys jump into the river and swim.

Reading? That abnormal. Human beings are not made to sit in a comfy chair and look at dots and lines and curves that has been preset to have a certain meaning.

Boys are suppose to play games in the jungle. They don't need to know about Mowgli.

Boys are suppose to know how to cheat people. They don't need to know about Kinbote.

Boys are suppose to lust after girls. They don't need to know about Lolita.

Boys are suppose to know what the society is and what the society wants and how they can help them. They don't need to know about Napoleon and Snowball.

In fact, if boys read they would know how to destroy books and the temperature where they burn. But they will never touch the hottest Bradbury.

Anonymous said...

Isn't this discrimination ? :D where are the fussy fastidious ? they need to raise a big stink about it for my personal enjoyment :D