Author: Pam Allyn
While most of this book is a handy guide of age-appropriate books for boys, it also contains great information on, as the cover says, “how to engage boys in reading in ways that will change their lives.”
As the mother of a little boy, I appreciated how this book opened my eyes to some challenges boys may face in a “reading world”. It also helped me redefine my expectations as to what reading should look like.
Parts I Liked Best:
The author introduces an acroynm to help us know how to make reading a fun and life-long habit for boys. It is READ.
R: Ritual – Make reading out loud together something you do everyday. Age doesn’t matter; it’s never too late to start, even with struggling readers.
E: Environment – create a space for reading. Be creative about what works. This was really interesting to me; boys usually have high energy so it’s okay if they prefer to stand while they read or read part of the book and then act it out or take a break. Consider the lighting of the room, or if they prefer background music or reading with a friend.
A: Access – Surround boys with the right kinds of books. The majority of the book is an annotated list of favorite books for boys that is really helpful. It groups the books by genre and by reading level, emerging, developing and mature. The author also stresses that we tend to overlook other types of reading (that totally count) like magazines, comics, instruction manuals, computers and baseball cards.
D: Dialouge – Give boys opportunities to talk about what they read, either with you or through a book club or a pen pal.
How This Book Made an Impact In My Life, Especially as a Mother (or why I just really liked it):
There were many books listed that brought back fond memories for me and I thought, “Oh yeah, a boy would totally like that.” So I gave this book the real test and selected some books I didn’t recognize from the emerging reader category in several different genres for my five-year-old son. I was pleasantly surprised that many of the titles listed were available at my local library. We went and got the books and it was fun. There were several books I may not have picked up at first glance but that my son ended up liking. I found this book very interesting and helpful and would recommend it to any mother with boys.
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