If you have not been to the site before, their mission is stated as being “Our mission is to motivate boys to read by connecting them with materials they will want to read, in ways they like to read.”
They have a number of points about encouraging boys to read but the second one (and one that I have been arguing for) is
2. Expand our definition of reading.
Include boy-friendly nonfiction, humor, comics, graphic novels, action-adventure, magazines, websites, audiobooks, and newspapers in school reading. Let boys know that all these materials count as reading.
I also really endorse their third point as well and that is the one about giving our boys some choice, they thrive on it! I also believe that role modelling reading, especially male role models have a great effect on boys. I can’t do the male bit but I try to read and discuss the books , and whether I like them or not and why.
Talking with some boys yesterday they asked me about reading. For instance, had I read the Twilight books? I answered yes but…. I find them interesting but not the greatest reads although they are somehow compelling when you are reading them. So what did I like to read, blood, guts and gore like a few of them? I talked about some of the historical books (they did have some blood and gore in them), science fiction and books set during in wartime (yes bg&g there) and crime/detective and mystery stories (often a murder or two) so we all had to agree that my reading did involve often involve blood, guts and gore. I hadn’t quite thought of it in that way before but they seemed quite satisfied that I read stuff like them!
From the Guys Read site boys can get tips for great reads, rate their favourite books and there are plenty of links to other fun sites.
Some of the ideas for engaging boys include:
- Great Book Suggestions. “This is the place to come if you’re looking for something to get a guy reading. We’ve collected recommendations from teachers, librarians, booksellers, publishers, parents, and guys themselves.”
- The Author page is good for finding the author’s homepage or about books they have written
- If you prefer to listen to a book being read, try Guys listen.
- The readers of the Guys Read site are asked how they rate the books found in the site. The results are given here on the Guys Read Top 20. To vote you, visit any book page and vote in the “What Do You Think?” section. You can vote as often as you like and the votes tell us which books the readers think guys should be reading!
- Stats and Facts on Boys and Reading. Odd details and ideas.
If you have not been here it is worth having a look and better still take your boys there.