Both the boys, though, absolutely love action heroes and all the movies, toys and comic books associated with those characters. And that fascination seems to be inching them ever closer into the category of people who read for pleasure because both have a great desire to know what is being said inside their comic books now. They have finally outgrown the stage at which little boys are happy enough to just look at the pictures and create their own stories inside their heads. Now, they want to know the real scoop and they have a new incentive to read on their own and for themselves.
Stacy Garfinkle, of the Washington Post, has noticed the same thing: that when it comes to boys, the reading material available to them makes more difference than anything else that a parent or teacher can offer.
When it comes to instilling a love of reading, husband and I have done everything right -- or so we thought. We read together with the boys during the day and at bedtime. We go to the library regularly as a family. And through the years, the boys have shown their love of books by falling asleep with piles of children's page turners on their beds....
But when it comes to getting 6-year-old to actually read by himself, well, that's another matter entirely. Early reading books simply aren't engaging him.
According to Jon Scieszka, I'm not alone in having a boy who is not finding reading material that truly engages him. Scieszka, who spent years teaching, is the author of "The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales" and is the Library of Congress' first national ambassador for children's books. He'll be in Washington this Saturday for the National Book Festival on the mall from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m....
"We've had this problem with boys not achieving and reading for a long time," Scieszka says, noting that although we're generalizing about boys, there are always exceptions.
The biggest change we can all make in giving boys a love of reading is to expand our definition of reading beyond fiction, Scieszka says. Research shows that boys will read with their friends and want to be readers, but they want it on their terms. "They'd rather read nonfiction or humor, graphic novels, science fiction, action adventure, audio books, or online reading and magazines," Scieszka says. Much of this reading, boys don't even think of as reading, he notes. Also key: Include boys in choosing their reading material. Often books that were favorites of mom or teachers (who are mostly female) and librarians (also, mostly female) will feel like "going to the dentist" for boys, Scieszka asserts.Take a look at the article, especially if you have young boys in the family, for a few suggestions of books that should create some reading enthusiasm in little boy readers.