Secondary Solutions

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Helping to make boys “readers”

I just finished reading an interesting article from the New York Times this morning about helping boys to become “readers” (Boys and Reading, Is There Any Hope?).   There is no question that there is a huge output of Young Adult fiction today.  In fact, as the article mentions, it seems as if the genre of Young Adult fiction is surpassing the interest in Adult fiction today.  This made me think of The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins) trilogy.  I still cannot get those characters out of my mind…The Hunger Games has moved toward the top of my “all-time” favorites list, for sure.

So, what do we as teachers do to help support and encourage these boys who feel reading is a “girl” thing?  We need to have a list of books that appeal to boys that pique their interest.  Here are some books that I recommend to help interest and engage boys in middle and high school.  Please feel free to make your own recommendations – especially for non-fiction, as my personal list is definitely lacking!  I would love to have a huge list of both fiction and non-fiction to share with other teachers struggling with the same problem.

Here is my list (in no particular order)

Beowulf A Separate Peace
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Oedipus Rex Hatchet Hobbit
Monster The Chocolate War Touching Spirit Bear
Dracula Frankenstein Maniac Magee
Holes Lord of the Flies The Hunger Games
The Catcher in the Rye 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Fahrenheit 451
Nothing but the Truth Crash Bud, Not Buddy
Freak the Mighty Eragon Johnny Tremain
The Outsiders The Jungle Always Running

Recommended websites with booklists and other resources:

Guysread.com (look under “Books for Guys” for a list by interest; Warning: not all are “classroom” approved, or even high-quality)
“A web-based literacy program for boys.  Our mission is to help boys become self-motivated, lifelong readers.”
Multnomah County Library “Good Books for Guys”
Includes list of both fiction and nonfiction for boys, categorized by age group
Young Adult Library Services Division of American Library Association
List of Award winners and recommended books for 2011 so far.  You can also access past winners and lists.
International Reading Association
Book lists, including “Teachers’ Choices” and “Young Adult Choices”

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7 Responses to Helping to make boys “readers”

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