Too often, I hear boys talk about how they don’t like to read. According to the Ontario Ministry of Education guide, Me Read? No Way! A Practical Guide to Improving Boys’ Literacy Skills, “nearly 50 per cent describe themselves as non-readers by the time they enter secondary school.”
Because of this trend, one of my goals when I wrote my latest novel, The Yo-Yo Prophet, was to write a book that young male readers would want to read. When I received this message from a mother of a 12-year-old, I was thrilled:
“My son LOVED The Yo-Yo Prophet and read it in record time. He even started playing with his yo-yo again and then recently made one. He highly recommends this book to his friends. It has initiated him reading every night at bedtime again and I am truly grateful for that.”
I’m so glad that The Yo-Yo Prophet inspired Lynn’s son to read again, and that it encouraged him to get his friends’ hooked, too. I hope that well-written books can repeat this pattern over and over again.
Finding literature to interest young male readers can be difficult, and some of us are guilty of picking books for boys that we think they ought to read, rather than books that reflect their interests.
James Moloney says in Boys and Books: “A good book for a boy is one he wants to read.”
If you’re looking for books for a young male reader, my suggestion is to take him to a bookstore and/or library regularly so he can pick books for himself. You can also encourage him to check out www.guysread.com, a website developed by author Jon Scieszka to connect boys with books.