Why you rarely see a boy reading and what you can do about it....
"Reading? It's boring, Mum! I just want to go outside and play!"
Ah yes.. I know.. I've been there. I feel your pain.
For a long time, and despite an early introduction to books and reading, my son refused to read fiction or for any book for enjoyment. Well, he did read non-fiction and he said it was enjoyable, but never fiction. So, I guess he was reading. But this is so typical of boys.
Research tells us that, in general, boys:
But don't despair!
Check out the following hints and you may find it difficult to get your son's nose out of a book. I'd also like to introduce you to Charge to Glory, one of the Time Crashes Choose Your Own Ending books by H.Michael Brewer. (Choose your own adventure-style books were a game-changer for my own son!)
Boys crave action and adventure
Most boys have enough problems with just sitting still for any length of time. (They just want to be doing something physical.) So any book they read needs to include the same sort of action and adventure. If they're not actually doing it, at least they want to read about someone else doing it. So, encourage your son or grandson to read a book that you know is filled with action.
Boys like books and heroes that match their image of themselves.
I really don't think that this is any different from anyone else. We all like to imagine ourselves as the hero or heroine so it makes sense to look for books that boys can relate to.
A good book is a rollicking yarn that tweaks his sense of adventure and absorbs him so completely that he battles alongside the hero and rejoices in the final victory as if it was his own. -James Moloney
The length of a book can be daunting.
Especially if boys are not in the habit of reading books, a book with a lot of pages, or with print that is too small, can be daunting. Check that the book has plenty of white space, too, on the pages. If it includes illustrations, maps or diagrams, it's even better as boys are often visual learners. (I know, I know... there are lots of exceptions butdon't take my word for it.)
Be creative in your approach to boys and books
There are creative ways to encourage boys to read more books. First, boys like a role-model so ensure that there are plenty of others, including dad, reading books. Second: try turning reading into an event. Plan an action-filled afternoon. And then, perhaps camp out with toasted marshmallow etc followed by reading a chapter or two from a well-chosen book.
I found it helpful to load up a few bowls with potato chips and snacks and read to my kids, while they enjoyed the snacks.
But make sure you choose a good book.
And a good one to consider isCharge to Glory. It's one of Time Crashers series and it's a choose your own ending. If you're unacquainted with this style of book, it means that, throughout the book, there are pages where the reader must make a choice about how they think the adventure should develop. Depending on their choice, they flip through to a different page for the story to continue. This is great for boys! They are involved in the story development. (It also makes them think that they'll get through the story faster, although I've found that they often go back and choose another ending, too.)
This series involves Ethan Conway and his friends as they travel through time using a time machine to find Ethan's dad who is trapped somewhere in the past. Not only is the plot exciting, but the book includes plenty of other activities to keep the reader focused. The book is filled with exciting illustrations, codes to decipher and puzzles that also encourage the reader to find Bible references and verses. And... the reader gains historical and biblical knowledge and understanding as he works through the consequences of his decisions throughout the book.
So... do you think this book sound exciting enough to hold a reader's attention?
Listen to the introduction to the book and decide yourself!
"Can the boys survive long enough to find Dr Conway? That's in your hands. You are the fourth Time Crasher. If you have the guts, you can join Ethan, Jake, and Spencer as they tumble through the centuries. If you make this trip, you'd better have a quick mind and a brave heart. History is filled with dangers you've never dreamed of. The difference between life and death may depend on a split-second decision. The Time Crashers are counting on you to help make those choices. Will you think things through? Will you follow your feelings? Will you play a hunch? When sabre-toothed tigers are charging or swords are slashing, you'll need every ounce of bravery to choose a path and see it through. It's not too late to turn back!"
TIME CRASHERS: Charge to Glory
One of the Choose Your Own Ending series
Author: Michael Brewer
Publisher: Rose Publishing
(Copy provided for a honest review.)
Read review on GoodReads.