Sunday, December 6, 2009
Boys and reading
I've been doing some reading for my library degree on how to get boys to read more. And one of the big issues is that many librarians are women and simply don't relate (or even approve) of the types of books that boys like. The textbook I've been reading has a little section explaining why boys read what they do.
"Boys enjoy reading fantasy because the basic structure, borrowed from mythology, traces the path of an individual in search of his place in the world.
Action and adventure books do much the same, and these, like fantasy, contain active plot lines that speak to boys' active natures.
... much fantasy and adventure literature contains so much action that it tends towards violence but what we sometimes fail to see is that literature can be a positive vehicle for looking and dealing with such issues, and certainly a safer venue that the image-rich environment of the media or video games.
Boys love humor, especially the edgier kind that drives adults crazy. That, is of course, the point. Boys see the world comprised of rules and methods, dos and don'ts. They are inherently rule bound, so how can they tell where the lines are if they do not dance over them now and then?
Boys also like to read nonfiction, because it helps them to understand how the world around them works."
(Fundamentals of Children's Services, Michael Sullivan, 2005, pp 14 & 15)
Hope you find these insights helpful. I certainly felt it helped me understand what appeals to boys and not be too quick to judge the types of books that they like.
Labels: parenting boys