February 19, 2010

Books for Boys - revisited

I have read a number of articles lately about the dearth of books for boys, like this one in Education Week.

Authors Share Tips on How to Hook Boys on Books

Sorry, but I think these articles are missing the point.

There are some wonderful books for boys out there. Books with wonderful male main characters. Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, and Nick McIver to name a few. We just finished The Call of The Wild and are quickly moving through Robinson Crusoe. The books for boys are out there. I will admit they are not as numerous as books for girls, but part of me says, "Thank goodness." I don't need a boy's version of Twilight or How to Be Popular or The Summer I Turned Pretty.

In my opinion the problem is not that the books aren't out there. I think the problem is that we expect less of the boys and they meet those expectations. I will never forget the day my son came home with a choice from the library, selected just for him by the librarian ... Captain Underpants. This for a boy who had already finished The Chronicles of Narnia (in their original order he likes to say). I personally returned that book to the library and suggested if the librarian needed help in the library during my son's library time, I would be more than happy to come and volunteer (she never did call).

Why aren't we reading to our boys like we read to our girls? Why can't we send our boys off with adventure classics and show them that classic does not mean boring? Why don't we have mother/son book clubs just like we have mother/daughter book clubs? Why don't you take your son to a book signing?

I don't think the problem is a lack of books for boys. (But go ahead and bring them on ... if they are good we will read them.) I think the problem is that we read less with our boys and expect less of them. Let's be honest, the problem starts at home.

Are you in need of some great "Books for Boys" resources? Check out the side bar with some of my choices from Library Thing or follow these links ...

Boys Rule Boys Read!
Guys Read
Book Club 4 Boys

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