Essay on Boys and Reading

Essay on Boys and Reading

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“According to some experts, nearly 50 per cent (of boys) describe themselves as non-readers by the time they enter secondary school.” (Ontario Ministry of Education, 2004, p. 5) Thomas Newkirk says in his interview with James Preller in In the Classroom, Interviews & Appreciations, The Gender Gap in Reading, “Reading well is so tied to school success — and to liking school — that it is unethical to write off a big percentage of boys as non-readers. It may have been possible in previous times to drop out or barely finish school and go on to good jobs. But that is not the case now.” (Preller, 2011) Evidence of the need to deal with this locally can be found in the test scores of middle school boys and circulation statistics at my middle school library. Me Read? No Way! suggests strategies to engage boys in developing literacy skills by engaging them in reading: be mindful of boys’ reading preferences; give students a voice in choosing the books you acquire; encourage boys to recommend their favourite text; and establish web-based clubs in libraries…to review books. (Ontario Ministry of Education, 2004) Michael Sullivan makes it clear that “if we want to transform boys into lifelong readers, we need to discover what makes them tick.” (Sullivan, 2004, p.36) Boys’s reading preferences are itemized by Michael Smith in Reading don’t fix no chevys. Boys are more inclined to read: informational texts, magazine and newspaper articles, comic books and graphic novels, escapism, humour, science-fiction and fantasy. (Smith, 2002, p.11) Simply put, “Buy books that the boys want to read.” (Jones, 2003, p.11)
I have listened to my students reading wishes and collected titles my students would like to read from the first days of my career as a t...

... middle of paper ...

...o institute for studies in education . (2007). Boys' literacy teacher inquiry: Work
plan support booklet-October 2007. Toronto: OISE.

Ontario Ministry of Education. (2004). Me read? No way?: a practical guide to improving
boys' literacy skills. Toronto: Queen's Printer for Ontario.

Ontario School Library Association. (2010). Together for learning: school libraries and
the emergence of the learning commons : a vision for the 21st century. Toronto:
Ontario School Library Association.

Preller, J. (2011, March 6). James Preller Interviews . . . Thomas Newkirk, author of
“Misreading masculinity: Boys, literacy, and popular culture”. (T. Newkirk,

Smith, M. W. (2002). Reading don't fix no chevys. Portsmouth NH: Heinemann.

Sullivan, M. (2004). Why Johnny won't read. School Library Journal , 36 -39.

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