Monday, February 15, 2010

#15- Hooking Boys on Reading

I am a fan of any book that will make my boys head to the school or closest public library in search of a copy. This is the phenomenon that is happening in my classroom right now. As soon as I heard they were making a movie of Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightening Thief, I decided to grab a copy of the book to do a read aloud in my classroom. I figured many of them would go see the movie, so I decided to use this as a way of introducing them to the series. My boys were hooked by the time I had finished the first chapter. Within a few days, several of them had borrowed or purchased a copy (the whole series is available in paperback at Kmart) and were reading along with me. And by the end of the first week, two of them had finished the book on their own. SCORE!!!

The same thing happened both this year and last year when I read James Patterson's The Dangerous Day's of Daniel X. And this year I read and reviewed the second of series, Daniel X- Watch the Skies. But it is a little intense for my 3rd graders so I didn't read it to them. I do have my copy in the classroom and several have borrowed it.

But good books for boys are not as easy to find, especially books in a series that boys will go back for time and time again. Sure, my boys love the Captain Underpants books and Diary of A Wimpy Kid series. But real books that they can get lost in, are harder to find. So I am always on the lookout for great books to introduce to my boys. Aside from the ones I have already mentioned, I would also recommend several series by Andy Griffiths such a The Day My Butt Went Psycho and Zombie Butts From Uranus. Now, I know what you are thinking....they sound very inappropriate for elementary school boys, but you are wrong---that is who they are written for. They feed right into that boy humor and the boys love them.

And nothing gets me more excited than reading to my boys and seeing them on the edge of their seats waiting for me to read the next page, and the next, and the next. When they actually groan when I say it is time for me to stop reading, I know I have planted a seed in their hearts and minds that will hopefully grow into a love of reading. Sadly, most of my boys were probably not read to as children, like most of us read to our own children. Statistics show that boys are far less likely to pick up a book than girls. And while it has since been proven unfounded, I once read that prisons are built based on the number of boys who are failing reading in the 4th grade. This should make us all very uneasy.

I love reading...I always have. In fact friends often tease me because I am always reading something. Since I became a teacher, I have made it my personal goal to hook kids on show them the places they can visit and explore through a book. This is crucial to helping them become lifelong learners and readers. And it all starts with just the RIGHT book....and they are hooked.


Kaarin said...

Hey Patti! I know I just posted this on FB, but thought I'd share here, too. Karl finished reading the entire Percy Jackson series shortly after the start of this school year. He LOVED each book more and I had to struggle to pull him "out" of the story at times. I also got sucked in and was greatly entertained through the journeys of Percy and his friends. Karl also is into the Fire Series, by Chris D'Lacey. If your boys like dragons, they should love this. I've not yet read them, but plan to. Some classics - Karl is also reading "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," "Moby Dick" and "Journey to the Center of the Earth." He's trying to tackle "Beowolf," but that gets into all that old English/Shakespearean writing and is a little more difficult. But hey, a dragon is involved, so he's really trying! ;) These are some of our family fave reads. Hope they entice your boys to dive into something awesome, too. It is a great thing when they find something that really sucks them in! Wishing you continued success and loads of fun along the way!

Cindy said...

I love the fact that Jalen reads but he will only read non fiction books. I have bought him several diffrent fiction books and he hasn't even cracked them open. Michael has the whole series of Boxcar books and I can't get him to read them. But he will read and that makes me happy he's my history buff.

Debbie said...

You go Patti! Anything that gets kids into reading is the best.

max said...

It's so important to draw attention to reading, and attract reluctant readers to it,especially boys. In fact, I've recently completed a feature magazine article on this subject that came out in October, "Help for Struggling, Reluctant Readers."

I grew up as a reluctant reader, in spite of the fact that my father published over 70 books. Now I write action-adventures & mysteries, especially for tween boys, that avid boy readers and girls enjoy just as much.

My blog, Books for Boys is dedicated to drawing attention to the importance of reading. And my new book, Lost Island Smugglers - first in the Sam Butler Adventure Series - is coming out in June.

Keep up your good work.

Max Elliot Anderson

Mrs. B. said...

Thanks everyone for the great comments.
Kaarin- I am so glad to hear Karl loves to read. He is tackling some pretty heavy literature...but some great classics. That is awesome.

Cindy- Non-fiction is perfect for Jalen...keep encouraging him. Most boys his age will pick non-fiction over fiction but try him out in the percy Jackson series (tell him I recommended it!!).

Deb- Thanks..your girls are lucky that both you and Alex are avid readers!! They will get the love of reading from your both.

Mr. Anderson- I just posted on your blog. Thanks for stopping by and for the encouragement. I am looking forward to introducing my boys to your books!!