Reading & Literacy Opinion

Read Kiddo Read

By Richard Whitmire — September 28, 2011 1 min read
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Interesting website run by author James Patterson.

An interview with Patterson at CNN:

Speaking of boys, here's how to get reluctant readers -- er, boys -- reading and loving it. First, try to understand that boys can be a little squirrelly when it comes to reading, and what's squirrelly about them needs to be praised and encouraged. Boys should be made to feel all squishy inside about reading graphic novels, comics, pop-ups, joke books, and general-information tomes -- especially the last. GuysRead.com has categories such as "Robots," "How to Build Stuff," "Outer Space, but with Aliens," and "At Least One Explosion." It's a wonderful site for finding books that will turn boys on to reading. Teachers and school administrators might want to consider this: in many schools, there's a tendency not to reward boys for reading books like "Guinness World Records" or "Sports Illustrated Almanac" or "The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock and Roll." Too often, boy-appealing books are disproportionately overlooked on recommended reading lists. Big mistake. Tragic mistake. Avoidable mistake. It's all about attitude. If your kids' school library isn't a boy magnet, the school probably needs to check its attitude. Where to find books your kids will gobble up. ReadKiddoRead.com, GuysRead.com, and Oprah.com's Kids Reading List are excellent resources, and they're simpler to use than an iPhone. The American Library Association and the Young Adult Library Services Association have recommendations for terrific books, easily found by searching "ALA reading lists." DropEverythingandRead.com has a "Favorite D.E.A.R. Books" tab on its home page. Most libraries and bookstores are extremely generous with their time and help. Kids and parents should visit Scholastic and other book fairs. Free or low-cost books for schools are available (while supplies last) at ReadKiddoRead.com, FirstBook.org, and ReadertoReader.org.

Early in the interview Patterson states emphatically that it is the responsibility of parents, not schools, to get their children reading. He’s right about that. And that’s especially true for sons, who are less likely to find interesting reading at school.

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The opinions expressed in Why Boys Fail are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.