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Boy Writers: Reclaiming Their Voices

21 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1571104250
ISBN-10: 1571104259
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Editorial Reviews


"Although classroom teachers should find Fletcher's advice especially thought-provoking and useful, Boy Writers is written for a broader audience, including parents, teacher educators, literacy advocates and perhaps even policy makers and boys themselves." - Education Review

"A good read and well worth the time and money. Boy Writers would be good for teachers looking for a staff development study around gender-specific teaching strategies or writing improvement." - Teacher Learners Network

"Fletcher's book will surely keep me returning to his ideas time and time again. This book must be read by teachers (both male and female) in order to reach our boy writers." -

About the Author

Ralph Fletcher received his BA from Dartmouth College and his master's from Columbia University. A former member of the Teachers College Writing Project, he currently works as a consultant. The author of numerous books, he also presents at conferences in the United States and around the world


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Stenhouse Publishers (November 6, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1571104259
  • ISBN-13: 978-1571104250
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #125,719 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ralph Fletcher is a friend of young writers and readers as well as writing teachers. He has written or co-authored many books for writing teachers includng Writing Workshop: The Essential Guide, Teaching the Qualities of Writing, Lessons for the Writer's Notebook, Boy Writers: Reclaiming Their Voices, and Pyrotechnics on the Page: Playful Craft That Sparks Writing. Ralph has worked with teachers around the U.S. and abroad, helping them find wiser ways of teaching writing.

Ralph's many books for students include picture books (Twilight Comes Twice, Hello Harvest Moon, and The Sandman), novels (Fig Pudding, Flying Solo, and Spider Boy), poetry (A Writing Kind of Day and Moving Day), and a memoir, Marshfield Dreams: When I Was a Kid. His novel Uncle Daddy was awarded the Christopher medal in 2002. He has also written a popular series of books for young writers including Poetry Matters, Live Writing, and A Writer's Notebook. Ralph lives with his family in New Hampshire. He is a strong environmentalist who believes we all must work together to live in a more sustainable way. His other passions include travel, good food, dark chocolate, growing orchids, and sports.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By G. Stahl on September 7, 2007
Format: Paperback
Why 5 Stars for Boy Writers?

- Ralph Fletcher saw the urgency to address the unique needs of boys
- The book fulfills its mission to help parents and educators better understand the unique circumstances that apply to many boys.
- The chapters are SHORT and TARGET specific issues, supported by real-life writing samples, and conclude with a "What Can I Do In My Classroom?" quick-to-implement suggestions.
- Writing samples with comments from the author tap into a fountain of ideas.
- Fletchers qualifications (experience, expertise) are impressive, he is PERCEPTIVE and draws on a rich history working with young writers.
- This book leaves you with greater compassion for your son/student's writing struggles. The appearance of laziness/boredom does not equate to indifference with respect to being heard.
- Humorous anecdotes make the total package an enjoyable read!

While 'Boy Writers' does NOT provide all the answers to my questions in how to motivate my son to write (can anyone?), it certainly illuminates the path to guiding the budding writer - with wisdom and compassion - to make his voice heard.

I'm planning to order 5 more copies to give away to friends and teachers!

I would also suggest reading "Why Gender Matters" by Leonard Sax to review some of the research (most with a sound scientific basis) and solutions on how to develop a greater appreciation/understanding for the strengths as well as the developmental challenges of both genders.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Ken C. TOP 1000 REVIEWER on September 12, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having trouble with boys who don't much want to write? Don't get their humor? Don't understand their interests? Wondering how you can get more work out of them, perhaps?

Teachers with questions like these would do well to read a book like BOY WRITERS. Ralph Fletcher examines genres that boys like (humor, non-fiction, parody, for instance) and genres they don't (personal narrative and other pieces requiring reflection, for instance). Fletcher also provides tips on what to do should the boys push the envelope a bit in their writing (and they will).

If you feel that there's not much difference between the boys' and the girls' work in your class, then you may not need to read this unless you're interested in gender research as it applies to education. If, on the other hand, you are often baffled by the XY chromosomed ones, by all means buy this book. It may not only be an eye opener, it may be a possibility opener for the boys in your classroom. They'll thank you for it (well, not to your face, but you get the idea...).
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By M. Wood on November 17, 2008
Format: Paperback
Flecture's Boy Writers explains the discrepancy between girls and boys in classroom writing and provides educators with practical advise to help to decrease this discrepancy. Flecture urges educators to investigate why boys are not willing to write at the same level as girls. He makes personal connections with the reader through male children's writing and challenges us to allow boys freedom to write with out boundaries.
"Behavior is shaped by and maintained by its consequences" (Skinner, 1989). Boys writing behavior and disengage in writing has been shaped by the experiences with writing in their past. Educators that insulted their handwriting or discouraged them from using humor, fantasy, or violence in their works helped to form and maintain this behavior. Boy's low self-efficacy in writing will typically result in the work avoidance in classrooms today (McCabe, 2006). Bandura's theory the belief about one's competence on a prospective task will influence their behavior on this task hammers home the importance of the role of the educator in creating situations for boys to be successful in writing.
While presenting Boy Writers to a graduate class, teachers shared with me their experiences with boy writers. Teachers shared having boys struggle to put a few words on a page where girls would fill pages with descriptive quality writing. Many of the teachers in this class used writing workshop which Flecture supports and have found that boys are more willing to write when allowed freedom. Teachers also shared with me using the book Guys write for Guys Read edited Jon Scieszka and daily reading for text by Ronald Dahl to create a more guy friendly classroom and another teacher has a boys writing club and allows children to spend time writing in their club each day.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tiffany Lachenmayr on November 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
In Boy Writers: Reclaiming Their Voices, Fletcher set out to investigate why many boys are disengaged when it comes to writing and most importantly, what we can do, as educators, to engage boy writers. Fletcher obtained information about boy writers by interviewing and surveying boys of all ages, observing boys in writers' workshop, and interviewing and surveying approximately 100 teachers around the country. After compiling the data, Fletcher devised a list of common characteristics that boy writers posses. Then, Fletcher investigated when boys are engaged in writing (e.g. instant messaging, blogging, etc.) and determined how we could apply some of the same principles to writing in school (e.g. self-directed topic selection, content valued over mechanics, comfortable environment, etc.). Throughout the book, Fletcher included numerous suggestions for engaging boy writers. He even addressed issues of handwriting, humor, and violence.

As a fourth grade teacher and graduate student, I highly recommend this book. Boy Writers: Reclaiming Their Voices is "an easy read," includes humor, and contains pertinent, practical information for teachers to help reach boy writers. Boy Writers: Reclaiming Their Voices has the power to transform writing instruction and allow boy writers to reclaim their voices!
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