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Pam Allyn's Best Books for Boys: How to Engage Boys in Reading in Ways That Will Change Their Lives Paperback – May 1, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
The keys to our son were graphic novels like Amulet and Bird and Squirrel, and other books listed here in this guide. He is absolutely in love with the Warriors series, Wayside school, and several other books here. I'm so glad I bought this book.
In her latest book, Pam focuses on books for boys. And for good reason. She begins her book taking a look at why we should be focusing on boys literacy. According to recent studies, whether boys become readers or not has huge societal implications. Some of the statistics mentioned are staggering. For example, boys who are nonreaders are twice as likely to become incarcerated than boys who are readers.
But why are illiteracy rates for boys so out of control? Allyn goes on to discuss a myriad of reasons including preconceptions and stereotypes about boys, stringent classroom rules and standards, educational testing policies, and simply not asking what boys want to read. The question and answer section which followed was my favorite part of the book. Although I don't have a son, this section really made me look at this questions from a different perspective and I felt myself thinking these same ideas work with girls as well. As an avid read aloud advocate myself, I was thrilled to see Pam's answer to the question of when should you stop reading aloud ("Never!").
While I think this book was written mostly for educators, I really believe parents will find this an invaluable resource for themselves as well. It's well-written and easy to read. Like What To Read When, Best Books for Boys is also very well organized with the book recommendations being broken down by genre and reading level.
I hope dads will take an interest in this book. Dads play such a huge role in getting their children interested in reading and it's hard to find a better reading role model for boys than their dad (I have to say I think that works for girls as well!) All in all, this is a fantastic resource and worthy of your time.
Why the focus on books for boys? The author provides wonderful statistical information that answers this question. She shares one study done by the National Endowment for the Arts that showed that by 12th grade, boy's average 13 points lower than girls on proficiency tests.
One of the main things that I took away from this book is that teachers may not be giving boys books that they WANT to read. Boys should be allowed and even encouraged to read a variety of topics as well as genres. This can include video/computer games, sports page/magazines, comic books/graphic novels, text messages, web sites, and blogs. Another wonderful resource available in this book is an annotated list of book titles and series available that might interest boys. This list is broken up into emerging, developing, and maturing levels and into several topics, such as Action and Adventure and Comic Books and Graphic Novels. I plan to spend time this summer reorganizing my classroom library and adding in some of the books listed in Best Books for Boys that I know will interest my male students!
I highly recommend this book for all teachers. The extensive list of books sorted by level and topic will be something that I pull off the shelf to refer to for years to come. It is a wonderful resource for teachers for all grade school and middle school teachers!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
At the beginning of the book, Pam spends time explaining why we need to focus on...Read more
Pam Allyn has spent years encouraging kids to read.Read more