Getting boys to read

Posted on: 04/06/2012

As long as I have been teaching I have constantly heard comments, complaints and concerns from parents and teachers alike about the struggle to get boys to read.  It’s a problem worldwide and of course there is no easy solution.  I came across this article, which although several years old highlights the problem.  It makes really interesting reading and offers a number of suggestions, the main one being as long as they are reading we shouldn’t be too concerned about what they are reading (within reason!).

I have spent a long time choosing books which hopefully appeal to boys (as well as girls)  including  non-fiction, comic strip style stories and authors such as Roald Dahl and David Walliams who have exciting and funny stories.  I also have a number of adventure and scary stories which have always gripped children and their desire to find out what happens keeps them reading.  It just takes one good author to interest a child to get them reading more.  JK Rowling hooked a generation with Harry Potter and I have worked with a number of classes who could not get enough of Darren Shan’s Cirque Du Freak series and Peter J Murray’s Mokee Joe trilogy.

If you cannot get your child to read try taking them to a book shop and giving them time to browse, find out what subject they are interested in and look for related books.  Do not be concerned if they choose books which are slightly below their level or they only want non fiction.  As long as they are reading they are still developing their fluency, vocabulary, word recognition and understanding of the world around them.

Finally remember you are your child’s most influential teacher, if you want your child to read then they need to see you reading whether on your own or with them.


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