Came across this article in the Times Educational Supplement. Firstly praise for Gareth Summers who took the time to find out what the boys were interested in and doing something about it.
I get annoyed when I see reports/articles about boys not liking reading. In my opinion that is just not true in so many cases. The truth is they haven’t found something that really engages them.
Fortunately, in primary school there are many boys who want to be the next Wayne Rooney so there are books which cater for their interests, football! Dan Freedman’s Jamie Johnson series of books capture the trials and tribulations of a boy wanting to succeed as a professional footballer. These books have been very popular in our library but only after I drew the boys attention to them by having a football themed display. Tom Palmer is another author who writes ‘sports’ stories; Football academy being extremely popular and recently he has written books based around rugby.
Another genre which I introduced to our library was graphic novels. We have a collection of around 30 books, many of which are the classics like Treasure Island, Frankenstein, Alice in Wonderland. Again these books are very popular with the upper junior boys and they are not put off reading them because they are written in a style which appeals to them, a comic.
It is totally up to us as librarians and educators to engage every child with reading for pleasure. We need to have those conversations to find out what their interests are and start them on their journey to love reading!