August 14, 2008

Getting Boys to Read – Gore and Farting?

In an August 8th Wall Street Journal article, the author, John Hechinger, claims that really gross books may be part of the answer! He the article explores the challenge of getting boys to read and what publishers are doing to reach out to them. Hechinger discovered that, Publishers are hawking more gory and gross books to appeal to an elusive market: boys -- many of whom would rather go to the dentist than crack open “Little House on the Prairie.”

The article explains that, Prof. Wilhelm tracked boys' reading habits for five years ending in 2005 and found that schools failed to meet their "motivational needs." Prof. Wilhelm discovered that Teachers assigned novels about relationships, such as marriage, that appealed to girls but bored boys. His survey of academic research found boys more likely to read nonfiction, especially about sports and other activities they enjoy, as well as funny, edgy fiction.

If you have a boy in your life you may want to read the whole article at this link. You may also want to pick up a copy of Sir Fartsalot Hunts the Booger by Kevin Bolger, and do your own research.


  1. Antonello6:29 AM

    Dear Friends,

    If you're interested in getting fathers and male care-givers in reading with their children, take a look at:

    This issue of the National Literacy Trust magazine, aimed at professionals who work with parents, contains lots of ideas for getting fathers and male carers reading with their children. This issue of the magazine is titled, Getting the Blokes on Board. A PDF of it can be downloaded at: Getting the Blokes on Board

  2. Author Neil Chethik has sent an article he had published in the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader this past father's day. It reports on the research done by a Texas A&M University study of 300 dads, and speaks to the power of the bonds that are created when fathers read to their children.

    You can read his article at this link:

    Neil Chethik is the author of VoiceMale: What Men Really Think About Their Marriages, and FatherLoss: How Men Deal With the Deaths of Their Dads

  3. Baba Mustafa3:32 PM

    I've found the secret to getting boys to reading to them and with them. And when we read to them, we should be as engaging and animated as our adult ego's will allow us to be.

    A favorite for the boys at our summer camp and after school mentoring program are mysteries, scary stories and Aesop's fables. Boys seem to like stories where they have to guess the ending or figure out the moral of the story...but what they appreciate most is that we care enough to take time away from our hectic lives and phony baloney jobs to sit on the floor and share a few words they will treasure for a lifetime.

    Peace and Blessings,
    Baba Mustafa


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