Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Reading Club – No Girls Allowed!

Research continues to show that boys have more trouble reading than girls and, even more troubling, that boys’ reading skills are worsening. Instead of wringing his hands, inimitable children’s author Jon Scieszka (the genius behind The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, The Time Warp Trio series, and other much-loved books) took action. Guys Read, a website rich with resources for bringing books to boys, was the result.

The homepage states, “research…shows that boys will read – if they are given reading that interests them,” and the site puts its money where its mouth is by offering a huge, diverse list of all kinds of books that, according to the site, “guys have told us they like.” The list is divided into categories, some familiar (Historical Figures, Funny) but many that are delightfully unexpected (Dragons, Mysterious Occurrences, At Least One Explosion). The lists are not categorized by reading level, alas, but there is a list called “For Little Guys” that should be helpful for guys who are early readers. Older guys will have to click on titles that seem appealing to them to find information about the book’s genre, how many pages it has, and what ages the book would be most appropriate for. They can even rate the book if they've already read it to help other guys. The lists are huge and varied, ranging from picture books like Jumanji to the wonderful tomes that make up the Redwall series. In addition to all these suggestions, Guys Read selects a Book of the Month, which is featured on the homepage. Looking for another way to find great titles for guys? Check out the “This Guy Reads” section, which features male authors’ lists of favorite books.

Jon Scieszka

The site provides resources even if a guy isn't in a reading mood. “Guys Listen” contains a list of audiobooks that might catch a guy’s fancy. And “More Stuff for Guys” includes drawing lessons, comics, and a link to an archive of back issues of National Geographic magazines.

Whether the guys in your life are book lovers or reluctant readers, they’re sure to love Guys Read.

Above images CC by Jon Scieszka

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