|Casper Journal Articles
From the Natrona County Public Library
Enticing Boys to Read
By Kevin Kocur, Reference Librarian
December 12, 2007
In a world full of bugs, airplanes, camouflage and hot-wheels, reading can seem like a lackluster activity to many boys. As parents, teachers, and concerned adults know, the skills developed by reading are essential for success in school and later in business, as well as providing a pleasurable avenue for life-long learning. So how do we get boys to read?
Here are a few good suggestions:
1. Encourage adult males to read. Leading by example goes a long way.
2. Boys gravitate towards non-fiction.
3. Books on CD are great for reluctant readers.
4. It is alright to reread favorite books.
Many boys prefer reading nonfiction over fiction. “The Dangerous Book for Boys,” by Conn Iggulden is a great example. Iggulden recaptures the innocence of yesteryear in a user friendly guide on what it takes to be a boy. This eclectic compilation includes lessons on how to make a periscope, coin tricks, simple grammar lessons and general wisdom for boys.
The Guinness Book of World Records is another nonfiction favorite that boys frequently come looking for. Other books that will appeal to the curious are “Oh, Yuck! The Encyclopedia of Everything Nasty,” “Ripley’s Believe It or Not” books, “The New Way Things Work,” “Amazing Escapes!” and “Phineas Gage,” a thrilling look at how the brain works.
Fiction books with active themes attract boys as well. Two series that have been of interest recently are the “Bionicle” books and the “Transformers” series. They may not be Shakespeare-level reading, but their themes can spark a young boy’s interest in pursuing more prestigious fare later on.
If Harry Potter caught their fancy show them “The Underland Chronicles” by Suzanne Collins or the “Children of the Red King” series by Jenny Nimmo. For those with a great imagination, “The Neddiad,” by Daniel Pinkwater is highly recommended. The new Golden Compass movie can be a great opportunity to get older boys interested in Phillip Pullman’s “His Dark Materials” series.
In addition to the library’s great collection of books, we will be kicking-off a book club just for boys in February. This is not your typical book club where participants sit in a circle and talk about topics that boys often consider “boring.” The club will focus on books that connect to boys’ interests, enhanced by special guests, interactive discussions, and lively activities relating to topics in the books.
Another way to get boys interested in the library is the next “No Girls Allowed” event to be held Thursday, January 4th. Boys are encouraged to bring their male role models to the library to play chess, Runescape and Guitar Hero. The same events held twice last August drew over one hundred participants. The events offer boys and men a chance spend time together in a positive environment, filled with opportunities and suggestions for cultivating reading as a shared interest.
For those ladies who may be feeling left out, you’ll be glad to hear that we have also been planning “Just for Girls” events, to begin January 2nd. These events will provide a similar avenue for young girls and their female role models to spend quality time together at the library. Please call 577-READ for more information about NCPL’s reading initiatives.
Back to Table of Contents