Tag Archives: teach

Boys Don’t Like to Read


Recently I have talked with many parents of boys who are lamenting the fact that their boys don’t like to read. In general, as a librarian, I find this to be true. I raised three boys myself. One of them is still a reader at age 25. My oldest son loved to read, but was turned off in Middle School by the Accelerated Reader program. The youngest of the three was an excellent reader, but just didn’t like it. Of course, I tried to influence all of them to read, but no matter what, this is not always a battle that can be won.

So how do we get these boys to read? I really believe that it is important to find the right books for them.

My youngest son latched onto books by Gary Paulsen. He loved the adventure he found in the Hatchet series. Thankfully, he had a sixth grade teacher that allowed him to read nothing by Paulsen all year! He even wrote him a letter.

Reading needs to be fun, interesting, and enjoyable. I have found that boys, in general, read boy books. Girls ( subject for a future blog) will read just about anything. So just what will entice boys to read? I’ve thought about this long and hard and come up with the following list:

  • Superheros
  • Underwear
  • Gross subjects
  • Scary books
  • Animal books
  • Sports
  • Survival stories
  • Graphic Novels
  • Humor (especially if it includes underwear)

With this list in mind, here are a few of the favorites in my elementary school library.

ABC Superhero

I can’t keep ABC Superhero in the library. The pictures are appealing to all ages and I use it to teach alliteration. We are on our 3rd copy because the students have literally worn it out! Recommended for ages 5-8.

Captain Underpants

The Captain Underpants series is filled with potty humor. I, personally, don’t see the attraction, but then, I am a girl and a grown-up. 8 – 12 year olds seem to love this series.

Melvin Beederman

Another series involving both underpants and superheros is Melvin Beederman.What could be better? While this series is written on about a 3rd grade level, I find that ages 8-11 love it. Greg Trine is also the author of several other series that will appeal to this age group.

Really Really Gross Jokes

All kids love jokes and these are really really gross. Beware though, children will be making up jokes of their own after reading this and they will not always make any sense. Just laugh…

Scary books for the younger set include these and many others.

therewasanoldmonster dogzilla hiccups




Slightly older boys will enjoy both the Dragonbreath and Bunnicula series.

Don’t worry! As their reading improves, their taste may also, but now that I think about all of the adult men I know….Oh well, boys will be boys!


Why do I teach?


This is a question that I ask myself every day. I love teaching and I love learning.  Over the years, I have both loved and hated my job. I teach at a Title 1 school that is currently listed as a failing school. My excitement for teaching is high and I have very high expectations of my students. Behavior is the toughest issue because we have many children with mental and learning disabilities. If a child does not read on grade level by the end of third grade, they are 4 times less likely as their peers to graduate from high school by the age of 19. When poverty is figured into the equation, they are 13 times less likely to graduate.This information was posted in a study by the Anne E. Casey Foundation titled Double Jeopardy: How Third-Grade Reading Skills and Poverty Influence High School Graduation.

What I find is that many of our students do not really care about doing well in school. This often stems from home, where students are not read to by their parents. They do not have the positive, scholarly role models that they need in order to elevate school to the level of importance that it needs to have. Many days, I find my self becoming frustrated because of the disruptions that cause all students in my classes to be distracted and unwilling to participate. Usually, when I am at the end of my rope, something happens to excite me about teaching. Each day, I try to think through the day and remember those times when the bulb came on for a child. Last week, one of my poorer readers got truly excited about the infographics lesson that I was teaching. He immediately related to and understood the concept. I also had a couple of really sweet letters and cards from students for no apparent reason. These will always make my day!

studentletter    studentcard