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Books that Boys like to Read

Books that Boys like to ReadGetting boys into reading can sometimes be easier said than done so I’ve assembled some great advice from a course we regularly run on Getting Boys into Reading which I hope will get you started. Choosing Topics that Appeal to Boys   All About ME! Boys like to read books that reflect their image of themselves – whay they aspire to be and aim to do. Funny Stuff Books that make boys laugh are usually a winner as are those that appeal to their sense of mischief.   Action Fiction Many boys prefer to read fiction to non-fiction, and fiction based on action tends to go down better than fiction based on emotion and relationships.  Look for books that use a narrative approach to tell a story that focuses on plot and action more than description. Looks Great! Sounds Great! Think beyond the simple words on the page.  Often boys can become engaged by books that are highly visual or which relate to visual media that they are familiar with such as films or cartoons.  Also, using books that draw on music can be a winner, providing the opportunity to develop literacy skills through an exploration of lyrics or rhyme. Series Books in a series, such as the Harry Potter series seem to provide boys with a sense of comfort and familiarity.  Series are also great for sustaining engagement, a boy will often return to the next book in a series to see what happens to a character he has already come to care about. Sci Fi and Fantasy Once they get going, many boys develop a real passion for science fiction or fantasy books Is it Quotable? Books that provide information boys can use in conversation such as jokes, fascinating facts or gruesome stories are great.  Boys in the playground are much like Men in the Pub!  Provide them with books that add to their repertoire of cool conversation! Think Beyond Books Newspapers, magazines, comic books, sports cards etc are all a great way to get boys reading.  Many boys do not consider themselves to be reading at all when they’re reading these types of things (often because these medium are not available or valued at school which is something to think about…). Youmay also be interested in this wide range of book suggestions crowd sourced by @Colport and this list of Picture Books, Comics and Graphic Novels by @literacyadvisor
What are your top tips for getting boys into reading? Which books have boys in your class particularly enjoyed?

  • I’ve always found that the Marvel comics are a good place to start – stories of ‘good v evil’ and discussions around the ‘hidden meanings’ in imagery of the key characters. This can be linked back to key exam text as well.
    There’s also the opportunity to engage students in their own story telling through developing comic strips; as there’s not huge amounts of written words, they need to think carefully of how to structure their ‘story’!

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  • Emma Bird

    I am the mother of a very reluctant reader who is now a teenager. A few years ago we hit on Captain Underpants which were brilliant. Then we moved onto the Beano followed by graphic novels. We also listened to audio books particularly David Tennant reading How to train your dragon. We have struggled now he has hit 13 but I have just discovered the Cherub series of books that he won’t put down.

  • Rose

    I have found that boys like non-fiction a great deal. Magazines, like Kids Discover, National Geographic for kids, Top Secret Adventures by Highlights, have been favorites for my 10-year old boy. They satisy his hunger for information, but are also short, visual and have lots of interesting stuff.

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