I read an interview with Jon Scieszka in the Horn Book Magazine September/October 2007 special edition on boys and girls, and in it was the link to his website Guys Read. (Go ahead, click it! You know you want to!) Basically- Jon Scieszka is an advocate for getting guys to read. There aresome suggested books for young guys, middle guys, and older guys.
So I got to thinking- why is it so hard to get a guy to read? Do girls like to read more? Is it easier to write books for girls?
According to Scieszka, its not that guys don’t like to read-they just read for different reasons and enjoy reading things like comics, graphic novels, non-fiction, etc.
In my quest to get more info, I turned to one of my guy friends (taken straight from our AIM chat so excuse the lack of sentence structure, proper grammar, etc)…
Him: what sort of “guys reading” stuff are you looking for?
Me: mmm idk… why some guys may not like reading…what they preferred reading instead…things like that
Him: boys have been encouraged to be active, into sports, etc-reading carries the “nerd stigma” [note from me: it really doesn’t but meh you know how it is when you’re in school L]the trick is to give them books about what they’re interested in-dragons, or space combat, or dinosaurs, or adventure, or whateverlisten to what kind of games they make up, and find books like that
Me: mmmm interestingand yes, that is exactly what I am looking for
Him: I read a ton as a kid, though…and played soccer. kids who play Halo? there are books [Halo: First Strike & Halo: the Flood are two that CCLS own]to set the backstory for the game-and then segue into Orson Scott Card’s “Ender’s Game” to teach them about literary influences
there are warcraft books, of course. [Hey, it’s me again-these ‘warcraft’ books? from the online game World of Warcraft of which I have unfortunately sold my soul L. Halo is an XBox game. Halo is rated M for Mature, WoW is rated T for Teen]
kids like animals? Watership Down!
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh, too
There’s also all sorts of non-fiction-sports biographies, etc.
And thinking about it, it all makes sense in the end! They like video games? Find a book, or in some cases a comic or graphic novel, based on that! They like the Star Wars movies? We have a whole series of Jedi Apprentice books, not to mention some adult fiction Star Wars books.
So yeah, in the end, find the guy’s interest, and find a book that relates. Don’t push them, but encourage them to reading-if they want to, they will. But, if you still want a bit of help, take a peek these books!
Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
Alex Rider by Anthony Horowitz
Stargirl & Loser by Jerry Spinelli [Granted Stargirl is about a girl, but written from a guy’s point of view.]
The Contender by Robert Lipstye
Moves Make the Man by Bruce Brooks
Every Man for Himself: 10 Short Stories about Being a Guy
Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan
Pendragon series by D.J. Machale
Other items of interest:
Maybe he might like sports (796s) or war info (350s) or automobiles (629s) or want to know how things work (600s and 604-609s), or maybe drawing (741.5 & 743.6), or any number of things.
Till next time-keep flipping those pages!