Monday, July 03, 2006

Boys want to read about sports and adventure

My post today was going to about some of the strategies parents can employ to foster the love of reading in their children.

During my research on the Internet on the subject, I came across the Guys Read, a US –based literacy programme that fosters love of reading and helps boys find the kind of reading material they might like.

In school reading lists, "we're promoting such a narrow version of literacy that we're not including what a lot of boys like," Guys Read founder and children’s author Jon Scieszka said.

Too true! I have noticed that most of my writing is for the Barbie set, which when you think about it, is unlikely to interest boys looking for something to read.

It makes sense, because I’m mother to a little girl, and I’m inspired to write to entertain a girl. If I had a son, perhaps my experience would be different.

However, if I plan to be a successful children’s writer who is read by boys and girls for pleasure, I need to take into consideration the fact that boys want to read about different things; things like sports (soccer, rugby, wrestling, karate), action adventures when they can pretend to be the heroes.

We writers and creators of books need to produce something that can interest boys to the extent that they are willing to leave the video game, CD player or computer long enough to read a book.

If we don’t, boys will read only because they have to (for school purposes) and not for pleasure. And that would be such a pity.

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