Saturday, October 16, 2004

Books for Boys - A Theme to Come

Google Search: reading boys

This Google search is remarkable for the crummy resulst. I'm sure I'll find something sooner or later, but at the moment pickings are slim. One web site that sounded potentially interesting uses a bizarre Flash interface. Another site uses the Columbine massacre as a reason why one should not resort to action oriented books for boys disinterested in relationship oriented texts.



Many boys, and some girls, just aren't interested in books about animals, or profound relationships, or natural wisdom. They want what I wanted, books about action, adventure, challenges, struggle, conquest, passion. Books about trucks and sports and scuba gear and how to put handle a bow.

These boys and girls want comic books with the Fantastic Four battling furiously against Dr. Doom. They want Tom Swift conquering the stars. They want to read about Achilles and Hector, Zeus and Hercules, Potter and the Enemy, Aragorn and Sauron, Doc Savage and Tarzan (the original). Not every boy will read through full translations of mythic battles, but they may read a reading-age appropriate adaptation.

Most special education student are boys, and most have great difficulty learning to read. For many it's tiring, discouraging, depressing labor to try to read -- an endless reminder of personal inadequacy. The rewards most be commensurate to the struggle; and even then success is not guaranteed. For many of these children, books about how friends form just doesn't cut it.

Forty years ago we had more choices. Now, when I go to a bookstore, I struggle to find anything I'd enjoy reading as a boy. (There's lots of stuff for grown-up boys, but not for early readers.) I know the material is out there, but it takes work to locate it. I'll be posting on what I find on this blog.

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