"Writers who are eager to break into publishing – or who are wanting to take a break from their usual genre – will be pleased to know there’s a huge and growing market for books that are accessible to youngsters who struggle with reading. Often referred to as hi-lobooks, these are short, action-packed books written in easy-to-grasp language. The margins are a little wider, the font is a wee bit bigger, and the words are a smidgeon shorter. As for the rest? Exactly the same as mainstream fiction.
Reluctant readers are just as socially savvy and emotionally mature as kids who find reading easy. It’s essential not to dumb anything down for these youngsters. They crave stories that speak to the concerns in their own lives, yet which are written at a reading level that they can manage."
"Some of the most compelling data on the topic comes from the results of the Programme for International Student Assessment, an exam given to 15-year olds in 65 countries. On the 2000 PISA exam, girls outperformed boys in reading by an average of 32 points. By 2009, the gap had increased to 39 points...
While no one disputes the existence of the gender gap in reading, scholars hotly debate its cause."
Brozo, professor of literacy at George Mason University's Graduate School of Education, prefers to focus on solutions and provides practical ways of engaging boys in reading at the end of the article. I also recommend browsing the links in "You might also like", on the left column of this article.
"We are convinced that children should learn that ‘books’ come in many forms; paper based, readers that use electronic ink (such as Kindles), on a tablet, on a smart phone, on a computer monitor. They are all ways of accessing books and can – and should – co-exist quite happily in the classroom. This is especially important for those kids who have a mass of electronic devices at home but maybe no paper based books."
This article explores the challenges of reluctant, struggling readers and effective ways the author has found to overcome those challenges, both in his personal life and in the lives of families and children he's influenced.
"In 2009 PISA conducted a groundbreaking survey of digital literacy among 15-year-old students. PISA wanted to find out whether boys and girls are as ready for the digital age as they—and we—think they are... [ http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/29/22/49442737.pdf ]
Perhaps the most interesting finding from this assessment has to do with the difference in digital literacy between girls and boys. Since the beginning of the PISA tests in 2000, girls have always scored higher in reading than boys–and by a substantial margin: the equivalent of one year of formal schooling. While this is still true for reading digital texts, the performance gap is significantly narrower: 24 score points compared with 38 score points in print reading.
A closer look at these results showed that there was a larger percentage of boys at the highest proficiency levels in digital reading than at the highest levels in print reading, and a smaller percentage of boys at the bottom proficiency levels in digital reading scale than at the bottom level in print reading."
"Walter Dean Myers, the author of "Fallen Angels," "Sunrise Over Fallujah," Monster," "Hoops" and other hard-hitting novels for youth, has been named the new national ambassador for children's literature. He succeeds Katherine Paterson ("A Bridge to Terabithia"), who had served in the spot since 2010."
"It's not that boys can't read, they just don't. Study after study reveals that boys read less than girls. And according to the U.S. Department of Education, school-age boys tend to read a grade and a half lower than girls. How can librarians get guys to turn the page? For starters, we need to move beyond our traditional "here's a book you're going to love" approach. That strategy may work fine with some kids, but it's a tough sell to most boys."
Article originally posted 08/01/2004 but still relevant.
"Boys need a sense of purpose in order to engage with what they do. Give them an audience, create real ‘wow’ moments and help develop a love of fiction. Gary Wilson explores some practical ways in which you can help to engage boys."
Of all the conference speakers, Danny Brassell offered some of the most concrete strategies to engage boy readers with his “Ten Ways to Get Boys Reading.” Brassell, a former teacher and administrator and a professor in the Teacher Education...
Danny Brassel also wrote the post "Avoiding the Summer Slide" featured in an earlier scoop.
"My own experiences over a long number of years as a reader, a father and an English teacher lead me to believe that the problem is not so clear-cut as the figures suggest, but nonetheless there are some measures which can sensibly be taken to encourage reading, especially among boys."
"Since struggling readers often complain that they can’t see or visualize text, the graphic element of these books helps readers connect and comprehend the material in a way not possible with traditional literature. Gorman notes, 'graphic novels can serve as an intermediary for a teen [or adult] who would rather be watching television than reading a book'.”
"Author Walter Dean Myers is the nation's latest ambassador for young people's literature. The two-year post is something like a youth version of poet laureate. As a young man in Harlem, Myers hid his books so no one would know he liked to read. David Greene talks to Myers about his appointment and what he wants to accomplish."
Includes audio of interview with Walter Dean Myers.
"Supports for teacher teams to conduct inquiry into teaching and assessment strategies and classroom practice for improving boys' literacy achievement. The resources are designed to help teachers make a positive impact on the learning environment and the reading experience for all students."
Includes video "Read Anything Good Lately? Boys, Books and Reading" - middle-school boys discussing books and their reading preferences.
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