Boys and Books

Read an interesting article about boys and reading today. Pretty much everyone knows that it's tough to get most boys to read past the age of 8 or 9. A few catch the bug and keep it, but they're a smaller and smaller group as time passes.

The main point of the article is that to attract boys and keep them reading as they grow, one answer is to write books involving, guts, gore and icky stuff. Granted, this is certainly more interesting than a lot of the topics of some classic books, but my opinion is there should be a blend so that we don't turn out insensitive young men who thrive on bathroom humor and cannot hold intelligent conversation.

Here's the link to the article http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB121814900158422243-lMyQjAxMDI4MTA4ODEwNDg5Wj.html

What do you think? Let's get a conversation going.

Good Writing & God Bless,
Cheryl Pickett


JaxPop said...

Sad commentary - Thankfully my kids (both boys) are grown - I'd freak if my kids had brought home books like those described in the article. What's wrong with standards? What's wrong with pushing kids to be excellent? Lowering the bar can only result in less achievement. I recently read 'Nick of Time' by Ted Bell. It's written for boys - minus the garbage - & it's a bestseller. That tells me there must be some boys out there with enough gray matter & home coaching (that's important) to enjoy adventure tales that exclude the guts, gore & bathroom humor. Hope so - I write for kids - target audience - boys. BTW - My kids turned out to be EXCELLENT MEN. Imagine that. We only had to push a little from time to time - the rest, of course, was up to them.

Cheryl Pickett said...

My 3 step-sons were also raised that bathroom humor/bad language was not appreciated at home, especially in mixed company (believe it or not).

Of course, in school and with friends things are a bit different sometimes. However, at 17,19, 22 they can distinguish what is appropriate conversation in what situations and that's important too.

I do think stories of the odd/weird, especially in science, definitely have a place. I also understand lots of boys like the action/drama/military stuff, but I also think it can all be presented in non-offensive ways while still making the topic engaging and entertaining for just about any age.