Tag Archive for boys reading

Boys Reading

I want to welcome you to my labor of love — FATHERSREAD.com.

This week I launched the new blog, dedicated to the proposition of male role models playing an important role in the reading life of boys.

Please stop by to check it out. And please, if you care about this issue, share a link with a friend, post it on your blog, spread the word. I really believe in the potential of this site, and right now it needs your support (only 17 visitors yesterday!).

So far this week at Fathers Read:

* Author Jordan Sonnenblick, recent winner of the Schneider Family Book Award for After Ever After, writes about “Five Things About Me as a Young Reader.”

* Illustrator Eric Velesquez, recent winner of the Pure Belpre Award, shares his strong feelings about men and role models, and pays a moving tribute to Mr. Basquez.

* And always, some quick, fun shots of men reading, complete with snide commentary.

* In the future, there’s much more to come, as I hope to make this site a Grand Central Station for news and links regarding the reading gender gap.

Books for Boys

A few weeks ago I heard from an old friend — the indefatigable Leanna Landsmann, a woman I had worked with about twenty years ago on an educational project focused on “students at risk.” Leanna is now writing a column that is syndicated by United Features called, “A+ ADVICE: The Inside Scoop on School.” Each column responds to questions sent in by parents. Leanna asked for my thoughts to this question:

My fourth-grade son, Javin, must read five books for the school’s summer reading challenge. The problem is he hates reading. His teacher suggested “graphic novels.” I discovered that they are really comics, those things my teacher took away when I was a kid! He is starting to read them, but they really aren’t “books.” Will these help or hurt him?

Lately there’s a movement afoot about boys reading — or, I should say, the problem of boys not reading. Sometimes I get lumped into that equation, partly, I gather, because I’m an ex-boy myself. (That’s the full extent of my expertise, I assure you.) So I gave Leanna a long, rambling reply — in brief: let Javin read whatever he wants, so long as he is reading! — and, about three weeks later, the column appeared (to read it in full, just click here).

To brag about Leanna for minute: She was previously editor and publisher of Instructor magazine, and president of TIME For Kids. She was inducted into the EdPress Hall of Fame, educational publishing’s highest honor. I mean to say: She totally rocks and it’s amazing she even talks to me.

At age 27, I was a promotion manager at Scholastic and we hired Leanna for a large, important project. It was ridiculous, because I was sort of “in charge” of this great editor, even though I was dumb as a stump compared to her. Leanna kindly played along, did a great job and, on the side, taught me how to do mine. We’ve been friends ever since . . . cheering from the sidelines . . . even if we do let ten years slip by without a hello.