Boys and Reading

August 24, 2011

Robert Lipsyte author and winner of the 2001 Margaret A. Edwards award wrote in the New York Times Sunday Book Review: Boys and Reading: Is There Any Hope?  He writes that novels are “bought by female editors, stocked by female librarians and taught by female teachers.”

To me and I think to many prospective readers, today’s books for boys — supernatural space-and-sword epics that read like video game manuals and sports novels with preachy moral messages — often seem like cynical appeals to the lowest common denominator. Boys prefer video games and ESPN to book versions of them. These knockoffs also lack the tough, edgy story lines that allow boys a private place to reflect on the inner fears of failure and humiliation they try so hard to brush over. Editors who ask writers of books for boys to include girl characters — for commercial reasons — further blunt the edges.

Great books are being written for boys, they just need to find them:

… boys need to be approached individually with books about their fears, choices, possibilities and relationships — the kind of reading that will prick their dormant empathy, involve them with fictional characters and lead them into deeper engagement with their own lives. This is what turns boys into readers.

via PW Daily 8/23/11

posting by Lorraine

 

 

 

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