Getting Boys to Read

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You gotta love the AP headline: “Boys trail girls in reading; can fart jokes help?”

The topic — boys’ lack of interest in reading — isn’t a new one to readers of this blog. Neither is the solution, which is to “meet boys where they are” — fancy psycho-speak for “capitalize on their interests.” Boys, in general, respond to shorter bursts of non-fiction text. If the material is funny, all the better.

But boys, like all humans, are complex creatures, and their interests, believe it or not, do extend beyond fart jokes. My boys absolutely loved Captain Underpants, Walter the Farting Dog and Diary of a Wimpy Kid — but they also enjoyed Hatchet, a Newbery Honor-winning novel. And Boy #1 just finished a book about German POW camps in Wisconsin.

My best boy-related reading advice? Keep a variety of reading materials around the house. Picture books, comic books, novels and non-fiction tomes are great, but so are magazines and newspapers. My oldest loves to thumb through our local paper; Boy #2 like to check out the headlines and photos on the Sunday sports page. They’ve become big magazine fans, a fact which cheers this magazine writer’s heart. Current favorites include:

Boys’ Life


Sports Illustrated

Musky Hunter

BMX Plus!

What magazines do your boys enjoy?

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