A National Literacy Trust report shows that boys are far less likely to read in their spare time than girls in the UK. They are also behind in terms of their reading ability and this impacts on GCSE results not only in English but in other subjects too.
So how can parents encourage boys to read more?
1) Take your son to the library more frequently. Research shows that girls are more likely to be taken to the library than boys.
2) Question your son about their gender stereotypes. Some boys will say that boys that read are geeky, nerdy or boring.
3) Address your own beliefs about why there is a gender gap in reading ability. No evidence has been found to support biological differences between boys and girls in terms of reading. In some countries such as Chile and the Netherlands, there is no gender gap.
4) Make sure your son has a male role model who reads. If dad doesn’t like reading fiction, maybe he can demonstrate a love of non-fiction books.
5) Encourage reading for enjoyment and stock your house with exciting books to read either from the library, charity shop or bookshop.
6) Download the Kindle app and get your child reading cheap ebooks on a tablet.
7) Get a magazine subscription for a Minecraft magazine or National Geographic.
Here is a list of fiction books my 8-year-old son has enjoyed reading himself:
- Horrid Henry by Francesca Williams
- Beast Quest by Adam Blade
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
- Billionaire Boy by David Walliams
- Big Nate by Lincoln Peirce
- Yuck by Matt and Dave
- World War I and II tales by Terry Deary. For example, The Bike Escape.
- The DK Star Wars books
Here is a list of my son’s favourite non-fiction books
- Minecraft books
- Usborne See Inside Space book, See Inside Castles book
- 100 Facts books: Space, Planet Earth, Oceans etc.
- The Dangerous Book for Boys by Hal Ilguden
Here is a list of books my son has enjoyed me reading to him:
- Harry Potter by J K Rowling
- Just William by Richmal Crompton
- Five Children and It by E Nesbitt
- Little Lord Fauntleroy by Frances Hodgson Burnett
- The Sheep-Pig by Dick King-Smith
- The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C S Lewis
- Treasure Island by R L Stevenson
Finding easy-reader books for my son with appealing storylines has not been easy. This is what inspired me to write ‘The Fortress’, a fantasy adventure tale aimed at 7- to 10-year-olds. The story is about a boy who has special powers that allow him to manipulate earth, fire, air and water. He is sent on a mission to find the evil Sinisters with his two friends Anna and Sam. Anna is able to see visions of the future, and Sam has navigating powers.
The children’s search for the Sinisters leads them to a fortress where they meet Electro. Can they win against his lightning powers?
Buy the Fortress
Other websites with suggestions for boys reading are: