Dear Gaila - Boys' Picks vs. Girls' picks

April 25, 2018

Dear Gaila, 

 

I have a son in 6th grade, a daughter in 5th grade and a son in 3rd grade. While my daughter is an avid reader, I find it so much harder to find books that my sons enjoy. My older one enjoyed the "Percy Jackson" series but that was about it. They claim that most books are boring! Do you have any suggestions?

 

Mother of Boys

 

Dear Mother of Boys,

 

As an avid female reading growing up I loved fiction. The only non-fiction I liked were biographies. Years later librarian told me that amongst those in the know they were referred to a biographical fiction! No wonder I loved them! A good deal of my love of reading has been transferred into my passion to get others to read - and enjoy this wonderful pastime. But I, like many others often missed an important point. 

Studies have shown that girls enjoy fiction more than boys. This is especially true since so much of fiction is about activities that girls enjoy doing. It just does not talk to boys. As a mother of (only) girls it took me a long time to realize this. As soon as I added non-fiction books about animals, vehicles, nature, cooking, travel, engineering, just about anything as long as it was facts - the boys started showing much more interest in taking books out of the library, and actually reading them. 

 

This has stood the test for preschoolers borrowing books for their parents to read to them or for those who could read for themselves - both English and Hebrew speakers! So drop by the library or purchase books about facts on topics that interest them (dinosaurs, cars or history) and see what happens!

 

Gaila

 

Gaila has over 40 year of experience teaching and runs A.H.A.V.A., a non-profit to promote English literacy. Would you like to ask Gaila a question? Email us at ahava.org@gmail.com or send us a message. Look out for more Dear Gaila columns

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