Boys + Reading = Challenge

Boys will be boys, is this old adage true? As an educator of more years than I wish to count and from conversations with colleagues we know that boys and girls learn differently. It's hard to pinpoint when it starts, and whether it's nature vs. nuture. As a librarian, I have to balance having a selection of what students want to read with quality literature that you believe students should read.

Scientific studies share conflicting answers and girls and boys. Brains studies that have analyzed  brain matter  at a nearly cellular level states that differences in how the brain connects and processes information doesn't become apparent until after the age of 13. As a teacher, and now parent, I have hard time believing this.

My parental guilt has already begun and I know I'm already influencing my son, the nuture route, since I'm sharing my favourtie genres which are fantasy and science fiction.  On education.com I read an interesting post about comparing what girls read and boys read. Naturally, educators like to make connections between what students are studying in class and what they read in literature. It makes sense if you are studying global issues then reading books like the Bread Winner by Deborah Ellis, which is about challenges in Afghanistan since the renewed reign of the Taliban, be included. However, boys are not interested in reading social issues in their literature. And taking away students choice kills any love of literature. In fact, this study notes that boys complete a 180 degree turn and prefer to immerse themselves in literature that is a 'complete divorce' from reality. The only problem with this is it is not preparing them for more mature literature that requires a different skill set.

What's a librarian to do? I hunt through blogs, lists and websites for the best and try to order something that will satisfy boys interest and include some quality literature to see if I can entice them to try something new.

Best Books for Boys
50 Best Books for Boys and Young Men
Great New Books for Boys

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