Why Johnny Won't Read: Boys and Literacy
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5

Like this? Share it with your network

  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Be the first to comment
    Be the first to like this
No Downloads


Total Views
On Slideshare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds



Embeds 0

No embeds

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

    No notes for slide
  • Slower Development- Boys brains develop slower than girls , from embryonic stages into early childhood. This impacts school readiness, activity, attention span, and academic development.Action-oriented, competitive learning style (Ex: of school library)Not interested in the books suggested to them (Ex: of Laura Ingalls Wilder)Boys aren’t comfortable with emotions- As a society, we teach boys to suppress feelings. Boys aren’t practiced and often don’t feel comfortable exploring the emotions and feelings found in fiction.Gender Boundaries- It’s okay for a girl to read the Hardy Boys or Captain Underpants, not okay for a boy to read Fancy Nancy or Rainbow Magic Fairies.Lack of Male Reading Role Models – teachers, librarians, etc
  • Spread the word about Boys and their literacy needs. Talk about different ways to get boys reading.
  • Include boy-friendly nonfiction, humor, comics, graphic novels, action-adventure, magazines, websites, audiobooks, and newspapers in school reading. Let boys know that all these materials count as reading!
  • Hooking an adult up with a book vs a kid with a book
  • Vehicle Day, Sports Figures,
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Harry Potter, Hunger Games
  • Multiple studies confirm that access to books has the biggest affect on literacy across socioeconomic backgroundsStudies also confirm that children in high poverty areas have LESS access to books in their school and public libraries. Don’t worry about public libraries, worry about the schools!!!
  • If you want to create Life Long readers, THIS IS WHAT YOU NEED TO PAY ATTENTION TO!Accelerated Reader is not bad, but some of the reactions to it are.
  • HELP!!!! Obviously, I’m a girl. All of my staff members are girls. We plan programs that appeal to boys, but we need male role models to talk about the importance of reading!


  • 1. Why Johnny Won’t Read The challenges of literacy for BoysPresented by: Lexie Robinson AustinHead of Youth Services, Main LibraryHuntsville Madison County Public Library
  • 2. • The U.S. Department of Education reading tests for the last 30 years show boys scoring worse than girls in every age group, every year.• By the eighth grade boys are 50 percent more likely to be held back than girls.• Two-thirds of Special Education Students in high school are boys.• Boys are more likely to drop out of school.• Overall college enrollment is higher for girls than boys. -2008 National Reading Assessment measured by the US Department of Education
  • 3. What is going on???
  • 4. Why boys have trouble:• Slower development• Action-oriented, competitive learning style• Not interested in the books suggested to them• Boys aren’t comfortable with emotions• Gender Boundaries• Lack of Male Reading Role Models - John Scieszka, GuysRead.com
  • 5. What can we do???
  • 6. Make Some Noise For the Boys!
  • 7. Expand The Definition of Reading
  • 8. “Kids need to read a lot ofjunk books before theycan appreciate goodliterature.” – Judy Blume
  • 9. Boy Friendly Non-Fiction
  • 10. Humor
  • 11. Super Heroes
  • 12. Series
  • 13. Graphic Novel Format
  • 14. Action and Adventure
  • 15. Magazines
  • 16. Other types of reading:• Websites• Newspaper• Audiobooks• Back of the cereal box (not joking!)
  • 17. Give Boys A Choice
  • 18. Male Reading Role Models
  • 19. Positive Peer Pressure
  • 20. Start Slowly “Boys don’t believe that ‘Reading is wonderful.’ Reading is often difficult and boring for them. Let’s start with “Here is one book/magazine/text you might like.” - Jon Scieszka
  • 21. That’s a lot to remember!Let’s make this a bit easier…
  • 22. Formula for LiteracyJust count to Three!
  • 23. #1 – Access to Books
  • 24. #2 – Fun ReadingExperiencesOUTSIDE OFSCHOOL
  • 25. #3 – ReadingRole Models "Youre never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child." - Dr. Seuss
  • 26. Additional Resources:www.GuysRead.comwww.k12reader.com/boys-and-reading/www.scholastic.com/parents/www.HMCPL.orgwww.facebook.com/HPLKids
  • 27. Thank you! Questions? Comments?Send them to: Lexie@HMCPL.org