Boys, Read it and Reap (the benefits!)
Apparently my boys aren’t the only ones who read just when they had to for homework (and often not even then) or because they chose to whenever cleaning their rooms or mowing the lawn were their only other options.
The recent “Reading at Risk” survey conducted by the National Endowment for the Arts revealed that over the past 20 years teen reading has declined so much that young adults have gone from being the most likely to read literature to the least likely. The gender gap keeps widening, too. The opposite of other nations, females in the U.S. read much more than males and score consistently higher in literacy skills assessments than male peers at every grade level. Our society prizes athleticism more than intellectual achievement; plus, many boys don’t have reading male role models.
Since the greatest predicator of academic success is reading and writing proficiency, boys are at a considerable disadvantage, at least in our society. Reading improves vocabulary, comprehension, writing and communication skills, which improve the critical and creative thinking skills children will need to enrich their personal and professional lives and become responsible citizens.
This summer, offer boys compelling and entertaining books that’ll inspire them to keep reading. Check out the following new, top-rated releases for tween and middle school-aged boys (in no particular order).
- Middle School, The Worst Years of My Life by James Patterson
- Wonder by R. J. Palacio
- Planet Tad by Trenton Lee Stewart
- The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict (The Mysterious Benedict Society) by Tim Carvell
- The Adventures of Beanboy by Lisa Harkrader
- ** Inheritance Cycle 4-Book Boxed Set (Eragon, Eldest, Brisingr, Inheritance) by Christopher Paolini
** Note: Inheritance is book 4 in this fantasy series for ages 12 and up. (Not for the casual fantasy reader.) Christopher Paolini’s love of fantasy and science fiction inspired him to write his debut novel, Eragon, at 15.
“I dreamt my whole life about being a mother,” says Heidi Jellison. “I never dreamt about a big wedding, honestly never even dreamt about the husband part.” Jellison, a 35-year-old concert harpist and harp teacher, laughs at this last bit, but then her face settles into a quiet solemnity.
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