Guys Read

My husband has three sisters. One has no children, and the other two have three children. Add that to our two and you have some serious "cousining" when they are all together. Eight children under the age of nine and seven of them are boys. On my last visit to one of these homes, my brother in law and I got to talking about books for boys. I thought I’d list some resources for fathers and their boys and hope that the rest of the LJ community will chime in with other ideas. 

The first stop on our Guys Read tour is Guys Read. (funny that) Jon Scieszka, rhymes with Fresca, is the catalyst for the site and funds it with help from the New York Foundation for the Arts.  He is also the newly appointed National Ambassador of Young People’s Literature. The position is a collaboration between the Library of Congress and the Children’s Book Council. Use this site with your kids to input your favorite books, and authors to create a list of recommended books for your child.

I’ve found that my boys had a sort of "ah-ha" moment when the stars aligned and the time, book and mood was right and then they took off. Until then, read to them, read with them (page for page, or paragraph for paragraph.) A great resource for this is the We Both Read series. 

Boys tend to be infokids. They love to learn about new subjects and learn more about what they already know. I’m sure many of us have seen our child check the same dinosaur, baseball, volcano book from the library a million times. We roll our eyes and wonder why they don’t want something new. Fugedaboudit! Let them take out that book and pack yet another dry bologna and American cheese sandwich and just watch them smile. To learn about interesting nonfiction for kids check out I.N.K.

Penguin group also has an early version of the Guys Read reading list here
A mom and pop site is here.
An internet "hotlist" with links on the subject and reading lists here.
Another blog "Books and Boys" with great links here.
A Random House book list is here.

If you have a teenage boy, make sure they bookmark Guys Lit Wire. This blog generally posts on Mondays and Fridays from a stable of contributors including our own kellyrfineman . Here you’ll find  YA reviews, discussions, news and books, books, books. 

(Necessary disclaimer: As always, please check out any internet site to make sure you think it is appropriate for your child.)

Remember that there are a lot of ways to enjoy books and reading. The sports page of the newspaper? Sure. Comic books? Absolutely. Humor or subjects that you might not enjoy yourself? Even better because they feel independent. Audiobooks? Yes, yes, let them enjoy these stories however they can access them. Trips to the library? All the time! Meeting authors? Whenever you can. Online book extensions and author websites? Please do. All of these experiences will bring your boys enjoyment when they read, and that’s the goal. 

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