Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Best Books for Boys By Pam Allyn

I strive each day in my classroom to create life long readers and learners by giving children time to read, providing reading choice, and allowing for discussions where my young students can grow and thrive.  Recently, I was contacted to review Pam Allyn’s newest book.

Here Are My Top 3 Reasons To Read
Best Books for Boys K-8 
How To Engage Boys In Reading In Ways That Will Change Their Lives 

Find the Perfect Book for Your Most Reluctant Reader(s) 
The bulk of this book includes a reference guide of “boy recommended” book titles. Sorted into 21 different categories of reading interests, this annotated list is further coded with the levels of emerging, developing, and maturing. Numerous book titles and summaries are included in addition to listed recommendations {If you like this book, check out these book…}.  I found myself reading the book lists and browsing Amazon and my school library catalog simultaneously to check out possible book additions for my classroom library.  As Ms. Allyn reminds us, boys {and girls} are looking for books that have “weird covers”, “definitely dragons”, and “some kind of great art on the cover”.  Here are just a few of the recommended titles for emerging readers listed in this section of the book.  Archie and the Pirates by Marc Rosenthal, Superhero ABC by Bob McLeod, The Art Lesson by Tomie dePaola, Ish by Peter Reynolds, Watch Me Throw The Ball:  An Elephant and Piggie Book by Mo Williams, and Orangutan Tongs:  Poems to Tangle Your Tongue by Jon Agee.  This annotated list is a great resource for parents, teachers, and anyone who read with children.  Be sure to check out the full book list for more boy-approved titles!    

Enhance the Reading Experience in Your Classroom or At Home
The Question and Answer Section in Part 2 of this book will invite you to reflect on the reading environments provided in the classroom and/or at home.   Here are few key points to take away from this section:  Read aloud from a variety of genres of various lengths and levels (Ms. Allyn reminds the reader to “choose authors and characters with whom boys identify”.), encourage and celebrate all forms of valuable reading (Do not discount the reading of websites, blogs, text messages, instructional manuals, video games, comic books, sport pages, etc all of which help develop literacy.), encourage social reading and interaction, design take home reading bags to include leveled books and books for browsing, support quick reads, build reading stamina, and create the time and space to let boys {and girls} read.   In addition, Pam Allyn writes about the importance of “creating ways for boys to see men reading”.  Ideas further explored include “all-boy” book clubs, reading role models, and ways to making reading a part of an active lifestyle.  Ms. Allyn offers excellent tips for getting boys to read books, yet she clearly states that these ideas work for both girls and boys.

Further Your Understanding of The READ Model to create Life Long Readers
Pam Allyn provides the reader the information necessary to begin implementing the READ model in the classroom and/or at home.  The goal of this model is “to set the stage for a life long love of reading”.  READ stands for ritual, environment, access, and dialogue.  The choices we make to include read-alouds, rereadings, comfort, lighting, soft music, poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and book discussions influence the reading experiences for all of our students.  Ms. Allyn also includes many statistics in her book that illustrate why she chose to focus on the reading habits of boys.  

If you are looking for a great resource and a good book that is a quick summer read, be sure to check out Best Books for Boys K-8 by Pam Allyn.


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this recommendation. Right now, my 4 year old loves to "read'. But my fear is that as he gets older, he may loose interest. I am going to look at this book for ideas for my son and male students. Thanks again! BTW---check out my blog if you haven't already. I'm new to the blogging world. IF you like, then I'd love more followers.


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