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How To Get Boys To Read

You can call me a hater, but whenever I meet a parent who tells me their son(s) is an avid reader, I tend to get a little jealous. Both of my kids love books but to be honest, if asked which do they prefer, using computers, over reading, the computer would probably be their first choice. Am I alone?  Does your son read for the sheer pleasure of reading?

Don’t get me wrong, my son is a reader but he only seems to read when I am not around. Makes sense? He says, "Mom! I read in school!" Or, "Mom! I read before you got home from school." Yeah. Yeah. And my daughter LOVES to order Scholastic books from her school orders and she too tells me she reads in school.

So over the weekend, a Facebook friend, Mike McQueen, a teacher, librarian, and a parent, responded to my post on Black Boys in Crisis, and sent me the BEST BLOG link ever! His Getting Boys To Read blog is chock-full of good ideas, effective strategies, and subliminal "tricks" on getting our boys to read. 

He also has guest bloggers writing and sharing their tips, which in my opinion is brilliant, since it allows for a diverse perspective on the subject. 

And with summer on the horizon, I thought it only fitting to devote a few posts this week on Getting Your Kids’ Summer Reading On.

Mike and I will also be brainstorming some ideas for his blog, so stay tuned. And in the meantime, here are two links from his site to get you started. 

Getting Boys Into the Library

6 Reasons that Boys Like Magazines 


  1. anna koval =) says:

    this *is* an awesome blog, amy, thank you for blogging about it and thanks to kathy ishizuka for tweeting about it! =)

    anna koval =)
    a california high school teacher/librarian

  2. Amy Bowllan says:

    Anna, thank you so much for your kind words. :)

  3. nice article..thanks for sharing..

  4. Mike McQueen says:

    Words cannot express how thoughtful you were in writing this article Amy. You have have helped a lot of people and we all appreciate it :-) I’ve poured out my heart and wallet over the past year getting the site going. Thank you! ~Mike (founder of

  5. Che Tangog says:

    Thanks for sharing the links on how to get my kids to read. This will really be a big help for parents like me…


  6. Debbie Verville says:

    Hi Amy,

    Great post and thanks! Being the Mom to four boys and going through all the hurdles of getting them to read and ENJOY it I so appreciate your effort. This will help so many parents out there that struggle with the same fears I had.

    Debbie Verville

  7. Hi Amy,

    Thanks for awesome post! I have been enjoying perusing your site and am excited about forwarding it to friends and teachers!

    Holly Jennings

  8. Boo Lagunilla says:

    Hi Amy,
    Thank you!!!!!!! all those exclamation points were called for. I was browsing the net for anything written on this area and Thank God, I came across your article. You don’t know how much this means. I have an 8 yr old son and you are right on target when you say they sure “love to read when we’re not around”, well sure he does look like he is reading ( he made sure to have a book in front of him when I left my webcam running to “watch on him” while I do some cooking) but when we get to discussing what he read for the day. He gives me very vague clues. But I am crossing my fingers that the tips on the the site you mentioned would really help us. Thanks again. I look forward to more from you guys.

  9. I have pairs of both boys and girls, it’s true that girls and boys are different when it comes to reading. I looked at the links you gave and I am grateful that you posted them. All will be useful in encouraging my sons to read. Thanks!!!!

  10. Amy Bowllan says:

    Thank you, ALL, for your kind words! WE all can do this together. WE just have to keep working at it…

  11. Kristen says:

    Hi Amy,

    Thanks so much for the post. You have a wonderful site and I’m enjoying many of your other posts as well.

    It’s good to know that so many folks are dedicated to helping boys become better and more engaged readers!

    Thanks again,

    Kristen Bevilacqua