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Links: Boys don’t read?

Over at The Huffington Post, author Charles London tackles a question that’s been on many educators’ minds of late: how can teachers and parents encourage boys to read more? His argument is that boys are readers, but the kind of material that appeals to them often falls outside the canon of approved kid-lit. “Even when I hated to read, I was hungry for stories,” he explains. “I found them in places that weren’t teacher-approved, but I found them just the same.”

Dark Horse has just announced that Andi Watson will be writing a new Skeleton Key story for Dark Horse Presents; look for the first installment of this three-part series on October 19, 2011.

Did you miss Free Comic Book Day? It’s not too late to track down some of the event’s kid-friendly titles. ComiXology is offering free digital editions of Atomic Robo, Super Dinosaur, and Deadliest Sharks & Prehistoric Predators, while Dark Horse has added free copies of Avatar: The Last Airbender and Star Wars: The Clone Wars to its digital store.

And speaking of Free Comic Book Day, Torsten Adair uses its tenth anniversary as a jumping-off point for examining the current state of the comics industry.

Here’s something for the crafty comic fan: step-by-step instructions for making Wonder Woman cookies. (Canon outfit, of course.)


Sean Gaffney on vol. 4 of Dengeki Daisy (A Case Suitable for Treament)
Matthew Brady on Gladstone’s School for World Conquerors #1 (Warren Peace Sings the Blues)
Sean Gaffney on vols. 1-3 of Kekkaishi (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Patti Martinson on Jughead Double Digest #167 (Sequential Tart)
Alexander Hoffman on vol. 1 of Monkey High! (Manga Widget)
Greg McElhatton on Superman #711 (Read About Comics)
Rob McMonigal on Tyrannosaurus Beth #1 (Panel Patter)

Katherine Dacey About Katherine Dacey

Katherine Dacey has been reviewing comics since 2006. From 2007 to 2008, she was the Senior Manga Editor at PopCultureShock, a site covering all aspects of the entertainment industry from comics to video games. In 2009, she launched The Manga Critic, where she focuses primarily on Japanese comics and novels in translation. Katherine lives and works in the Greater Boston area, and is a musicologist by training.


  1. Danielle says

    It is true. Boys like non-fiction material, such as dinosaurs, cars, astronomy, etc. I find nothing wrong with this. They are still learning.

  2. You won’t get any argument from us, Danielle! We’re always trying to recommend comics that we think will encourage boys to read. I don’t know if you’ve seen Zenescope’s 10 Top Deadliest Sharks, but that’s a great example of what you’re talking about: it’s non-fiction, it focuses on a big, powerful animal, and it’s jam-packed with the kind of information that kids find interesting. If I taught third graders, I’d have several copies for my classroom!

  3. My husband is an excellent example of this. When we met he told me he didn’t read. Once we were married, I discovered that he does read, it’s just that he never thought to consider Maxim, cookbooks, whiskey guides, the newspaper, and books about woodworking to be reading. He’s even read a graphic novel series: Oishinbo, which is about Japanese cuisine, something he loves.

  4. For years, as a YA librarian in public libraries, I booktalked lots of nonfiction because I knew boys tended to prefer nonfiction. I started getting comics into the libraries back in the mid-1980s for the same reason. Then I had sons of my own, and they also prefer nonfiction and comics.

    How do we as librarians and teachers get out of the “rut” of equating reading with only fiction? I’ve been trying for almost 30 years!

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