Thursday, January 10, 2008

Reluctant Readers & Books for Boys

Ahhh! The good ole days of hanging out at the beach near Muskegon, Michigan. My home, at the time of this picture, was Wolf Lake, but our family drove over to Lake Michigan as often as possible during the summers.

What you’re looking at in this picture of me is a certified reluctant reader. Funny thing is, my dad was the author of dozens of books, even kids books, and I never read them. I enjoyed action & adventure, and the best thing I could think of was to get outside and make up stuff to do.

But I noticed something. I found I could concentrate, and even read when the subject interested me. I just didn’t come across much in print that could turn my head back then. Today, families have an over abundance of reading opportunities, and it doesn’t always have to be a book.

I often wonder if I would have developed an interest in books, had I been pushed a little more as a child. But I grew up in a family of 7 children, so one of us not reading was easy to miss.

Seems the last thing a reluctant reader needs if for his parents to plop a great big book in his lap that weighs more than he does. I can speak from experience…it would have been very intimidating.

A better approach is to notice the particular interests of the child, and feed those interests with whatever is available. This might be magazines, newspaper articles, or web sites. Even comic books might do the trick in some cases.

The point is to get kids away from the TV, video games, or computer, and into reading something…ANYTHING!

Because of my lack of interest in reading, I decided to find out why. My research led me to begin writing the kinds of books I would have enjoyed as a child.

Perhaps I’ve written something your boy, or the reluctant reader boys in your circle of family and friends might like too.

Max Elliot Anderson

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