Tips for parents

Let kids see men read, they say. Read to them at a variety of times from a variety of books in every room in the house.

One parent leaves books where her son will find them--if she suggests them overtly, he digs in his heels.

One mother puts her son, Morris, right in the action with a character who shares his name--"Morris the Moose."

Many parents aren't ashamed to say they bribe their kids to read--with treats, outings and "junk" books like comics or TV spinoffs.

One mother and her friends started a reading group for their fifth-grade boys. "My Side of the Mountain."

"We used a flint and steel to try to light a fire just like Sam Gribley, the main character, did in ['My Side of the Mountain']," she writes.

Web Resources
Guysread.com, by Jon Scieszka, author of "The Stinky Cheese Man" and other children's books.
Marcaronson.com, by the author of historical books for teens.
Boysread.com, specializing in grades 9-12.

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Do boys really lag behind girls in reading? Educators read the studies and disagree.

Some say the "boy crisis" is a myth, a backlash against the women's movement which feeds the media thirst for looming disasters.

No boy will read for fun if he finds the material boring. Much of the assigned reading for young ages has little appeal to boys, who look for action and adventure as well as fact-based and how-to literature, writes Emily Bazelon of Slate.

Boys read on a need-to-know basis, Bazelon writes. "They don't set out looking for story and relationship."

Here's the list culled from Parenting reader suggestions, divided into picture books, books for early-elementary, late-elementary and middle-school-and-beyond readers, comic books and magazines.

We've only skimmed the surface of written words appealing to boys.

You can help this page grow by e-mailing what your boys are reading to parenting@washingtonpost.com.


© 2006 The Washington Post Company