Credits: Jason J. Lamb, Tween Librarian, Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library
We all agree that kids should read, read, read. But did you know that it’s harder to get boys to read than girls? Because they read less starting at about eight years old, they also typically score lower on standardized testing.
Children’s author Jon Scieszka (Stinky Cheese Man, Time Warp Trio) saw that boys were reading less, but he also saw that teachers and librarians weren’t doing a good job finding books boys would want to read. So he started Guys Read, a national web-based organization to get more boys reading by showing them that there’s plenty of fun, awesome stuff to read.
The library is getting in on the act as well. I’ve started a Guys Read field office. What’s a field office? I’m glad you asked! It’s kinda like a local chapter of the Guys Read organization. Here’s the official description:
Hang out, snarf snacks and meet new characters – real and fictional – at our book club just for gents age 8- to 12-years-old. No parents, no girls allowed…
Read awesome books dudes will dig – explosive action and farts! Then talk ’em over with the guys, play games, wolf down some food and meet new friends. Score a members-only bookbag and receive books on a first-come, first-served basis. Sign up with secret password: GUYS READ.
How cool does that sound?!
Here’s how it works: We meet up on the second Saturday of the month, 2-3 p.m., in Youth Services. We’ll have snacks and get to know each other with an ice breaker. Next we’ll talk about the book we read together and any other books we might have read separately. Then we’ll do some kind of activity, like making something we can use or whatever — but it’ll be somehow related to our book.
Books will be signed out to boys, but don’t worry, the boys’ library cards do not have to be in good standing. All that we ask is that they return books to the Youth Services desk as soon as they’re done reading it so other boys can have fun too.
For more information, surf over to these sites: