Whenever I open this can of worms, I get feedback saying that boys can, should and will read whatever girls read. And I don’t disagree! But here’s one fact no one can argue with: the majority of our struggling/reluctant readers are boys. And most boys (and men) who do like to read prefer nonfiction. There’s plenty of worthy fiction out there to interest and engage our boys. But first we have to convince them that reading fiction is worthwhile. And that’s where HIP books come in.
HIP’s founder and prolific author Paul Kropp always asserted that there are four things to BEAR in mind when choosing fiction to engage our boys:
– Boys or men as main characters
– Episodic plot lines
– Rebellious against society or breaking rules
You can read more of Paul’s thoughts on “Books and the Boy Problem,” including five things schools can do to support boy readers, here on the HIP Website. But you don’t have to take our word for it. Here’s an interview with Leonard Sax from MacLean’s Magazine.
It’s been said that if we have students who don’t like to read, it only means they haven’t found the right book. That may be oversimplifying things a bit, but we at High Interest Publishing have made it our mission to help teachers put the right books in their students’ hands at the right moment. That’s why most HIP novels feature male characters in exciting action-packed situations.
That doesn’t mean that High Interest Publishing has forgotten about girl readers. But girls do tend to be a little more flexible in their reading choices; for example, they are willing to read about male characters. And research has shown that when we strive to make our classrooms more “boy-friendly,” our girls benefit as well. The Gurian Institute website describes a number of success stories from schools across the US.