Getting Boys to Read

Mike McQueen, author of Getting Boys to Read, discusses his new book and tips on how to get your boys interested in reading.  Do you know a boy who struggles with reading?  Mike has great tips that come from his own personal experience as a struggling reader turned teacher-librarian.  He knows what boys struggle with and how parents and teachers can help.  This book is filled with practical tips as well as interviews with authors.  With 114 tips, there is sure to be something that will help inspire you and get the boy in your life reading.

The book is divided into 7 main ideas:

  1. Create the right environment.
  2. Strengthen your relationship.
  3. Connect reading with his interests and needs.
  4. Lure him with the best materials.
  5. Make reading interactive.
  6. Make reading fun.
  7. Try different techniques.

Some of my favorite tips included in the book include:

  • read aloud daily
  • recruit male role models
  • set up a book club for boys (we podcasted about this 4 years ago–listen here)
  • never criticize what he reads
  • use Amazon’s related titles
  • take him to the library
  • allow him to read comic books
  • introduce him to non-fiction

We discuss these and SO many more ideas.  For even more great ideas, check out the Getting Boys to Read website.

When Bright Kids Can’t Learn

We talk to Dr. John Heath, author of When Bright Kids Can’t Learn to discover the research into training the brain to learn better and how it can help your child succeed in school and overcome small and large learning problems like forgetfulness or dyslexia.

How to Find Good Movies, Books, Apps and More

As a parent, it is often a challenge to know if a movie, website, book, song, or app is appropriate for our children at their specific age.  And how do we talk to them about things like Facebook?  We discuss what we find useful to help us choose for our children.   One resource we discuss is Common Sense Media.  Others include Squeaky Clean Reads and Good Reads if you have friends you trust who have posted books in their list.

You can also check our list of summer reads for Boys Only!

Book Clubs for Boys Only

Boys sometimes have a harder time getting interested in books.  One way to solve that is to start a book club for boys only. Laura Blum, mother of 4 and reading advocate, discusses how she turned her reluctant readers into great readers and how you can too!

Check out her site and some great ideas at

UPDATE:  Nancy’s son and his friends met for the first Boys Only Book Club and about 50% of the kids showed up, but they had fun and Barnes and Noble was very accommodating to help them choose books.  They chose Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians.  They will be meeting every 3 weeks over the summer to get them interested in reading.  They also joined the Barnes and Noble reading plan, the Borders reading plan and a local library reading plan that all give freebies to kids who read.

Summer Reading Fun

Looking for summer reading ideas to keep the kids reading?  We share ideas and lists of books.

Check out these lists of books for kids in every age and group:

Check out the local library reading program

Check out bookstore reading programs like Barnes and Noble and Borders book programs.

Here are some of our kids’ favorite books:

  • 39 Clues series
  • Percy Jackson Series
  • Diary of a Whimpy Kid Series
  • When You Reach Me (2010 Newbery Winner)
  • Savvy (2009 Newbery Honor)
  • Hoot
  • Flush
  • Scat
  • Bud, Not Buddy
  • Hatchet
  • Captain Underpants
  • Stink
  • Miss Daisy is Crazy
  • Time Warp Trio Series
  • Encyclopedia Brown
  • Fablehaven
  • Swindle
  • Zoobreak
  • Radio Fifth Grade
  • Invention of Hugo Cabret
  • No Talking (any Andrew Clements book)
  • Magic Tree House Series
  • Al Capone Does My Shirts