Reading is Superpower IndeedIntroduction:

Knowing about my passion for boys and literacy, my mother-in-law cut out this great article called “Reading is a Superpoer Indeed” by Bruce Cameron in the Rocky Mountain News. Thanks Joyce!

Summary of Article:

In his brief article, Bruce uses humor and witt to remind us all how important magazines are in the lives of boys. He discusses ways that magazines and comic books spark vocabulary – ways that many adults do not realize..

Two Important Issues That he Addresses:

1) Society’s incorrect view that magazines and graphic novels aren’t a respected form of literacy

2) Forcing kids to read stuff they don’t like

My Favorite Part:

"My parents seemed pretty shocked that a kid who spent all his free time 
devouring books would be so illiterate, but was there any wonder I had trouble 
with my native tongue? I was taught to read by a guy from Krypton!"

Questions to Discuss:

What are some magazine titles that you know are of interest to boys?

What memories do you have that relate to magazines?

Posted in: Content

{ 9 comments… add one }

  • Ann

    Most people do not take into consideration that many graphic novels such as Captain Underpants have the same reading lexile as some of the more lengthy and wordier novels.  When a child loves what they read, they will read more.    When it comes to finding something that your child will love, I don’t believe any avenue should be overlooked especially when it comes to boys.  My son showed no interest in many of the same book series that my daughter did.  It took many creative venues including graphic novels to get him reading.

  • Jackie Burhans

    Just spent last Sunday in bed with family reading Sunday comics. All reading is good! When my son first started to prefer to see a video to reading a book I put on sub-titles to give him *something* to read. Still do but now its mostly about my hearing getting poorer :-). I was ok with first Pokemon gameboy games because he had to read the characters’ words and game instructions (however a friend of his happily played without reading any of the hints–didn’t do as well but could not be slowed down, oh well). Besides reading first success at enjoying drawing was by taking a cartooning class. All goodness.

  • Lynette

    One thing I can say for sure about my son – he loves action. Some books that go on and on about relationships (and don’t even get him started about anything love-y dove-y in a book)bore him. Most graphic novels, on the other hand, are jam-packed with action, both in the drawings and story line.

    Regarding not taking magazines and graphic novels seriously as a form of literature:

    I remember when the graphic novels Maus I: A Survivor’s Tale: My Father Bleeds History and Maus II: A Survivor’s Tale: And Here My Troubles Began, by Art Spiegelman were published back in the 1980s. I read a lot of criticism at the time about Speigelman addressing the serious topic of the Holocaust with the medium of the graphic novel. However, I think that the graphic novel format is very versatile and absolutely should be taken seriously. Spiegelman employs an unusual method to describe the indescribable.

    Not only can the graphic novel be a thoughtful means of expression for the author, but clearly the very format is accessible and appeals to some readers more than others.

  • Ann

    I was shelving some books at my daughter’s middle school.  A boy and his paraprofessional were in the library at the same time.  The boy went to grab a Garfield book, but the para scolded, "Put that back.  Remember, your mom does not want you to read those, she wants you to get a book."  I cringed.  I wanted to ask the para to talk to this boy’s mom.  Explain to her, that in her good intentions to get her son to read what she perceives as a ‘good book’.  She is squalshing her son’s love of reading.  My guess is her book choice will sit open while the boy day dreams about other things and never truly get read.  While the Garfield book would be read cover to cover.You need to start with what they love and eventually, that love will spill into other formats.  However, if you begin with something of no interest to the child, reading will be a constant battle. 


    I stayed silent because it was not my place to speak up, but it still makes my skin crawl just thinking about it.

    • Barbara Radisavljevic

      I had the same kind of experience while putting on a school book fair. The young man wanted a nonfiction picture book about snakes, but his mom insisted he get a “real” book — fiction.

      My own son was luring into independent reading with Boys Life. He gained the practice through its high-interest articles to be able to handle more substantial books.

  • Anonymous

    In many of the articles the men speak of stories they or their sons like but what interest one person boy or girl will not necessarily interest another. The first book a teacher read that I liked was Ann of Green Gables. My twin sister in the same class did not like the book. We read together Black Beauty but she didn’t like it. Today she will only read factual books with the occasional biography. I still like fiction and fantasy books in both adult and children’s books. A male friend of mine I was surprised to discover he liked Romance books which are usually read by women so don’t assume that what most boys like to read all boys will want to read. I do agree that most non readers seem to like comic books and magazines. If the boy or girl doesn’t like books these are a excellent alternative for them to read.

  • Igor

    many of us have got the same problem. We are lack of educaten sometimes. when we really need it. But online editing is a way to avoid some further troubles.


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