Reading Don't Fix No ChevysMy #1 Favorite Book of ALL TIME

I’ve read many books on Getting Boys to Read. Jeff and Michael’s book, Reading Don’t Fix No Chevys, has had the most impact on me and the hundreds of boys I have worked with over the years. This book provided concrete examples that really helped me undersatand what boys need to be successful in school. This book has been a HUGE inspiration in launching Getting Boys to and in my career as a Teacher-Librarian. I liked this book so much that I offered a free lunch for for teachers in my buidling that read it! I really liked how thorough their reearch was.


This book is a case study of a diverse mixture of 49 middle school and high school aged boys. Through tons of insightful interviews, you’ll get to know these boys and issues that they face around literacy. This book is great for

parents, teachers, and anyone that works with boys learning to read. It is highly engaging and a fairly quick read.

Audio Interview

Be sure to listen to my audio interview with one of the authors, Jeff Wilhelm


  • This book summarizes a year long study of 49 middle & HS boys
  • Tons of insightful interviews
  • P. 10 & 11: Great comparative summary of Achievement, Attitude, Choice, & Response
  • P. 96-?: Competence, Control & Challenge
  • Insightful comparisons to video games
  • Chapter 5: Texts they like & why
  • Importance of non-fcition / real events
  • Boys prefer tons of visuals!
  • In order to serve their needs, you must strive to understand them better
  • Great tips for teachers at the end 

2 Questions To Comment On:

  1. What is your interpretation of the title?
  2. If you read the book, what did you find interesting?

Posted in: Content

{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Anonymous

    It puzzled me to see how difficult it was to make boys interested in reading.
    tiffany necklaces It was an eye opener.

  • Paul Gray


    I read this book on your recommendation and am very glad I did. While I teach younger students than those targeted in the research, I certainly could see how much of it would apply to my classroom setting. I appreciated the insight to what boys read at home and how they view school reading. I teach fifth grade students, so I really don’t need to worry about the "classic" books that those in higher grades need to make appealing to their students. However, I began to look at books I do assign a little more critically. It was interesting that the boys noted some authors over-describe characters and their actions as well as setting. I have tried to be more aware of these feelings. I have also reevaluated what I have students read in guided reading groups. Much of these assignments are short so we can read them and get on with the discussion of the strategy or literary element about which the lessons focus. I have supplied a variety of texts which I feel should appeal to a large number of students. The thing I was forgetting, which the authors noted, was humor. As a result, I have been trying to gather a collection of Guys Write for Guys Read as the short stories have a good deal of humor and can easily be used in many guided reading settings. I let a couple of boys read one copy together during a silent reading period. They kept working to stifle their laughter, and I have to admit I found Gary Paulsen’s story about an electric fence rather humorous. It may be my own connections to a certain electric fence where a group of us grabbed hands for the “chain of shock.” These short lessons should provide a good scaffold for the students to apply their learning to their novel responses in a more independent manner. I also wondered about Hyperstudio Stacks and how they would help the scholars represent their thinking through electronic media. Having discovered what these stacks are, I feel the students can use PowerPoint in a very similar manner, so I am having my students try this next week. They are usually motivated by technology, but we probably have overused podcasting this year. This new idea will provide another option for the learners to share their thinking about what they read.
    I was very interested in reading more about the idea of Symbolic Representation Interview or Symbolic Story Representation. I often think having the conversations with the students may yield a greater response that having them write out their thoughts. The students could make their cutouts and talk through their thinking, which should be more appealing than writing. Talking through things will also help focus their writing on the occasions when it is assigned. I was particularly interested in the cutout that represents themselves as the reader. To find out more about this idea, I have found copies of Jeffery Wilhelm’s You Gotta Be the Book and Nancie Atwell’s The Reading Zone. If anyone has read these books, I would be interested in your thoughts. 
    Thanks for the recommendation, I really enjoyed the book and will likely refer to it regularly throughout the years to come.

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