UPDATE #29 – GETTING BOYS TO READ: Here is a printout of the 547 edits I made over the past 2 months. Thanks to help from Stephanie Meunier Pellegrino and Kimberly Willahan, I feel my book has doubled in quality. It should arrive from the printer any day now! My big plea….Can I count on...

Motivate Reading with Reading Logs post image

I began to realize the importance of keeping a reading log while working with the students whom I mentor. Often I would show them a book we had read months ago and ask them if they remembered it. Sometimes they would, other times they would tell me we had not read it.

Wouldn't it be great if they were keeping track of their reading on their own, instead of needing me to tell them which books, or how many books they had read?

I love to read – always have since I was a child. Perhaps that's one of the reasons I decided to volunteer as a reading helper to work with children. I wanted to share my passion for reading with children who had not yet discovered theirs.

While reading together with my students is important, demonstrating a positive attitude about reading (and learning) is just as critical to their developing reading habits. As reading role models we are influential and can have a positive impact on boys' attitudes toward reading with just a few positive steps.

This might come as a surprise, since we often don't think of boys wanting to talk and socialize, but boys like social activities. Just think of the activities they enjoy the most. Baseball, football, basketball – team sports are the ultimate social activities. Even movies and video games can be perceived as social for boys. When all their friends are playing the latest game or going to see the newest release, boys want to be “in the know” and able to keep up with their friends socially.

On the flip side, books and reading are perceived as anything but social. As a solitary activity, boys sometimes equate reading with being anti-social, a nerd, weird or a loner. We can help change this perception by making reading a social activity for boys, one that they want to share with friends.

Part 3 of 3 Part Series – ESL Boy Readers

Culture is important for second language readers. While learning to read in a new language is unfamiliar and awkward for them, reading will feel even more foreign to boys if there is no trace of the world that they know. To help boys who are reading in a second language feel more comfortable reading, we have to reach out to them within their comfort zone.

Part 2 of 3 Part Series – ESL Boy Readers

Reading in a second language can be challenging for even the most eager readers. Boys who are reluctant to read to begin with, may find reading in an unfamiliar language intimidating. By choosing the right texts, we can help make the task more welcoming and enjoyable for them.

Below I have compiled, from my experience, five elements to look for in books to appeal to ESL boys.


"As a writer and mother of three sons, I was delighted when I discovered Getting Boys to Read." - Jayne, mother/writer in South Carolina

" has been an inspiration and a form of support to me, not only as a reading teacher but as a parent of a son who needed reading encouragement." - Judith, teacher in Tennessee

"Your site rocks! Congrats and keep up all of the great work!" - Stacey, teacher librarian in New York

"I wrote your website address on my summer reading list. I hope parents are going to be as enthusiastic as I am when you gave it to me. Good luck." - Sophie, school librarian in New Jersey

"Our son just turned 13 and used to read but seems like it is more of a chore now...thanks for all the great articles. Our goal now is to find some books that are interesting to him and get him back on the right track!" - Cherie, mom in Pennsylvania

"I have now bookmarked as one of my favorite library/reading/book related websites." - Rory, teen librarian in Nebraska

"I signed up to "Gettingboystoread" today. What a fantastic site!" - Sade

I think your site sounds very interesting and necessary. - Danielle

Hey Mike! We love to read!! My 4 kids love to read, too.. Although different ways and interests...My 8yo stays late at night just to finish a book he's totally into! Great idea and purpose!

It's a great website and especially helpful for me and my 2 year old son. - Angel

I couldn't stop reading your page- that is fabulous what you do! My son was not originally a reader and I switched him into a magnet school. It has changed him and now that he is entering middle school he made all of the honors classes. I know what you do makes a difference! - Jill

Thanks for the GREAT work you're dooing for kids!! Particularly BOYS. - Sue

Hi Mike, I'm a children's book author and a mother of a 1st-grade boy. I've been following your tweets for awhile and love them. Please keep up the good work! - Laurie

As a former reading teacher, I applaud you. Keep up the good work. - Kim

I am very impressed with your website. It's great to see how varied this incredibly important topic can be presented to parents, community, boys and educators. - Alexa

I am very interested in your blog and will be checking it out. I am a mother to 3 girls and 1 boy. My girls and I love to read, but my husband is not much of a reader and the little guy is already proving to not care for "storytime". I am hoping to someday "convert" my husband to reading and I hope my son will also turn out to be a reader. Anyway, I look forward to reading your tips. - Danielle

I have a 9 year old boy that I currently homeschool. I looked at your site and I joined! Loved it! I think you are really filling a need. - Richele

Hi Mike - Great mission! I have two boys, a mom who's an early childhood literacy specialist, so I know the work you're doing is SO important! Rock on. - Liv

Your blog is great! I know lots of parents who are struggling to get their boys to read...hiring tutors, etc. mixed success. I don't know of any blogs like yours. - Christina

You give me hope. My son hates to read and it has been a struggle. Thanks! - Katherine

Getting boys to read is a particular passion of mine, so it was fun to visit your site. - Bridget

I love the concept behind your blog. Fantastic book reviews focused on encouraging boys to read! - Dolly

I have two boys,still younger now, but one coming up on the age of learning to read. I look forward to viewing your site and getting ideas to help!! Thank you!! - Reannon

I think your website ROCKS!- Tara

It's great to see that someone is caring about what boys read and learn. - Sue

Great site Mike. Boys and school/reading IS such an adventure!! They certainly are wired differently than girls. I've actually found it easier to teach my boys to read, but harder to get them to really love to read for enjoyment. Best of luck to you. - Michelle

Sounds like you're doing some great work! What a great cause... looking forward to connecting, just added you on Twitter - Rebecca

I love your site.Great stuff. I have 2 boys and I love the crusade to get boys to read. Keep up the good work! See you on fb too. - Nora

I'd love to network with you. Reading is a favorite pastime with my boys, and I'd love to share tips to help other moms assist their little ones in knowing the love of reading. -April

I love your blog and you are doing something really important like the awareness of reading , keep it up. - Angela

Wow! What an Awesome sight! I have 3 boys and 1 girl and for the life of me, I just realized Boys def. need more tools and encouragement to read than Girls. What a very useful page you have going! Kelleye