Book Clubs for Boys

Boys may not show as much interest in reading as parents would like. You know being able to read well is a key indicator of success in school and the business world. You want your son to achieve great things, but it is obvious that reading is not high on his list of things he wants to do.

Forming a Boy’s Book Club can motivate your son to read more. There are some important points to keep in mind though. First, independent reading, which is so important to solidifying reading skills, must be interesting to the reader. Independent reading is reading we do because we want to. It is not because it is required by a job or the school curriculum. Next, boys crave activity. Sitting around is not usually high on their agenda. Given these provisos, here are some ideas on setting up a book club for boys.

Club size. A small group is usually more interactive than a larger group and the goal of the club is to read and discuss the book for the month. A group of five to 10 boys will work well. More than that and the group dynamic shifts to a few outspoken individuals controlling the entire discussion. So in this case, smaller is better.

Next topic, please. Focus the group on a particular subject matter for the choice of books. Manga is a very popular book category among teens in many parts of the country and the interest level in reading these books is very high. Remember the purpose of the book club is to motivate your young son to pick up a book. This is not school and it is not the place to learn the classics. Other ideas for book subject matter include sports (include books on different aspects of sports, biographies of great players, sports magazines), cars (including different makes and models, picture books of sports cars, biographies about car builders, the history of car making, etc), action/adventure, science fiction, and the military (fiction and non-fiction, biographies of soldiers, historical battles, military uniforms and fighting techniques). Librarians can help the book club find books of interest in the subject area selected.

Pass the popcorn. Plan to serve snacks at the book club meetings. People feel more relaxed and talk more when they have something to sip and nibble. Evoke the feeling of a party, instead of classroom, and the club will immediately feel more special and fun.

Bring it on. Jazz up the meetings by having club members dress up as their favorite character, bring in pictures or cards of their favorite players, make a model of their dream car, demonstrate fencing techniques, or play a game of basketball afterward.

As publishers of books for children, we often hear from parents of boys (particularly teenage boys) about their son’s lack of interest in reading. So much happens during the teen years. A Book Club with the features mentioned here may be just the thing for sparking more interest in reading.

PS. If you need questions for starting discussions for Pilinut Press books, check out our webpage support for book clubs.

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