Literary Kitty’s Site of the Week on the Guys Read web page, tripped a switch in Young Bill Young’s head. There’s another expert on boys and reading that we need to introduce you to: Michael Sullivan. Literary Kitty approves, so we’re good to go with this post.
Sullivan is a big hit at conferences and workshop for librarians across the country. He cuts to the heart of what it means to be a boy. He knows how their minds work. He knows what’s important to them. Take a look at this quote from an article on one of his presentations in Houston. Here’s what I mean by getting to the heart of it:
Girls tend to be internal thinkers, feeling connected to the world when they read. For girls, this connection and communication is the key to solving problems. Boys tend to be external thinkers, craving to connect to the world and follow what is called the ‘Home Depot Approach.’ In their reading, they look for rules and tools to understand why problems exist and then explore ways to solve the problem.”
Parents know the differences between their boys and girls, so why fight the differences? Michael shows you how to work with the differences. Sullivan says let boys choose what they read. Support whatever they choose to read, and connect the activities they enjoy—be it sports, adventure or exploration—with books that help them learn more about those activities.
Sullivan’s site is a wealth of information. It includes his 2011 list of Best Books for Teen Boys, his Boys and Books Blog, recommended titles for boys of different ages, a link to his Facebook page on chess (he’s a chess teacher, too!), and a link to the Facebook page on the line of books he’s written for boys, Escapade Johnson.
If there’s a boy in your life, you need to introduce yourself to Mr. Sullivan.
Here’s to boys and books!