Have I mentioned that I have three sons? Usually, this fact is met with gasps of horror and murmurs of, “Oh my goodness.” They are really wonderful young men, and they know that I am the Queen, and that I expect them to continue to be wonderful young men.
Anyway, the three of them have qualified me as a semi-expert on the reading habits of boys… and audiobooks have a good-sized role.
Popular author Jon Scieskza, best known in my house for his picture book The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, is the National Ambassador of Literature for Young People.
His successful Guys Read (guysread.com) program offers a unique look at the way boys read and how to encourage them to read more. The site also explores the gap in reading scores between boys and girls and reasons why boys may be struggling.
Guys Read is currently preparing to launch Guys Listen. Studies have shown that 30% of boys are auditory learners.
The ability to use technology to listen to books may be motivating for those boys who are reluctant to tackle more traditional texts. With this in mind, Guys Listen intends to promote literacy through audiobooks.
In addition to being more appealing, listening to a book may also help boys with fluency and comprehension. Hopefully, this will improve the educational experience as a whole and help boys overcome some of the obstacles preventing them from reaching their full potential in the area of literacy.
guyslisten.com is in development. When it is online, it will allow boys to find and recommend audiobook titles. Until then, parents should encourage boys to take the time to visit Guys Read. There are extensive lists of books sorted by themes appealing to guys in reading levels from picture book to young adult.
The site is bright and busy and definitely geared towards boys. It even offers downloadable bookmarks, book labels, book plates, and spine labels.
I love the motivating messages of this program. Calling attention to boys’ literacy issues, offering boy-friendly recommendations and choices, and encouraging role models are all big parts of Guys Read.
I am looking forward to visiting Guys Listen with my 12 year-old son when it is up and running. I’ll let you know what he thinks!