I just read one of the best articles that I’ve ever seen on why boys supposedly don’t like to read. It is entitled
The Dangerous Article for Boys:
Why boys don’t need to get in touch with their feelings and how you can protect them from people who think they do (with a list of books to help you fend these people off).
by Martin Cothran
In introducing the article, the Memoria Press Newsletter says:
Martin Cothran responds to the New York Times on why boys aren’t reading
Remember the bestselling Dangerous Book for Boys a couple of years ago? Well, Martin Cothran, editor of Memoria Press’ Classical Teacher magazine, responds to a recent article in the New York Times Sunday Book Review on the issue of why boys aren’t reading in his new article, “The Dangerous Article for Boys: Why boys don’t need to get in touch with their feelings and how you can protect them from people who think they do (with a list of books to help you fend these people off).”
It didn’t take him long to write the article, but it took him a while to type the title.
“Morality has been replaced in young adult literature by therapy,” he says, “and boys have fled in droves.” As a bonus, you get Mr. Cothran’s views on the important issue of why there are so many wimpy vampires in television and film, as well as why Batman really needs to seek professional help.
The article begins:
It is now well-recognized that boys are not reading. What is the problem? Most commentators want to say that boys have an aversion to books. But the problem is quite the opposite: books—modern books, that is—have an aversion to boys.
A recent edition of The New York Times Sunday Book Review featured a Robert Lipsyte article that attempts to address this problem. Here is the proffered solution:
[B]oys need to be approached individually with books about their fears, choices, possibilities and relationships — the kind of reading that will prick their dormant empathy, involve them with fictional characters and lead them into deeper engagement with their own lives. This is what turns boys into readers.
Excuse me while I dab my eyes delicately with my handkerchief, touched as I am by this tender thought.
Okay, let’s get something straight here: solutions like this are part of the problem….
Wayne here–Cothran’s observations match my experiences as a children’s book reviewer perfectly; you can read this excellent article in its entirety by going to this link: