Guys Read Information

(Go to Guys Read Recommended Reading Lists)

Studies have shown that boys are falling behind girls when it comes to reading. The National Assessment of Educational Progress ("The Nation's Report Card") shows boys of all ages lagging behind their female counterparts at reading. In fact, the U.S. Department of Education reading tests for the last 30 years show boys scoring worse than girls in every age group, every year.

It is that trend that inspired the Kent District Library to become the first public library in Michigan to adopt author Jon Scieszka's Guys Read initiative. Its mission, which closely mirrors our own, is to "help boys become self-motivated, lifelong readers by connecting them with materials they will want to read, in ways they like to read."

Read our brochure to learn more about KDL's Guys Read initiative, or follow the links below for additional information related to guys and reading.


  • The Book Whisperer:
    Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child
    by Donalyn Miller, 2009 

    Donalyn Miller says she has yet to meet a child she couldn't turn into a reader. She shares her teaching methods and includes a dynamite list of recommended "kid lit" that helps parents and teachers find the books that students really like to read.

  • Reading Don't Fix No Chevys:
    Literacy in the Lives of Young Men
    by Michael W. Smith & Jeffrey D. Wilhelm, 2002

    The problems boys have in school, especially in reading and writing, have been documented by statistical data, but rarely does research point out how literacy educators can combat those problems. Michael Smith and Jeff Wilhelm worked with a very diverse group of young men to understand how they use literacy and what conditions promote it. In this book, they share what they have learned.

  • Connecting Boys With Books 2:
    Closing the Reading Gap
    by Michael Sullivan, 2009

    Sullivan, a long-time children's librarian and library director, talks about how librarians can counter the cultural stereotypes that drive boys away from libraries and books. He discusses such aspects as boys and girls being different, exposing boys to stories, promoting reading to boys, and creating the culture of literacy.

  • The Trouble With Boys
    by Peg Tyre, 2008

    From the moment they step into the classroom, boys begin to struggle. By eighth grade, huge numbers are reading below grade level. Perhaps most alarmingly, boys now account for less than 43 percent of those enrolled in college, and the gap widens every semester! Tyre, a mother of two sons, offers the testimony of teachers and school officials who are trying new techniques to motivate boys to learn again, one classroom at a time.

  • Why Boys Fail:
    Saving Our Sons from an Educational System That's Leaving Them Behind

    by Richard Whitmire, 2010

    Whitmire, president of the National Educational Writers Association, presents evidence from a federal study released in 2003 showing that boys fall behind in school not because of video games or female-dominated schools biased toward girls, but because schools demand high-level reading and writing skills before boys are capable of handling them.



  • Guys Read
    Learn all about the national Guys Read initiative. While you are there, check out some great book recommendations for all sorts of guys.

  • National Assessment of Education Progress
    Check out current and past results of the Nation's Report Card related to reading.

  • Gender Task Force
    The Maine Department of Education formed a task force to address concerns regarding poor academic performance by boys in the state. The results are very informative and provide plenty of strategies to help get boys reading.

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