TRC Read to Kids

Welcome to The Reading Connection’s blog, where you’ll find the best guidance on reading aloud to kids. Whether you are a TRC Read-Aloud volunteer, parent or student, the book themes and crafts ideas, child development guidelines and recommended websites will expand your world. For 25 years, The Reading Connection has worked to improve the lives of at-risk kids by linking the magic of reading to fun experiences that inspire a passion for learning. Visit our website at

Friday, April 26, 2013

Celebrate Boys!

It's a tradition in Japan to fly carp banners representing the boys in your home leading up to May 5th, Boy's Day. The day commemorates a Japanese hero, Kintaro, who was said to be unusually strong as a child. (Think Paul Bunyon or John Henry.) 
Why not take this occasion to celebrate boys at your Read-Aloud? Boys often get short shrift when it comes to reading. There is less social support for boys than girls to read, and statistics show that boys are often more reluctant than girls to read and are more frequently diagnosed with reading disabilities.

Featuring books about boys, real or imaginary, at your Read-Aloud is fun and easy. And it gives boys a chance to find themselves in a book. 

Choose biographies of boys who grew up to be famous and encourage kids to imagine what they will do when they grow up.
  • The Boy on Fairfield Street: How Ted Geisel Grew Up to Become Dr. Seuss by Kathleen Krull
  • The Herd Boy, about Nelson Mandela, by Niki Daly
  • Honda: The Boy Who Dreamed of Cars, by Mark Weston
  • Odd Boy Out:  Young Albert Einstein by Don Brown
  • Teddie:  The Story of Young Teddy Roosevelt by Don Brown
  • Young Thomas Edison by Michael Dooling

Or, go the imaginary route.  Read some adventures or talk about what it's like to be a son, a brother and a boy.
  • The Amazing Adventures of Bumblebee Boy by David Soman and Jacky Davis
  • Be Boy Buzz by Bell Hooks
  • The Boy in the Garden by Allen Say
  • Brothers of the Knight by Debbie Allen
  • Edwardo, the Horriblest Boy in the World by John Burningham
  • Harvey Moon, Museum Boy by Pat Cummings
  • I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato by Lauren Child
  • What Little Boys are Made Of by Robert Neubecker

Don't forget some classic boy stories!  Is being a boy now different from being a boy 15 or more years ago when these stories were published? 
  • Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
  • Crow Boy by Taro Yashima
  • Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
  • Jack and the Beanstalk by Steven Kellogg
  • No, David! by David Shannon
  • Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

And for the older kids, how about our favorite boy characters like Harry Potter, Peter Pan, Greg (from Diary of a Wimpy Kid), Percy Jackson or Horrible Harry?  Try reading selections from the books and have the kids vote for the coolest character.  Encourage the kids to talk about what him a great character.

Reading is more fun when you can identify with the characters in the story.  Every so often it's a good idea to shine the spotlight on boys in books and encourage the forgotten reader.

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