Monday, February 07, 2011

Boys Read Pink

Last January, I had a Super Secret Evil Plan that involved giving boys books with main characters who were girls. There were a couple of reasons for this: one of my avid boy readers had read all of the "boy" romance books, so I had him try one with a girl as the main character. Since he was a football player, when he recommended this course of action to his friends, they thought it was a hoot. The second reason was that I felt bad about giving books with boys on the cover to girls and just expecting that they would have no objection. In all, I checked out 38 aggressively pink books (we're talking The Princess Diaries) to boys in a two week period. The result? The boys all enjoyed their books, mainly because "they weren't all that different from books about boys"!

I mentioned to some of my 6th graders this year that February would be "Boys Read Pink" month. Because of snow days and various interference, I didn't get to roll it out, and I had boys ask about it.

This got me thinking. It is true that boys are a little reluctant to read books with girls on the cover. MAYBE it's not because they don't want to read them, but because they are afraid that people will make fun of them. They want to read a wide variety of things, just like girls do, but perhaps they need the extra push.

If you would like to try this Super Secret Evil Plan in your library, e mail me and I will send you Publisher file for a flyer and book marks.

It's February. We all need evil plans just to get us through the month!

11 comments:

Sandra Stiles said...

This sounds like an awesome idea and I love it. I have one student who will read anything I give him. I am interested in your plan. You may email it to me at:
stiless@manateeschools.net Thank you so much

R.J. Anderson said...

My experience has definitely been that boys will gladly read girl protagonists if the story is engaging enough and the cover is not too boy-unfriendly. I just did a UK tour for my latest MG faery book ARROW, and after my presentation the 9-12 boys -- even the older ones -- bought almost as many copies of my three books as the girls did, and weren't a bit shy about coming to have me sign them. Loved that.

Kate Coombs said...

How brilliant of you not to tiptoe around this issue, and to create a new culture of cool around boys reading "girl" books! Go, Ms. Y! (On a related note, I've showed boys how to make a manly fake book jacket with which to cover my princess book--they loved it.)

wlomano said...

Solution to the embarrassing "girl on the cover" or girly-looking cover problem: book socks /covers. I often use them to protect dust jackets that won't stay on, but I've used them to "hide" what I'm reading from my sons as well (as in, I didn't want them to know I was reading one of their books!)

Iron Guy Carl said...

Yes,indeed, boys will read those books with a push. I once saw a boy curled up and reading a Nancy Drew graphic novel.

Beth said...

This sounds like a fun idea. Please send me the plan and I'll put the bookmarks in the libraries tomorrow when I volunteer.

Kiera Parrott said...

This is deliciously evil and please tell me you have a newsletter (Super Secret Evil Librarian Monthly) because I'd like to subscribe.

Mrs. F-B's Books Blog said...

What do you think about Nothing for a high school collection?

Jennifer said...

I'd like to try that, although it's a little harder in a public library to push books on kids at specific times...anyways, send it to my work email, ok? jwharton(at)elkhorn.lib.wi.us

Mrs. N said...

Such a fabulous idea! I wish I had a library at my command.

Katherine Langrish said...

I think this is a wonderful idea! After all, why should the boys miss out?

 
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