We all know our young boys are in trouble. You don’t have to read the statistics to know that girls are outperforming boys across the board in classrooms across America. Teachers looking for another good resource to help reach the males entering their rooms each day should definitely check out Pam Allyn’s Best Books for Boys.

The author spends the first part of the book explaining how we can help our boys become more passionate about literacy. She explains in depth that Ritual, Environment, Access, and Dialogue will encourage boys to read without making it feel like an obligation. She explains, at the core of our teaching, we need to ensure we give boys the books they want to read and enough time to read them.

The best part of the book is the extensive annotated book list that breaks down titles by subjects such as action and adventure, fantasy, and sports. The author then breaks each list down by reading level and emotional development stage – very helpful for both teachers and parents.

Like Ralph Fletcher’s amazing Boy Writers (a book I continually revisit), Pam Allyn’s Best Books for Boys is a wonderful way to help us understand the way boys think and express themselves.

“Boys who read widely and wisely, joyously and purposefully, are the same boys who will some day raise children wisely and well, make interesting work decisions, and step forward into the world with kindness, intention and boldness.” p.173

I can’t think of a better reason to invest time and energy into our male students.

Pam Allyn's Best Books for Boys: How to Engage Boys in Reading in Ways That Will Change Their Lives