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Are Young Male Readers An Endangered Species?
The biggest predictor of academic success is not race, income, gender, parents' education, or location, but the presence of books in the home. Can we save the young male reader?
In The Literacy Crisis: False Claims, Real Solutions, Jeff McQuillan reports the biggest predictor of academic success is not race, income, gender, parents' education, or location, but the presence of books in the home. And yet literacy rates are plummeting among young male readers.
According to begintoread.com over sixty percent of adults in the US prison system read below the fourth grade level and eighty-five percent of juvenile inmates are functionally illiterate. Reading matters. Here's why:
Reading Changes Gray Matter
Books are at the heart of language acquisition for children, and language acquisition is the major factor in determining long-term academic and business success. Simply put: reading stimulates creativity. Books trigger words, and children need to hear lots and lots of words to develop their brains. Just fifteen minutes of reading every day exposes a child to a million words a year.
Reading Accelerates Learning
Children who are not regular readers are, on average, three years behind children in homes with lots of books. Children from professional families where reading is encouraged start kindergarten having heard 45 million words. Children from families on welfare and in environments with limited access to books enter kindergarten having heard just 13 million words.
The Benefits of Reading:
● Introduces children to imaginary worlds
● Inspires children to dream and expand their horizons
● Teaches conversational dialogue
● Stimulates problem solving
● Adds knowledge
● Introduces tough topics in safe environments
● Improves vocabulary
● Ignites ideas
Boys Will Be Boys: Saving the Young Male Reader
Boys act out, cut up, and engage with their world through action and aggression. Books, however, are built around listening to dialogue with our eyes, creating scenes in our head, and examining the connection between characters—all skills that require creative thinking and can be boring to boys who are accustomed to visually stimulating video games and movies.
"Given the increasing sophistication of gaming and role-playing, we need to provide boys with books that engage their imagination and spur creative thinking,” says author, Eddie Jones. That is why Buy a Boy a Book Campaign is pleased to announce the release of Dead Man's Hand, a middle-grade read aimed at reluctant readers. Boys love things that go "BHAM!" and Dead Man's Hand is filled with gunfights, train robberies, bank bandits, and one boy's search for the truth about death, dying, and the afterlife. This is the first in the Caden Chronicles series, a series of mysteries where spooks, vampires, and zombies don't stand a "ghost" of a chance.
"If we can get one boy to read one book or help one young man learn to think creatively, we are well on our way to changing a life," says author Eddie Jones. Readers are Leaders: Buy a Boy a Book.
Dead Man's Hand: http://www.amazon.com/
To request a review copy of DEAD MAN’S HAND or schedule an interview with Eddie Jones, please contact Candice Frederick at DJC Communications: