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Attracting Reluctant Readers part 1: Why Johnny, Jaime, Jose and sometimes even Jane wont read B. A. Binns.

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Presentation on theme: "Attracting Reluctant Readers part 1: Why Johnny, Jaime, Jose and sometimes even Jane wont read B. A. Binns."— Presentation transcript:

1 Attracting Reluctant Readers part 1: Why Johnny, Jaime, Jose and sometimes even Jane wont read B. A. Binns

2 Reading is Not Normal Literacy: a 21 st century survival skill – Read or lose out A good book can be its own rewards! – The epiphany of a well-written novel can be like the surge of endorphins called the runners high and produce the catharsis – the moment the reader exhales and says that was good. I want another just like that Pain : Reward ratio – For many reluctant readers, there is a high level of pain associated with reading. Reading is painful, not fun, so the perceived reward has to be high before they even begin. – Every reader deserves a reward that makes them feel that someone is speaking directly to him or her. That they are understood. – As an author, if I want reluctant readers to enjoy my books, I know I have to hand out reader rewards on almost every page. ALA Chicago 6/29/13http://www.babinns.com2

3 ALA Chicago 6/29/13http://www.babinns.com3 Do Guys Read? Stupid questionRevealing answers I dont read. Well, I read my textbooks. Ok, I do read comics. I read all the time. I guess the other guys havent found anything they like yet.

4 ALA Chicago 6/29/13http://www.babinns.com4 Guys are Different Kids do not develop literacy skills at the same rate. What is grade appropriate may not be developmentally appropriate for different kids of the same age. Good news – Things usually even out by about age 16. Bad news – If he decides I dont read before then, he may never even attempt to catch up

5 Reading For Fun ALA Chicago 6/29/13http://www.babinns.com5 Almost 90% of kids are read to or told stories from birth to five. There is a near universal love of story becomes do I have to? stories can delay bed time. K-3 classroom are filled with eager readers. At ages 6 to 8 (the learn to read years) only 52% of boys and 59% of girls read books for fun at least five days a week. The gender discrepancy that widens significantly as kids reach the middle grades years, and by high school, ages 15 to 17, only 17% of boys and 31% of girls do so.

6 What does being a reluctant reader feel like? ALA Chicago 6/29/13http://www.babinns.com6 Try reading a different language – it can be intimidating

7 I Can Read French!! ALA Chicago 6/29/13http://www.babinns.com7 I learned the old fashioned way, with graphic novels I like your courage, child star. Take the sword that lies before you, it will give you strength tomorrow.

8 Dont Let Them Become Reluctant Readers If we librarians, teachers, parents, provide good books, appropriate to their skill level, age, and interests, many non-readers convert to readers. Give them books that attract; that show practical value – Things that are "true" or that "really happened" : memoir, true crime, true stories of the weird or supernatural My Bloody Life or Once a King, Always a King (two memoirs about Latin Kings in Chicago). – Non-fiction about hip-hop/rap, military experience, celebrities, sports, etc. As soon as the Swon brothers put out their autobiographies, they will be a hit with girls and guys – Novels with fast-moving action, frequent danger, high stakes, and straightforward, unfussy narratives. ALA Chicago 6/29/13http://www.babinns.com8

9 Not Get Lost in a Book, Find Yourself in a Book The good news is that many adults who self-identify as former reluctant readers can name a book that turned them around and changed their lives. Give them characters that let them see themselves. – Characters that act "real and can show them something about their own lives and issues Thats my life in your book. I was able to relate to what the main character was going through. I learned I wasn't the only one who sometimes hates his father. ALA Chicago 6/29/13http://www.babinns.com9

10 Stories of Real Boys Growing Into Real Men ALA Chicago 6/29/13http://www.babinns.com10 Quotes from readers: He kind of reminded me of myself, losing someone you love such as a parent hurts, and you always hear their voices in your head before you make a decision; that David was able to give up so much for the well- being of his family was truly admirable. 'Pull' can't compare to any book I have ever read, it shows lifes difficulties and just because it is difficult doesn't mean you have to give in to its bad influences. Our 13-year-old is halfway through PULL, and tonight at supper he said, "It's an amazing book."

11 Fun Dont forget the Fun Factor – So-called "borderline books" let young readers think they're getting away with something. Sometimes I'll have a kid say, "Gee, this book has some swearing in it," to which I say, "Are you OK with that? Is it anything you haven't heard before?" I get the nod and the head shake and then the smile. – As long as the writing is good, and there is a good moral at its foundation, let them have fun ALA Chicago 6/29/13http://www.babinns.com11

12 Its a myth that guys wont read books about girls. ALA Chicago 6/29/13http://www.babinns.com12 Come on – the title alone will grab him, even if it is a book about two girls. Its also about bullying and how high school can be a scary and isolating place. Piddy doesnt even know who Yaqui Delgado is or why the bully hates her. Her fearful friends desert her, her schoolwork suffers, the administration turns a blind eye, even neighbors wont help when she is attacked on the street. People tell her to be strong. She just wants to give up and be safe.

13 Sometimes Covers Hurt The Cause ALA Chicago 6/29/13http://www.babinns.com13 The cover says romance, a girl book. This is about bad boy Dylan and his not-so- bright friend who are running from the cops and the gang because they accidently caused the death of the gang leaders little brother. But wait, theres more. Dylan our protagonist, is heading to find his death-row father. With only days before the execution, he has a few questions for the man he hasnt seen in almost a decade. Added bonus – Dylan is dyslexic; he cant read and his coping strategies have finally fallen through. Thats why hes a dropout, why he was in juvie, why he was working at his uncles chop shop and how he fell on the wrong side of the gang leader. He may have poetry in his soul, but he cant read or write.

14 Marketing Segment of One – One solution will not fit all. – Librarian Role: Create unique solutions for each customer. – If he says he doesnt read, dont stop there. Find out why: No time to read / No desire to read Reading isnt cool / Reading is for girls Community/cultural pressure Other activities are more fun Reading is hard Closet readers – prefer that their peers not know they read Look at his reasons and prepare displays, sales-pitches, recommendations and activities to meet the needs of different non-readers. Practice does not have to mean harder books. Whether I swim in the shallow end, or the deep end, I am still improving my stroke. But put me in the deep end before I am ready and I may decide to stay away from water for good. ALA Chicago 6/29/13http://www.babinns.com14

15 The Man Cave Concept ALA Chicago 6/29/13http://www.babinns.com15 A guy-friendly area of the classroom, library, or home Allow a little noise and disorder Comfortable chairs, Being forced to sit at a desk repels them (beanbags, anyone) Room to play around in Less visual stimulation/distraction

16 ALA Chicago 6/29/13http://www.babinns.com16 Make Interesting Books Easy to Find Showcase a variety of titles attractive to guys Remember, not all reading involves books

17 Crime/ Detective/ Mystery ALA Chicago 6/29/13http://www.babinns.com17 Old, but still awesome, guys love mysteries Duncan is the only person who believes there is a serial killer stalking people on the subway near his summer job. He has to choose between going after the man himself, or standing by while a woman dies.

18 Science Fiction ALA Chicago 6/29/13http://www.babinns.com18 Nailer is a Hispanic boy in a future world where the Gulf Coast has been ravaged, New Orleans underwater, and he has to works long hours scavenging rusting oil tankers to make quota--and hopefully live to see another day. He and his female African American crew boss find a beached clipper ship that could make him wealthy. IF he finishes off the lone survivor, an Asian girl girl from a wealthy family that looks down on him. Consider this as a audio books book. Those are especially useful when the mere size of the book might intimidate a reluctant reader

19 Science Fiction ALA Chicago 6/29/13http://www.babinns.com19 14 year old Adam can tell when and how someone will die by looking in their eyes. That leaves the biracial youth with no friends except his grandmother who will at least live to a comfortable old age. He doesnt know his own death date, but he does know a disaster will decimate the city in a few months leaving people to die in pain and disease. But no one will listen to his warnings and leave, not even his grandmother.

20 Science Fiction/ Superheros ALA Chicago 6/29/13http://www.babinns.com20 Imagine a world where superheroes are real. Now imagine realizing you are developing a superpower. Sounds too good to be true. Especially if you are Thom who also has to come to grips with his homosexuality. And who has a legendary father who despises both gays and super-powered beings.

21 Science Fiction/ Sports ALA Chicago 6/29/13http://www.babinns.com21 Pro football, 700 years in the future, with aliens and humans. Combines the intense gridiron action of "Any Given Sunday" with the space opera style of "Star Wars" and the criminal underworld of "The Godfather. This is a very thick book – perfect as an audio book. Special trick – especially since it is the first in a series. If he wants another just like it, you may have a reader on your hands.

22 Sports/Realistic ALA Chicago 6/29/13http://www.babinns.com22 Danny, a sophomore gymnast still waiting for puberty, deals with bullying on a daily basis. Kurt, a scarred football player, has lived with physical abuse most of his life. Both boys develop an unlikely friendship as their only hope of survival in a win-at-any-cost school where steroid-enhanced teens can get away with anything, including rape and murder, as long as they keep winning.

23 Sports/ Realistic ALA Chicago 6/29/13http://www.babinns.com23 Malik Kaplan has a cross to bear, or maybe its a Star of David; being the black teenaged son of a Catholic mother and Jewish father makes life confusing. Alcohol keeps him going; alcohol is destroying his life. He ends up being dumped from the basketball team, faced with court- ordered community service shepherding an angry ten-year-old who hates the world, teaching boxing to a girl who refuses to continue being a victim, and facing an offer he cant refuse from the boys gang leader brother

24 Sports/ Realistic ALA Chicago 6/29/13http://www.babinns.com24 Another book featuring a girl that guys like reading Autumn finds reading a painful struggle that could end her star position as the wrestling teams only girl wrestler. Adonis is in a wheelchair and wont accept anything less than perfection in himself or in others. Together they learn that our greatest weaknesses can turn into assets

25 Humor/ Realistic ALA Chicago 6/29/13http://www.babinns.com25 Chucks OCD scare his friends and the girl he likes. (I mean really likes, so he will do almost anything to hide his problem from her) This is a comedy about getting your hands dirty, and finding one last chance to face inner demons, defend his best friend, and win over the girl of his dreams

26 Short Stories ALA Chicago 6/29/13http://www.babinns.com26 Short stories, some as small as 3- 4 pages. For everyone who has ever felt their problems were insurmountable, here are fourteen short stories of teens and young adults facing up to the challenges of family, love, and loss. Death, loss, fear, family struggles, even a little sick lit in the title story where a boy deals with terminal cancer

27 Books In Verse ALA Chicago 6/29/13http://www.babinns.com27 Matt is adopted by American parents after the Vietnam war. He still has a mother and brother back in Vietnam, and his adoptive parents have a new baby. This book may be considered a historical story (& guess how that make me feel since I vividly remember those days) but it helps any kid who may wonder about his own place in the world.

28 Books In Verse ALA Chicago 6/29/13http://www.babinns.com28 A book told from the perspective of Andy, a friendless freshman until Blake arrives. Finally he has someone to talk to and hang with. Blake has a secret, a gun in his locker and a plan to use it. But he is still Andys only friend.

29 Graphic Novels ALA Chicago 6/29/13http://www.babinns.com29 Matt is half Vietnamese, half American. He was adopted by an American family after the end of the Vietnam war. He still has a mother and brother back in Vietnam, and bad memories of how and why his mother sent him away. Now his adoptive parents have a brand new baby. This may be historical (& guess how that make me feel) but it helps any kid who may wonder about his own place in the world.

30 ALA Chicago 6/29/13http://www.babinns.com30 YALSA Quick Picks The YALSA Quick Picks committee seeks books that teens, ages 12-18, will pick up on their own and read for pleasure. The list is geared to the teenager who, for whatever reason, does not like to read. Teen input is a vital aspect in the final decision of the committee. The visual appearance of a book and the standard considerations in the quality of content is equally important when selecting books for reluctant young readers. If you find a title that seems to fit this criteria, please consider nominating it. One of my proudest moments was learning that my book Pull was named a 2012 Quick Pick. Better than the National Readers Choice Award in YA (which was good too) – Pull was also named in School Library Journal as one of 2011s Best Books for Youth In Detention. – I donated copies to Joliet JYC facility here in Illinois, and, until it closed in January, Im told my book was still one of the most popular.

31 ALA Chicago 6/29/13http://www.babinns.com31 Encourage Guys to Write Create and share their own stories – Fiction and or non-fiction - How to instructions Show off what they know Projects/contests like plays, poetry, comic books or songs based on a book Write Book Reviews – Once one peer says he likes a book, friends grow interested – Not essays; short, sweet and heartfelt works Alex Cross, best detective series ever! Pull is better than cable. Its a amazing book. – Keep them handy and easy to find Book Trailer projects Social Media – Blog/online discussion group – Twitter - Follow those hashtags #yourlibrary #yourManCave – Facebook-like class/library page – Tumblr-like fan fiction

32 Author Visits ALA Chicago 6/29/13http://www.babinns.com32 I love to come to talk with book clubs, libraries, and schools

33 Author Visits ALA Chicago 6/29/13http://www.babinns.com33 Yes, the guys read and become involved in the discussion, reading was not a chore (and this guy even gave me ideas about future books)

34 Author Visits ALA Chicago 6/29/13http://www.babinns.com34 This was with an alternative school, people who almost never read because of the difficulty level, hovering over books, deciding which to choose to keep as their own

35 ALA Chicago 6/29/13http://www.babinns.com35 Role Models: Parents Look into reading programs that involve parents, especially fathers Reach out to male readers/parents Encourage teen boys to read to younger boys; this gives them non-threatening practice time and provides them with the inner reward of helping someone else. Dare parents to read with their child to model that reading is also a male activity.

36 ALA Chicago 6/29/13http://www.babinns.com36 Role Models: Community Members Reach out to male readers/role models Teachers, staff, parents, community members, celebrities Read to boys, read with them And, of course Librarians!

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