The students for this project are all ninth graders, particulary boys, in their second semester and taking English I (ninth grade English).
There is a gender gap between boys and girls and their reading ability.
In order to change this, teachers need books in their classroom that boys can identify with. After completing reading surveys in my classroom, many of the boys said that they had not read one single book in the last year, some not ever. Yet, they did indicate what books they would like to read, and they were about soccer, swimming, ice hockey, or dystopian books.
My male students need books that "talk" to them - books that highlight activities and interests that they have such as sports, history, and stories of real male heroes!
Some of the books that I chose are books that I have witnessed other boys in my classroom reading such as Red Platoon and Unbroken.
Others were books that have won awards or been recognized as high sellers and popular for adolescent boys. These included Winners & Losers, Whale Talk, and Becoming Kareem.
After ninth grade, interest in reading drops significantly as school becomes more challenging and students begin to enter the work force and participate in more extra-curricular activities. In many ways, this is our last chance to show them how reading can be enjoyable and change their life.
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