Wednesday, June 29, 2011

To Be A Boy, To Be A Reader

Healer, pilgrim, patriarch, king, warrior, magician, wildman, prophet, trickster and lover.  

William G. Brozo explores these 10 positive male archetypes in his book To Be A Boy, To Be A Reader.   Brozo's book is full of practical advice for offering a balanced reading diet for young men.

A few years ago, I used this book to help round out our school library's novel selections.   As with similar guides, some of the recommended titles were not in print when I looked for them on   Brozo's released a newer edition of the book, so maybe he's included some fresh titles that are currently in a bookstore near you.   That said, the book is still worth reading.   It will remind you of Robert Bly's Iron John.   Both books make sense.   After all, archetypes are archetypes for a reason. 

Of course, girls will read many of Brozo's recommended books and identify with the main characters as well.   It's also important for female readers to see boys and men in a variety of positive roles.

If you have a chance to hear Dr. Brozo teach, take it.   Once at a conference, the speaker I signed up for cancelled her session.   Brozo was the sub!   Having read his book, I couldn't believe my luck.   He's just as interesting as his writing.   He is currently a professor at George Mason University if you are interested in being one of his students.  
Please note: You'll want to be careful before labelling novels as "girl books" and "boy books" in front of your readers.   There are many books that seem to be packaged for a specific gender that will appeal to both sexes.   Two examples that come to mind are Stargirl (Spinelli) and The Uglies (Westerfeld).   When it comes to providing books for children to read, keep as many options open as possible.

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