In my new role as Teacher Librarian in the Middle School Library, it was exciting to see the wide-eyed expressions on the new Year 7s, fresh-faced and eager as they attended our recent Library Orientation session.
We discussed the importance and value of good stories, and how they can provide great entertainment, as well as teach us things about other peoples lives now, in the past and in the imagined future.
Year 7 boys particularly enjoy genres like fantasy, science fiction, war stories and adventure. They also like books by, or about, the lives of inspirational sporting figures, as well as books that have been made into films.
As adults it is valuable for us to encourage our boys to see reading as a pleasurable activity, and to read regularly. This is a great habit to carry into adulthood.
The library has an abundance quality literature for adolescent boys. This includes books by renowned Australian writers of the calibre of Sonya Hartnett, Scott Westerfield, Morris Gleitzman and John Marsden, as well as overseas writers like John Green, who speak to adolescents with a focus on “real life” themes.
The aim is to make the Library a central hub of activity specifically targeted to encourage reading.
This includes a Library Committee and a ‘book club’ with girls from Firbank, our sister school.
Adult role models, including parents, teachers, older siblings and friends, all have a great influence and role to play in encouraging boys to become regular readers. Reading is not just about teacher-recommended lists – news articles, provocative stories in the media, journals, non-fiction, histories, anything that stimulates interest and conversation.
There’s nothing better than to hear the boys see me reading and to hear them say “That’s a great book. I really enjoyed it”.
Lisa Tabone, Middle School Teacher/Librarian
Six recommended reads:
Head of the River by Pip Harry
The Fault in our Stars by John Green
I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
Skulduggery Pleasant Series by Derek Landy
Cherub Series by Robert Muchamore