A Space for Boys and Books: Guys Read Book Clubs

Kristen Nichols-Besel, Cassandra Scharber, David G. O’Brien, Deborah R. Dillon

Abstract


The well-documented gender achievement gap continues to receive popular as well as scholarly attention. Fueling this attention are international and national test scores that continue to illustrate that boys, regardless of age, income, race, or ethnicity, trail girls in reading assessments.

While we acknowledge that there is a gender gap in reading achievement between males and females, we remain unconvinced that gender is the only factor; gender is a social and cultural construction, and these considerations must be included in understanding this phenomenon. We were extended a unique opportunity to experience and evaluate a literacy initiative that was created in response to the perceived “crisis” in boys’ literacy—Guys Read book clubs. This article offers an inside glimpse into the out-of-school world of boys and books, which can inform in-school reading practices for both boys and girls.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5860/cal.16.2.19

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