Saturday, November 19, 2016

Building Self-esteem Through Reading



Building Self-esteem in Boys Through Reading

Below is an excellent article written by C.J. Quinn.

Reading is a critical component of creating self-esteem. According to the Child Development Institute, LLC, “Self-esteem is a major key to success in life. The development of a positive self-concept or healthy self-esteem is extremely important to the happiness and success of boys.”  Reading builds boys’ self-esteem because it fosters a more proficient reader, thus cultivating a more confident person. You can’t give a child self-confidence; they have to earn it. A good way to gain self-esteem is through reading. As your boy reads, he becomes more proficient and learns valuable lessons from the stories. Pulitzer prize-winning author of Angela’s Ashes, Frank McCourt said, “Stock your mind. It is your house of treasure.”

Nurturing your boys to enjoy the art of reading is an undertaking. One suggestion to help boys read is to incorporate it into their everyday routine. After they get settled down for bed have your boy(s) read for a minimum of 30 minutes before lights out. This could be any kind of reading; silent reading, parents or siblings reading aloud to one another, and/or listening to books on audio. eBooks can be especially instrumental because they can look up vocabulary words they may be unfamiliar with. Furthermore, reading is a valuable time for your son to wind down from the day and use his mind more introspectively. You can even turn it into a time where the family reads together; all reading silently or aloud. This time together is more important today due to our fast paced, frenetic society.

Let your boy(s) choose the books they read. Give them many different selections. Take them to the library, a bookstore or let them peruse the eBook libraries. The goal here is to get your boys to want to read. Schools often choose books that are uninspiring. When a boy has the ability to pick and choose what he wants to read, this spurs an interest in reading and gives the boy motivation to read. Boys enjoy reading about adventure, action, fantastical stories and humor more than any other genres. Boys will read if the story engages them.  

Turn the concept around from reading as a chore, into reading for pleasure. According to the National Literacy Trust research, only 1 in 4 boys read outside of class every day.”  Promote reading by giving your boy ownership in his choices. Reading a series is vital because your son already understands the plot, they know the characters and are curious to see what the next book brings. This builds on their reading skills because they are already invested in the story, which is a great hook.

If you have a boy who is struggling with reading at school, make sure that you give him stories he can be successful in reading. In 1946, researcher Emmett Betts suggested that we should be giving students texts in which they could read at least 90 percent of the words and comprehend at least 75 percent of the information. This enhanced both learning and attitude. If your reader struggles with reading, it can be mentally and emotionally exhausting. It can affect them in school, in their relationships and with their peers. This in turn can affect their feelings of self-worth.

When boys read fantasy it gives them a place to explore their fears. Books that have characters in them that they can relate to are essential to the success of boys reading. Through reading about other fictional characters whom they can connect with to sort out who they are. That personal exploration allows boys to put things in into perspective in their own lives. Boys need outlets to read to build their self- esteem as people. Nurture your boys to become successful readers if you want to help them build self-esteem.

C.J. Quinn is the author of Talia and the Capture of Wrath, a middle grade fantasy novel that promotes environmental awareness. After traveling the world, she settled down to start a family, which has proven to be the biggest adventure yet. She currently resides in Seattle with her family. Click here to learn more about her very cool book.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Unexpected Life of Oliver Cromwell Pitts


In the seaside town of Melcombe Regis, England, 1724, Oliver Cromwell Pitts wakes to find his father missing and his house flooded by a recent storm. He’s alone in his ruined home with no money and no food. Oliver’s father has left behind a barely legible waterlogged note: he’s gone to London, where Oliver’s sister, Charity, is in trouble. Exploring damage to the town in the storm’s aftermath, Oliver discovers a shipwreck on the beach. Removing anything from a wrecked ship is a hanging offense, but Oliver finds money that could save him, and he can’t resist the temptation to take it. When his crime is discovered, Oliver flees, following the trail of his father and sister. The journey is full of thieves, adventurers, and treachery--and London might be the most dangerous place of all.

In the tradition of his Newbery Honor book The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, Avi mixes high adventure and short, page-turning chapters with a vivid historical setting featuring a cast of highwaymen, pickpockets, and villainous criminal masterminds. The Unexpected Life of Oliver Cromwell Pitts is impossible to put down.

Avi has penned yet another masterpiece.  To learn more, click here.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Kingdom of Oceana



The Kingdom of Oceana is the first book in a new Middle Grade fantasy adventure series by Mitchell Charles.  Mitchell’s inspiration for The Kingdom of Oceana was born of exploring the spectacular coastline, lush valleys, and vibrant coral reefs of the Hawaiian Islands.

At its core, The Kingdom of Oceana is a story about a sibling rivalry.

Five centuries ago, on the island now called Hawaii, there was a kingdom filled with adventure, beauty, and magic.  When 16-year-old Prince Ailani and his brother Nahoa trespass on a forbidden burial ground and uncover an ancient tiki mask, they unleash a thousand-year-old curse that threatens to destroy their tropical paradise.

Warring factions spar for control of Oceana, sparking an age-old conflict between rival sorcerers. With the help of ancestral spirit animals, a shape-shifting sidekick, and a beautiful princess, Prince Ailani must fight for his rightful place as the future king of Oceana.

The Kingdom of Oceana takes readers on a fun and exciting adventure filled with big wave surfing, fire walking, and shark taming, while also dealing with real-world environmental issues like ocean conservation. To learn more, click here.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Vampire Boy




When Alex Vambarey attends his first year at the Carpathian Academy, he has no idea that there are other creatures besides vampires. He's never met a gargoyle, or a pixie for that matter. Of course he's read about them -- in the Vampedia -- but in real life? No way. But now everyone's trying to figure out the Magus riddle and win the school prize. Even the Brownies are all befuddled! (new paragraph) Well, maybe it's natural. It's his first term, and there are all sorts of things that don't make any sense. Like all the janitors collecting dirt. That's just plain weird. No, there was definitely something bigger going on. Way bigger. And if he was right, the secret was somewhere in the Night Gallery. The secret about Carpathia, and the secret about himself!

To purchase this cool book click here.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

THE SAILWEAVER'S SON

The Sailweaver’s Son combines traditional fantasy with a dash of steampunk and takes readers to a unique world—Etherium. A world where mountains rise like islands above a sea of clouds and adventurers travel the sky in sail-driven airships.

When  fifteen year-old Tak rescues the survivor of an airship destroyed by one of the giant flammable gas bubbles mysteriously appearing in the sky of Etherium, the authorities react like a flock of startled grekks.

Admiral Scud accuses Tak of sabotage. Tak’s father grounds him for reckless airmanship. The King’s advisors declare the bubbles are weapons devised by the Gublins, a race of devious—and dangerous—underground creatures. To clear his name, solve the mystery, and prevent a misguided war, Tak must visit the Gublins and find out what they know. When the odd and beautiful wizard’s daughter asks Tak to venture to the underworld with her, he reluctantly agrees.

The adventure will take Tak from the deepest underground caves to a desperate battle on Etherium’s highest mountaintop. It will force him to face his worst fears, and to grow up faster than he expected.

This very cool novel is by Jeff Minerd.  To learn more about Jeff and his Adventure Book, click here.

Friday, September 16, 2016

True Vert

In this coming-of-age story, fifteen-year-old Josh Lowman earns a spot as a pro skateboarder on the Alpha Dog Skate Kru team. With the help of washed-up skate legend Dave McSteel, Josh pushes the limits of what’s humanly possible on a skateboard.

He’s living the dream, he’s cool, an Alpha Dog skater; but he starts to lose focus on the things that truly matter. His goal is to impress Erin, but he’s so caught up in the pro skater thing that Erin and the rest of his old friends don’t want to be around him. And he’s not sure if his new friends are even friends at all.

Dirk Davies, the ambitious owner of Alpha Dog Skate Company, isn’t satisfied. Hungry for even more corporate sponsors, Dirk persuades Josh to skate the most treacherous ramp of all, and now Josh has to decide what he’s willing to risk to maintain his spot on the Alpha Dog team.
True Vert offers a glimpse into the dog-eat-dog world of professional skateboarding and takes the reader along for a wild ride as Josh discovers that it takes as much courage to drop into the Mega Ramp as it does to stay true to oneself.

This very cool skateboard book is by Janet Eoff Berend.  Janet loves all things that end with the word “board,” especially skateboard, surfboard and snowboard, which she considers the trifecta of boarding sports.  To learn more about Janet and her books, click here.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

FREE Seattle Boys Read Workshop September 14th

FREE workshop.   Boys Read is offering a FREE workshop in Seattle on September 14th.  The workshop is called “Transforming Boys Into Lifelong Readers.”  This unique professional development opportunity is a great way to kickoff your 2016/2017 school year.

Course Description: Prepare educators, parents and guardians to be more effective in transforming boys into lifelong readers. Focus on reluctant-readers, address the 4th grade reading-slump, and narrow the gender reading gap between boys and girls.

You will learn:
• How to better connect with your boy
• The most up-to-date research on gender and learning
• How educators should consider gender as they design and
implement lesson plans
New programs should include:
• Energy-focused activities
• Seating and room arrangement
• Graphics Novels and Non-fiction
• Implementation of high-interest fiction into curriculum
• Gender-friendly resources and materials
• Parent and volunteer involvement

You will learn: (continued)
• Strategies to deliver boy-friendly teaching tips and
techniques so that each teacher and parent is better
prepared to engage boys in reading activities
• Strategies to improve the primarily female teaching
staff members’ skills when interacting with boys
• Strategies for fully maximizing schools current
resources (books currently in library)

Course Details:
Dates: September 14th
Times: 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Cost: FREE
Location: Fremont Public Library, Seattle

To register, reply to jmmartin4@mac.com