Comic books ‘can get boys in the habit of reading’

Goverment Advisers have said that young boys should be encouraged to read Comics such as The Dandy, The Beano or Disney titles to get them into the habbit of reading and help them catch up with girls of the same age. They state the the educational benefit is huge.

From The Times:

Chris Brown, the author of Boys into Books, a reading report commissioned by the Government, has included many comic-style or graphic books in a list of the Top 200 new works he has drawn up for 5 to 11-year-old boys.

Such books had great appeal for many boys and could be of enormous educational benefit because they stimulated visual responses to the pictures as well as intellectual responses to the words, he said. He regretted that schools and parents dismissed them too often as not being proper books.

“On the Continent, picture-strip books take up quite a high proportion of children’s book sales and are very prominent in shop displays. But here we still tend to be a little nose-in-the-air about them,” he said.

Mr Brown, a retired head teacher, was speaking at the launch of a £5 million government scheme, Primary Boys into Books, to encourage more boys to read. Research shows that boys are ten percentage points behind girls in English at Key Stage 2 at the age of 11. Ministers hope that better reading habits among boys will help close the gender gap.

This is not new information to most comic fans. Most of us learnt to read with comics, for me it was spider-man. i would much rather sit there and read a book about a guy who could swing around and beat up the bad guys instead of some prose novel with no pictures.

Hopefully this new scheme will get the kids reading! If they end up life long comic addicts like me? at least they’ll be well educated and articulate!

What do you guys think? are comics the right kind of literature to get young boys into reading? What comics would you recommend to the perant of a 7 year old?

GS Reporter: Matt

Find me on twitter @matpease


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