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Encouraging Your Boy to Read

Updated on October 2, 2014

Let’s face it, living vicariously through a book may not come easily to your little boy. They love action, and you are more likely to find them playing video games or soccer.

Still, there is power in a book. Reading has been associated with better performance in school. It not only builds vocabulary, but helps teach us how to write better and communicate with others on any platform.

There’s no denying our society has become mesmerized by video – everything from Youtube to Nintiendo. It’s important, however, to provide a healthy balance of activities. Reading is a basic that should always be included in the mix.

So how do you convince your little boy to read? You actually can start by introducing your son to videos about the alphabet. Whether you choose to check out your videos from the library, or buy your own, there are any number of alphabet videos that will stimulate your young readers senses early.

The videos can teach your child to read basic words like apple, bear, cat and dog. When you complement this with one-on-one reading from a rebus or early childhood reader, you will open up a new world of opportunities.

You will find your children enjoy watching alphabet videos over and over again, much like they enjoy being read their favorite stories and over again. It also reinforces their learning. Introduce variety with different alphabet videos and books. They’ll include new words and sights and sounds. When you do this, you may find your child can read before it’s time to start kindergarten!

Richard Scarry's Best ABC Video Ever!
Richard Scarry's Best ABC Video Ever!

This was a very well loved video that helped teach my son to read. I highly recommend it.


In our family, Richard Scarry’s Best ABC Video Ever was a winner. We had to buy it so we could replay it many times. We also purchased the video Telling Time, Watch ‘n’ Learn, to help our son learn to read a clock.

We enjoyed reading The Read-Aloud Treasury aloud. This book compiled by Joanna Cole and Stephanie Calmenson, and illustrated by Ann Schweninger, was a treasured gift to our daughter (the eldest child) from my aunt, a teacher and librarian. It still holds a revered place on our bookshelf.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault, with illustrator Lois Ehlert, was one of my son’s favorites.

Once your boy is in school, you may find he is encouraged to read by competing– even if he is only competing against himself. The SRA Reading program is one way to do that.

My son and I both enjoyed these color-coded reading lessons in elementary school. If you school doesn’t offer it, or you wish to supplement your child’s program, you may want to consider purchasing the SRA Reading Laboratory for elementary students (kindergarten through fifth grade) or secondary (six grade and up).

By the time you child is through with SRA, you may need to become more creative as you look for ways to entice your child to continue reading. Take advantage of special interests. Maybe they love the quaintness of old things. Find them an old copy of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn or The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, both by Mark Twain. Science lovers can enjoy The Big Book of Boy’s Stuff by Bart King. If he loves the outdoors, you may want to introduce him to Where the Old Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls or the classic The Call of the Wild by Jack London.

Below are some series that I believe are helpful.

Nate the Great by Marjorie Weinman Sharman is a series to captivate young mystery/detective lovers aged six to nine.

The Boxcar Children Mysteries by Gertrude Chandler Warner is a popular mystery series for readers seven and up. There’s lots of reading material here.

The Ladd Family Adventure Series by Lee Roddy is a Christian based mystery series for preteen readers.

Hardy Boy Mysteries by Franklin W. Dixon features Frank and Joe Hardy, the sons of a famous private investigator Fenton Hardy. It captivates preteen boys and girls alike.

The HoneyWord Bible

HoneyWord Bible: NLT
HoneyWord Bible: NLT

Help your children remember key biblical principles with the HoneyWord Bible.


Reading With Purpose

Our children learn early to turn to the written word for information. It’s a good idea to expose them to writing that teaches them what we want to teach them, and shields them from things we want to protect them from.

The most important book you can introduce them to is the Holy Bible. There are many picture Bibles available that introduce children to the popular Bible stories like Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, and Abraham and Sarah. But when your child is old enough to for a little instruction, you may want to consider The HoneyWord Bible.

My son loves honey, and he found the lessons so much sweeter with The HoneyWord Bible by Emmett Cooper, which strives to reinforce Bible lessons with encapsulized lessons. We read through the Bible at bedtime for a few years, reviewing the lessons so he would remember them when he needs them.

Read Aloud Treasury
Read Aloud Treasury

A great book for both boys and girls. We spent a lot of quality time with this book given to my daughter by my aunt, a teacher and librarian.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

This book was one of my son's early favorites.


Because children especially love fiction, you may want to use the story to teach. After all, Jesus did this.

As a writer, I’ve written a number of modern parables that teach important lessons to children. You can read more about them below.

I Can See Christian Storybook Treasury -- This storybook collection is intended to dispel doubts about God that arise as children grow. It starts with I Can See God’s ABCs, a short story intended to introduce children to God as they learn about their world. It includes increasingly more complex stories for children as they grow to be a teen-ager. Among the stories are I Can See God’s Word, I Can See Why Jesus Came, and I Can See Why Jesus Died. The storybook includes Scripture quotes parents, grandparents, and others can use to expand the lessons.

Just Like Jonah Wail Tales -- This short story collection is about children who mess up and land in a whale of trouble, just like Jonah. There are eight stories and in each story there’s a different problem – everything from fear to pride, sickness to giving up. Children learn disobeying God can take many forms. But there is always a price to pay when you disobey. The Just Like Jonah Wail Tales Workbook includes discussion questions and Scripture cites to expand the lesson, making it a resource for parents, grandparents, and teachers. Get a taste about what these short stories, or wail tales, are about with the free sample ebook The Lesson of Jonah: There’s Price to Pay When You Disobey, which includes one of the eight stories.

Bible Camp Mystery series Join former New York gang leader Chet Harrigan and his crew of 10- to 16-year-old boys as they visit the Central Florida backwoods. They find pesky no-see-ums, those tiny insects that come out at dusk, as well as snakes, alligators and more. Attend (Virtual) Bible Camp with Chet and learn the biblical path to salvation, plus the importance of obedience and prayer. The books in the series include Lost in the Woods: A Bible Camp Mystery and Alone in the Woods. The third book in the series is scheduled for release later this year.

More information on these books is available at my website at

The Big Book of Boy Stuff
The Big Book of Boy Stuff

Our son carried this book around and enjoyed reading to us out of it. He even impressed some of our friends with it at his sister's sporting events.


Hear the first chapter of Lost in the Woods: A Bible Camp Mystery

The Teen Years

As your boy matures, you’ll find him gravitating towards his own special interests. That may be reading, but it may be video games, football, swimming, or chess. If he no longer picks up a book like he used to, don’t feel defeated. You’ve done your job to teach him how to read. You’ve given him important skills that will serve him during his life. His teachers will now make him read for school, and he will be reaping the blessings for all your earlier efforts. And he will continue to learn through the world of books.

Your role now is to encourage him in whatever ways you can. If he’s interested in auto mechanics, why not give him a detailed, auto manual? You may want to consider Popular Mechanics Complete Car Care Manual: Updated & Expanded. If he likes architecture, you can buy him Architecture, A Visual History, by James Neal. If he’s into health, The Doctor’s Book of Home Remedies, by the editors of PREVENTION Magazine Health Books may encourage him further. If he likes gardening, you may want to buy Reader’s Digest Illustrated Guide to Gardening.

About the Author

Inspired by her love of Nancy Drew and Hardy Boy mysteries, Cheryl Rogers decided to become a writer as a child. She studied journalism and became a newspaper reporter for 11 years. When she became pregnant, she left the newspaper business to raise a family.

Cheryl now is a freelance writer and self-publishing assistant. Her website at features new book announcements, book excerpts, devotions, the Bible Quiz, author marketing news and features. The magazine includes a storefront with Christian digital and print books for all ages, as well as Scripture posters and music. An affiliate program offers 15 percent sales commissions on all sales, including self -publishing services for authors.

Architecture a Visual History
Architecture a Visual History

As the title suggests, this book has a lot of pictures, but it might encourage a budding architect! If your son shows an interest in the way buildings are designed, he's a great candidate for this book.

The Doctors Book of Home Remedies: Simple Doctor-Approved Self-Care Solutions for 146 of the Most Common Health Conditions, Revised and Expanded (The ... Library of Prevention Magazine Health Books)
The Doctors Book of Home Remedies: Simple Doctor-Approved Self-Care Solutions for 146 of the Most Common Health Conditions, Revised and Expanded (The ... Library of Prevention Magazine Health Books)

This is a great book to have on your shelf for reference. If your son shows any interest in health matters, he can begin learning simple at-home remedies.


What does your boy like to read?

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Reading Quiz

Does your boy like to read?

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Reader's Digest Illustrated Guide to Gardening
Reader's Digest Illustrated Guide to Gardening

This is a great reference book about gardening for anyone with a green thumb.


© 2014 Cheryl Rogers


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    • Cheryl Rogers profile imageAUTHOR

      Cheryl Rogers 

      4 years ago from Tampa, FL

      My son's creativity definitely was stretched by creating his own alphabet video, although he had help. I wanted to upload it, but it is in an older format.

      The local library is a great place to hang out, however. There are so many free resources helpful to all ages groups.

    • profile image

      Bruce Brady 

      4 years ago

      I remember the local library being my "Saturday babysitter." I'd ask my mom to take me there because I could live a lot of adventures within the safe environment of the library. I know that videos are popular today, but they often stifle imagination because the kids leave creative work up to the video producers. Books stretch our imagination more than video. And I say this as a movie lover.

    • Cheryl Rogers profile imageAUTHOR

      Cheryl Rogers 

      4 years ago from Tampa, FL

      Thanks, Karen!

    • Karen Ray profile image

      Karen Ray 

      4 years ago from Oklahoma

      Great hub. I'm always a fan of anyone encouraging kids to read. I also grew up reading Nancy Drew & Hardy Boys, but my kids refused to read them. (I still think they would have liked them.) However, they found something that did interest them in Goosebumps, Animorphs and Harry Potter books. Voting your hub up and useful.

    • Cheryl Rogers profile imageAUTHOR

      Cheryl Rogers 

      4 years ago from Tampa, FL

      You're welcome. Hope it helps!

    • hazelbrown profile image


      4 years ago from Central PA

      I've never heard of the Ladd Family Adventures... I'll have to check them out! Thanks for the ideas about getting boys to read. They definitely need something to compete with videogames and TV!


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