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Secretary of State backs exciting reads for boys

Alan Johnson, the Secretary of State for Education in England, yesterday called for schools to ensure that young male readers had plenty of enjoyable reading material.  Every secondary school should provide a bookshelf packed with spy novels and action stories to help boys catch up with girls he said.

They should choose books 'containing positive, modern, relevant role models for working class boys.  Boys like books which depict them in a powerful role, often as sporting, spying or fighting heroes,' he told a meeting of the Fabian Society in London.

To encourage reading boys needed 'not just Jane Austen, but a necessary dose of Anthony Horowitz as well', he said.

He gave examples of books that would appeal including Raven's Gate, about a boy with supernatural powers by Horowitz, The Fall, a spy novel by Robert Muchamore, and Bloodtide, the futuristic novel based on a Viking saga by Melvin Burgess.

The School Library Association will be working with the Department for Education and Skills on a project to get KS 3 boys reading.  Watch this space for more announcements.

Read the Guardian article

Read the Telegraph article

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