Sunday, November 8, 2009


At first blush this photo may seem to be another example of E shamelessly self promoting his novel, Never Slow Dance With A Zombie. But if you look closely, you will notice what is seemingly out of place in this photo--there are two boys, each holding a book... holding a book and smiling.

In case you're not aware, one of the great literary problems in our country and our country's schools is getting boys to read. It's not that boys can't read--boy's won't read. It's as if it's some great badge of courage for a boy to be illiterate.
As stated by Boy' "50% of all male minority students drop out of school." That's not good people. We now live in a country where the majority is made up of a collection of minorities. If most future men in this country don't read, where do you think that will lead us? Both girls and boys need strong male role models in their lives. Often, where one does not exist lives are shattered. And ladies, do you want to marry a guy who not only won't take directions, but can't read the signs? I'm kidding. But you get what I'm saying.

I don't want to get on a soap box and say that books are the salvation of our society. That would simplify it too much. But I do think that it is important that boy's read. Comic books, cereal boxes--anything! A well read boy, is a well rounded man. I did a post a few months ago about how my father and a happy accident got me to become a reader (Click here: E's blog: Thanks, Dad). Had I not become a reader, I am sure I would not have become a criminal. But I'm also sure I would not be the E. Van Lowe we have all come to love... well, most of us :)

What I'd like to ask each of you to consciously do is put something to read in a young man's hands. My friend Lynette told me her oldest son (14) took my book home, started reading and loved it. I am happy he liked my book, but I'm happier that he is reading. Those are Lynette's children in the photo.

I wrote Never Slow Dance With A Zombie for girls. I enjoy writing for girls, but I had boy readers in mind the entire time I was writing. I tried to add enough gross jokes, humor and adventure to keep a boy reader satisfied. It's up to writers to create interesting stories that spark the minds and imaginations of boys. I am going to try hard to do my part.

If your boyfriend, husband or son is not a reader it's up to you to put the right book in his hands to start him down the path. We can do this! One man or boy at a time. If we don't want to see American society on a continuous downward spiral, our boys need to read. Let's start at home. We LOVE to read right? Let's share that love. Nothing wrong with sharing a little love.

If you'd like to learn more about getting boys to read go here:

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