In order to identify materials that would encourage urban eighth graders to read, the authors asked students about the importance they placed on reading, about their own reading abilities, and the role of race and genre in their book choice. On the basis of subscale scores from the “Adolescent Motivation to Read Profile Reading Survey” (Pitcher, et. al., 2007) these students, as a whole, placed low value on reading, with females indicating a slightly higher value than males. In contrast, males indicated stronger self-concepts about their reading abilities than females. As a subgroup, Hispanic males reported the lowest overall average self-concept, or perceived reading strength. Hispanic males and females both reported valuing reading less than any other subgroup. One way to increase reading for all of these students may be to use the yearly award books identified for each of the minority groups involved so that students can see themselves in the books they read. Another approach may be to stock the top choices identified by students via indicators like the “Reading Preferences Checklist” (Fisher, Brozo, Frey, & Ivey, 2011), so that a wide variety of relevant, quality text can entice these reluctant readers. Engagement is critical.
Barry, A. L. (2013). Reading Preferences and Perceptions of Urban Eight Graders. Reading Horizons, 52 (4). Retrieved from http://scholarworks.wmich.edu/reading_horizons/vol52/iss4/4