Hooking readers

Inspired by my latest competition win of a football goal, I thought I’d write about reading hooks today. When preparing for Accelerated Reader, we naturally assumed that it would be the boys who we would have to lure in and bought up stock especially. As it turns out, there have been just as many girls as boys reluctant to read and we have had to cater for both.

I assumed, wrongly as it turns out, that football would be the key. I love football and our local team came very close to reaching the Premiership this season, but I can’t interest the boys in any of our football fiction. “Don’t like football Miss,” is the stock answer. It turns out that boxing is much more popular amongst our boys than football.

When it comes to the girls we’ve found that Helen Orme does write a good series of high interest / low difficulty books aimed at Key Stage Three girls but, if they turn their noses up at them, we begin to struggle. Following a visit from the fantastic  Tommy Donbavand last term, we invested in some Teen Reads which have truly spooky covers and these have proved a smash hit. Please produce more of them any authors who may be reading!

I do think though that ultimately gimmicks don’t work when it comes to reading. Flashy covers and celebrity endorsements only go so far; if the content inside is sub-par then no reluctant reader will continue. What all readers need is a good story, when all’s said and done and it’s our jobs as librarians to direct our readers towards these, often overlooked, books.

In that vein, the Golden Ticket promotion is coming along well. We’ve had four pupils pass tests on the books with five weeks of term left. They have all agreed that they would not have read those books without the Golden Ticket incentive and have unanimously enjoyed each book. I will definitely carry the Golden Ticket idea on to next year.


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