The Literacy Principal: Leading, Supporting and Assessing Reading and Writing Initiatives


128 pages
Contains Bibliography, Index
ISBN 1-55138-146-X
DDC 428.4'071




Reviewed by Susan Thomas

Susan Thomas is a middle-school guidance counselor, teacher, and social
worker in Milton, Ontario.


Even Hockey Players Read asks a question that has challenged parents and
teachers for generations: how can we bring boys into literacy? “[T]hat
a boy never meets a book that pulls him inside until he can barely
breathe should not happen in our print-rich society,” the author says.

Booth identifies causes through an exploration of today’s male
models, the role of television and computer games, and the suffocation
of the traditional English program. He offers strategies for helping
reluctant and discouraged readers to make connections between the text
and their personal experiences, and he makes the important observation
that nonfiction taps the male interest in action, sports heroes, and
mystery. He examines current classroom activities, such as reader/writer
workshops and literature circles, with a special focus on the male
reader. And he stresses the importance of using male role models in the
family to bring boys into the reading experience.

The text is supported by Booth’s reflections on the experiences of
his own son (who, at a young age, declared his preference to be a hockey
player rather than a reader), as well as insights from other young
readers, teachers, and authors of note. There are checklists for parents
and questions for teachers. Particularly useful is a list of suggested
fiction and nonfiction reading materials for boys.

The insights and suggestions Booth provides in this book will help
parents and educators to do a better job of engaging boys in the
excitement of reading.


Booth, David, and Jennifer Rowsell., “The Literacy Principal: Leading, Supporting and Assessing Reading and Writing Initiatives,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 12, 2024,