Adolescence is often a time when recreational reading decreases. As our lives become increasingly busy, reading for pleasure is often a casualty. Paradoxically, at the same time, schooling requires our boys to comprehend increasingly complex and challenging texts. Research backs the common community understanding that there is a positive correlation between strong academic performance and regularly reading for pleasure. One way to help this along is the presence of a reading role model in the life of an adolescent. This normalises reading as a pleasurable part of a family routine.

This thinking informed the Dads Read! initiative, which recently saw a group of Grade 8 boys and their dads sign up to enjoy a shared reading experience. Concurrently they read Don’t Call Me Ishmael, a novel by local author Michael Gerard Bauer. As they read their separate copies, the Dads were encouraged to discuss the book with their sons. The final reward was the shared opportunity to hear Michael reveal the ‘story behind the story’ of Ishmael and to quiz him about the decisions he made around plotting and characterisations. This entertaining and enlightening presentation was a perfect way to cap off the reading event. Commendations to all the dads and sons for taking part. It was particularly heartening to see the involvement of many Old Boys in this activity with their sons.

Featured Image (L-R): Tony Rowan (1981), John Lavis (1977), Nicholas Lavis (Grade 8), Nicholas Pollack (Grade 8), Charles Pollack (1990), Noah Downes (Grade 8), Brady Downes (1984)