“Exploring the Impact of Boys Embracing Lesser-Known History”

Recently, I received an Amazon box containing five vivid paperbacks, including titles like Great Battles for Boys: The Korean War, Great Battles for Boys: The American Revolution, and more. The author, history teacher Joe Giorello, presents military history in an engaging way, targeting young readers with straightforward text, anecdotes, and illustrations.

Despite being under the radar, Giorello’s books are thriving on Amazon, with his WWII in Europe volume ranking #2 in “Children’s American History of 1900s,” among other top positions for his other works.

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Despite the success of Giorello’s books, his name remains relatively unfamiliar in prominent educational circles. His approach to history storytelling is traditional and lacks modern embellishments. The focus on “great battles for boys” may explain the books’ appeal, especially in a classroom environment that often overlooks such themes.

The lack of boy-centric history in educational materials contrasts with boys’ typical reading preferences, which often gravitate towards action-packed narratives.

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Encouraging a balance of fiction and nonfiction reading for all students is vital. While social-emotional learning is crucial, the emphasis on therapy-focused or socially reflective literature may not captivate all readers, especially boys attracted to action, adventure, and historical accounts.

Frederick Hess is an executive editor of Education Next and the author of the blog “Old School with Rick Hess.”

The post What If Boys Like the “Wrong” Kind of History? appeared first on Education Next.

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