This article draws on interview data gathered from a broader study concerned
with examining issues associated with boys, masculinities, and reading at school.
The focus is on eight boys in Years 5 and 6 who attend schools in a range of socioeconomic
communities in Australia. The boys offer polarized perspectives on reading,
with four boys reporting positive attitudes toward reading and describing
reading books as “fun” and another four boys describing reading books as “boring.”
Examined are inflections in these two groups of boys’ experiences as readers at
school, making visible the way boys’ attitudes influence engagement with reading.
This research moves beyond broad generalizations about boys to consider complexities
inherent in notions of masculinity and how different groups of boys internalize
their positioning of reading in ways that influence their attitudes,
engagement, and subsequently outcomes in reading.