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Young Bond a government example to help boys read for pleasure

14-Aug-2008 • Young Bond

Soaring numbers of teenage boys are falling behind in reading, test results showed today. Young Bond to the rescue?

An estimated 186,000 teenage boys and girls - nearly one in three - failed their reading Sats this year as ministers missed a raft of key targets in English, maths and science. The figure rises to nearly four in 10 boys - reports ThisIsLondon.

Despite £500 million being spent on raising literacy standards, almost a quarter of 14-year-old boys were lagging three years behind, according to government figures.

Schools Minister Jim Knight said he was "disappointed" and called on parents to encourage their children to read books instead of sitting in front of the TV or playing computer games.

He said there were "excellent" books that would appeal to boys, including: action thriller Avenger by ex-SAS hero Andy McNab; Young Bond: Hurricane Gold by Charlie Higson; Doctor Who: Sick Building by Paul Magrs and Point Blanc: The Graphic Novel by Anthony Horowitz and Antony Johnston.

Mr Knight added: "It is essential to teenagers' academic progress that they continue to read for pleasure outside school. Parents have a vital role to play - reading and talking about stories together as children move towards secondary school and encouraging them to read everything from novels to magazines as they get older."

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