The schools use stupid whole-word methods, then compound the problem by telling boys how much they'll enjoy the Diary of Anne Frank and other such deep, literary, boring, or otherwise inappropriate books. Babies are 51% male; but college students are only 43% male. Hmmmmm, it's almost as if some schemers are trying to damage male literacy. Successfully so! For decades!
Parents with boys in school should spend 10 minutes getting up to speed on the boys/books problem. Drastic action may be required. See "50: Leading Boys To Reading" on Improve-Education.org. Article includes a list of books that boys love.