Based on the assumption that boys are more likely to tackle reading based on the visual modality, we assessed reading skills, visual short-term memory (VSTM), visual long-term memory for details (VLTM-D), and general non-verbal cognitive ability in primary school children. Reading was within the normal range in both accuracy and understanding. There was no reading performance gap in favour of girls, on the contrary, in this sample boys read better. An entire array of visual, non-verbal processes was associated directly or indirectly with reading in boys, whereas this pattern was not observed for the girls.