Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Reading Is 42 (The Answer to Everything)

** I recently went through an old blog of mine to find a book I remembered reading and realized this new blog is much more organized. I've decided to copy reviews of the books I found the most useful here so I can find them again. My memory isn't what it used to be. Please bear with me as they are posted. I know many of you probably read them on the original blog.

This particular review was first published on April 4, 2005, for the previous edition. I have no doubt the current one is just as good. **

The Read-Aloud Handbook: Sixth Edition

I read this book a few months ago and found it engaging and persuasive. Perhaps reading to your kids isn't the answer to everything, but it does seem to be an intrinsic good. There wasn't any doubt Kansas Dad and I would read to First Son [and now two more!] all the time, since we're both such bibliophiles ourselves, but it's nice to see confirmation of our beliefs in printed form. Mr. Trelease presents intriguing studies to provide support for his thesis that reading aloud with a parent can make a profound and lasting difference in a child's life. Most importantly (from what I remember), is that a ritual of reading aloud together inspires a love of reading because being with Mom or Dad, cuddled up with a book, is such an overwhelmingly positive experience. A desire to learn and a confidence with the written word follow naturally.

One of the best features of this book is the list of suggested books, complete with summaries and recommended ages. I used it to create First Son's enormous Wish List, most of which is too old for him, but I'm excited to read with him when he's ready. I also found many of the favorites of my youth in its pages, which brought fond memories that probably influenced how I feel about the book.

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