Sunday, March 1, 2020

~ MMGM HOW TO RAISE A READER ~

~ MARVELOUS MIDDLE-GRADE
MONDAY LITERACY FEATURE ~
--  'HOW TO RAISE A READER'  --
AUTHORS PAMELA PAUL & MARIA RUSSO

 
IN HONOR OF DR. SEUSS'S BIRTHDAY,
TODAY IS 'READ ACROSS AMERICA' DAY!
 




ABOUT THE BOOK {from Goodreads}:

An indispensable guide to welcoming children—from babies to teens—to a lifelong love of reading, written by Pamela Paul and Maria Russo, editors of The New York Times Book Review.

Do you remember your first visit to where the wild things are? How about curling up for hours on end to discover the secret of the Sorcerer’s Stone? Combining clear, practical advice with inspiration, wisdom, tips, and curated reading lists, How to Raise a Reader shows you how to instill the joy and time-stopping pleasure of reading.

Divided into four sections, from baby through teen, and each illustrated by a different artist, this book offers something useful on every page, whether it’s how to develop rituals around reading or build a family library, or ways to engage a reluctant reader. A fifth section, 'More Books to Love: By Theme and Reading Level,' is chockful of expert recommendations. Throughout, the authors debunk common myths, assuage parental fears, and deliver invaluable lessons in a positive and easy-to-act-on way.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR, PAMELA PAUL {from Goodreads}:

Pamela Paul is the editor of The New York Times Book Review and oversees books coverage at The Times. She also hosts the weekly Book Review podcast. She is the author of five books, My Life with Bob: Flawed Heroine Keeps Book of Books, Plot Ensues, By the Book, Parenting, Inc., Pornified, and The Starter Marriage and the Future of Matrimony. Prior to joining the Times, Paul was a contributor to Time magazine and The Economist, and her work has appeared in The Atlantic, The Washington Post, and Vogue. Her next book, How to Raise a Reader, co-authored with Maria Russo, comes out in September, 2019. She and her family live in New York.

MY THOUGHTS:
When I was enrolled in the teaching credential program at the university, I took a theory class in Language Arts. One of our supplemental reading materials was Author Jim Trelease's, 'The Read-Aloud Handbook', which was originally published in 1982.



Mr. Trelease's book became a valuable resource for me as I navigated my way through student teaching and onto my first few years as a first grade teacher.


'How to Raise a Reader' is an extension of what I believe Mr. Trelease was attempting to share with parents, educators, and librarians. This book, originally published in 2019, is updated to include current literature, current trends, and the changes in parenting styles from the 1980s until now.

'How to Raise a Reader' opens with engaging 'Introductions' from both of the authors relating to their own background as readers and including their own children's reading experiences and preferences.

As mentioned in the Goodreads description above, this book is divided into four different age groups. I read the entire book, but for the purposes of this Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday post I will focus on Part Three -- Your Middle-Grade Reader. 

The chapter is entitled, 'The Leap to Middle Grade'. It begins with a brief explanation of the publishing industry's origination of the label middle grade to distinguish books focused on this age, eight to twelve years, from picture books and young adult novels.

The authors then move on to list of facts named, 'Here's What You Need to Know'. This segues into 'What to Look For: Middle Grade' and then on to 'Be Wary Of'  about a child's red-alert buttons and age/maturity appropriateness which I felt was presented in a straight-forward and helpful manner. The authors present lists of their favorite middle-grade picks for novels, series, their post-Harry-Potter-slump.  

Next, they cover the same topics for middle-grade graphic novels, middle-grade audiobooks, and audiobooks for families. Throughout this entire section there were only a few books I have ever read, such as, 'Charlotte's Web', 'Danny the Champion of the World', 'The Oz Books', and the 'How to Train Your Dragon' series. 

I flipped through the teen reader (YA) section and discovered one of my personal favorites, 'The Joy Luck Club', by Amy Tan. I've read my paperback copy so many times it's almost come unhinged! There were also several books which were required reading from way back when in my high school lit classes--1984, Slaughterhouse-Five, Catch-22, The Bell Jar, Go Tell It on the Mountain, and In Cold Blood.  

Perhaps my favorite section is Part Five, 'More Books to Love'. Moving from picture books through YA the authors share lists of books that make us laugh, tearjerkers, heart warmers, family stories, great friendship stories, fear and bravery, kindness and empathy, self-acceptance and identity, great boy characters, great girl characters, history and biography, science and nature, and historical fiction.

I found many of my personal favorites included on the lists named in the preceeding paragraph. For example, Where the Red Fern Grows; Beyond the Bright Sea; Because of Winn-Dixie; The Secret Garden; Little Women; Raymie Nightingale; The Little Princess; Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret; Harriet the Spy; Julie of the Wolves; and The War That Saved My Life.  

Highly-recommended for teachers, parents/grandparents, librarians, reading specialists, and anyone interested in learning more about great children's literature!

I borrowed a copy of this book from the 'new non-fiction arrivals' shelf at the local public library.


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Find the links to read more great Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts from middle-grade authors and bloggers at Greg Pattridge's 'Always in the Middle' Blog. 


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6 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing this, it sounds really useful. I always follow Maria Russo's reviews in the NY Times so I think she knows what she's talking about. I have to check my library to see if they have a copy.

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  2. What a gift for parents and teachers eager to encourage children to pursue reading on their own. I wish I had the variety of MG books to choose from when I was a tween/teen. Thank you for sharing this wonderful resource with us today!

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  3. Fascinating view of the reading process in today's market. Thanks for sharing as you convinced me to track down my own copy.

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  4. This sounds like a great resource for parents, especially as they try to get their kids into loving to read.

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  5. It's so important to help kids become readers. Thanks for telling me about this book. I have some people in mind to pass along this information.

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  6. I've been really curious about this book. Now that I've read your feature, I really need to look for it!

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