Raising Bookworms: Getting Kids Reading for Pleasure and Empowerment
By Emma Walton Hamilton
Growing up I read countless books on subjects that interested me including tornadoes, insects, wildlife, and of course, fictional fairy tales and other stories I could get lost in. After having children of my own, something I knew for certain was that I wanted them to be readers too–not just for school, but to actually develop a love for reading and learning for life. It couldn’t be more of a challenge, especially now in a world full of electronic competition.
In this book the author demonstrates how parents and teachers can guide children toward reading, and help establish a love for reading beginning as early as baby hood. She shares strategies for different age groups and some eye-opening statistics. There are also recommended book lists for each age group, and a resource section which includes recommended books and other publications, organizations, and websites for parents and educators.
One of my favorite aspects of the book were the quotes shared for each chapter…
“Properly, we should read for power. Man reading should be man intensely alive. The book should be a ball of light in one’s hand.” –Ezra Pound, Poet
The book does seem repetitive throughout, but the way it’s organized is what makes it feel that way. Each section covers a different age range and some suggestions for early elementary-aged children also pertain to middle-grade readers; for example, “keep books everywhere” is a suggestion for all age groups. If you’re reading it from front to back, the book might seem monotonous, but one who just focuses on their child’s age will get exactly what they’re looking for.
A big question I had before reading this book was: “Should I still be reading aloud to my middle-graders?” The answer is a resounding yes!
“Keep reading with your child. Really. Continue reading aloud to your older child, wherever and whenever possible. It isn’t until around eighth grade that young people’s reading abilities and listening skills converge–meaning that until that point, children can understand a great deal more of what is read to them than they are able to read themselves, both in terms of vocabulary and ideas. This alone should be incentive enough to continue reading aloud with kids through middle-school. But there’s also the fact that continuing to read together through the middle school years keeps the connection between reading and pleasure alive, as well as helping young people to become better readers themselves and discover what kinds of stories and authors inspire them. Plus, it provides important opportunities for you to explore social and moral issues together.”
I was full of positivity after learning that because reading together is something we still enjoy doing (even though they’re perfectly capable of reading on their own), and to know it’s beneficial is comforting. After reading through this book, it’s apparent that I’ve done much of what I can, but there’s certainly still room for improvement as well.
Overall, this is a book I recommend for parents, teachers, or anyone who has a chance in helping a child establish the connection between reading and pleasure. There’s a wealth of information here and it’s a great book to have for reference.
- Paperback: 190 pages
- Publisher: Beech Tree Books; 1st edition (December 1, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 098158330X
- ISBN-13: 978-0981583303
This book offers creative strategies, tips, and activities to help young people discover – or rediscover – the joy and empowerment of reading.
Thanks for reading my review! Do your children love to read? Did you love reading as a child? Let’s chat in the comments section!