Archive | Avid Readers

Get Buff. Read.

Some children don’t learn to love books and reading in school. Estimates are as high as 25 percent of children grow up as non-readers. It’s not that they can’t read’ they just don’t. Superintendents might swear their youngsters have gone through “good” schools. However, if the kids from good schools don’t love books and reading, how can […]

Magical books

What’s Your Pick Up Line?

  Whatcha reading? Conversation between strangers builds bridges. In these troubled times, initiating an interchange focused on a neutral or shared interest can quickly create a positive tone, too seldom enjoyed in the past few years. How’s your book? There are simple book-focused questions that can easily open a conversation between two strangers. The open sharing […]

picture books

Personal Treasures That Can’t Be Beat

Most people have some personal treasures from the past. Perhaps a piece of jewelry from a grandparent, a stuffed animal or love letters. At this time of year, I think about my ancient baseball glove which I’ve had since I was a boy with dreams of making the big league. But what about books? Ask anybody—no, ask any […]

Reluctant 2

The Taste for Reading Comes and Goes

Reading for me is like hanging round the dessert table at a big buffet. Searching, sampling, selecting, and of course, periodically gorging to satisfy my powerful sweet tooth. Similarly, my book and reading choices are often guided by self-questions like: Where to begin? When I have I read enough? Am I ready to walk away […]

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Literacy Mastery is Social

Sports enthusiasts figure out how to enjoy their beloved pastime with pals—beyond being spectators of sporting events. Pickup games of all types are arranged, with excited players arriving early and then playing as long as the sun is up or the gym is open. They get better and better because by playing hard with their friends and […]

Monster Reader

The Problem With Reading Rewards

This week I happened upon a terrific article in The New York Times about summer reading. It is about rewarding kids for reading. The article’s headline (shown here) caught my attention because my experience is also that rewards for reading rarely have positive outcomes. The article made me reflect upon the important difference between children who can read and child avid readers.  As most healthy library systems do, in my town, Louisville, Kentucky’s fabulous library has a “summer reading” program. It serves as a lure to get […]

So many 4

Simply the Best 

I recently read that National Public Radio’s expert panel (with input from 7000 listeners) had judged and selected the members of a collection of what they call the 100 funniest books ever. The books are presented in categories with book covers and nice paragraphs to capture imaginations about what delights are to be found in each one.   I […]

abandoned library 1

School Library ≠ Book Warehouse

There seem to be two competing agendas operating in lots of schools with tight budgets. Literacy learning is a top funding priority in our school. The librarian costs too much, so we should just hire a clerk or use the library as a study hall. Pick one. We can’t promote both of these. The research […]

Standards Cover

Libraries – the Ultimate Sources for New Possibilities

I’m not one that is enthralled by time sensitive school test scores if I can get any better gauge of the enduring effects of a school’s literacy program. For example, the circulation figures from a classroom’s library or the whole school library are an excellent indication of the effects that the school is having on children becoming […]

Reading for Fun 4

Long-Ignored Road to Reading Success

Every few months it seems there is news that focuses our attention on the perennially pitiful job schools do in improving reading. The proposed solutions are predictably pitiful as well. Schools that have been doing A should check out B, and schools that have been doing B might want to try C. The options for school-wide […]