Pamela Paul and Maria Russo provide helpful advice and guidance about how parents can raise children to be readers, and how to keep those children reading. They lay out methods, guidelines, book lists and positive motivational techniques for parents to follow. In the introduction they present two different reading situations that children and parents face:
"School is where children learn that they have to read. Home is where kids learn to read because they want to. It's where they learn to love to read."
The reading life of a child is covered from infancy to the teen years. Reading to an infant may seem ludicrous to some, and keeping a teenager interested in reading can seem equally ludicrous. Those two time periods in a child's life are crucial, and favorable results for a child to become a reader can be achieved by way of good information for parents, which is what this book provides.
Reading at home begins with parents, and it begins in the crib. From the moment a child is born they are ready to take in and absorb many types of stimulation, and that includes language formation. The authors write authoritatively about why to read to an infant, and offer suggested books, and ways to do this type of reading. What Paul and Russo are discussing is not new or revolutionary, instead they are reinforcing concepts and methods that have proven to be valid basic steps in creating a lifelong love of reading. What is new is the authors' presentation of these ideas, done in a manner that is fresh, inviting and very doable.
The teen years are the most challenging, " ... not since toddlerhood has your child undergone so much developmental change in so short a time." The following areas are covered: the history of YA (Young Adult) books; how and when parents should step back in asking if their teen is reading; ways to keep them reading; teens who were avid readers may be reading less at this point in their life; and excellent genre book lists.
For those years between infancy and the teen years, Paul and Russo analyze other stages in a child's development and growth as a reader: toddlers, the emerging reader, the independent reader, and the middle grade reader. Each phase in a child's reading life is analyzed by characteristics and challenges; there are book lists; information on how to guide a child's book selection; what to be "wary of" in book selection; "when to consult an outside expert" for help with possible issues such as dyslexia. Throughout this book Pamela Paul and Maria Russo encourage parents to be patient, to be flexible in what they expect of their children, and they offer advice on the different types of behavior patterns that children exhibit throughout those early years of growth.
This is a gem of book, written with insight, love and joy, and excellent information for parents who have children of any age.
The book is available in e-Media