Parents Who Love Reading, Kids Who Don't: How It Happens and What You Can Do about It

Mary Leonhardt, Author Crown Publishers $20 (258p) ISBN 978-0-517-59164-2
Leonhardt, a veteran English teacher now on the faculty at Concord-Carlisle High School in Concord, Mass., here provides useful advice, based on her own years of experience, on how to overcome the disinterest--or downright hostility--of some children where reading is concerned. Refreshing for its realism, the book admits to ideals but also insists on minding the facts of life and education: ``In a bid for a child's attention,'' Leonhardt points out, ``a Batman comic might have a chance over a rock video--but a beautifully illustrated book on how the Hopi Indians planted corn probably isn't even in the running.'' Well-organized chapters confront the problems of poor readers and suggest, in rational detail, what to do about them--make reading fun, even if it means feeding the kids with ``trashy'' books; ``tolerate a certain amount of disorder'' in their housekeeping of books and magazines; be willing to spend money on their growing reading hobby; and let them squander time on it, instead of sending them off on errands, for example. And what about television? Don't ban it, she says; downplay it for preschoolers, but let older children who are reading watch some TV, too, lest denial inspire rebellion. Also discussed in depth are the role of schools in reading, the stages of reading that all children pass through and books that may help spur reading even in the unwilling. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/02/1993
Release date: 08/01/1993
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