In The Book in Question, Carol Jago issues a call to action. Reading is in crisis. Too often, too many students are choosing not to read. “There is urgency to our work,” She argues. “We are living in an increasingly polarized world. Books offer access to lives and stories outside the boundaries of our limited first-hand experience. Without those stories it can be difficult to empathize with others. And without empathy, I fear we are doomed.”

Along with her research-based rationale for the critical importance of reading, Carol offers practical suggestions for how to nurture a community of readers, providing a wealth of ideas for helping students to:

  • Begin to think of themselves as readers
  • Choose books for themselves purposefully — for pleasure and for challenge
  • Know what to do when confronted with unfamiliar vocabulary
  • Develop confidence navigating complex sentence structures
  • Overcome their instinctive fear of poetry
  • Participate (both speaking AND listening) in classroom conversations
  • Find time to read outside of class
  • Write from the heart about what they have read

The book includes an extensive recommended book list for middle and high school classroom libraries. Without easy access to a wide range of appetizing books, students have difficulty making reading the one habit they never wish to break.

 

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