How to Raise a Reader by Pamela Paul & Maria Russo
“Do you remember your first visit to where the wild things are? Or curling up for hours on end to discover the secret of the Sorcerer’s Stone, or the fate of the “one ring to rule them all?” So now, as parents, how do you instill in your kids that timeless, time-stopping, and extremely valuable joy of reading?
Written by Pamela Paul, who oversees all book coverage at The New York Times, and Maria Russo, the children’s book editor at the Times—and inspired by their 2018 article that went viral instantly, reaching hundreds of thousands of Times readers—How to Raise a Reader combines clear practical advice, wisdom, inspiration, tips, lists, and insider know-how to give parents all the tools they need to instill a love of reading in their children.
Divided into four sections that correspond to the child’s age and reading level, from baby to teenager—and whimsically illustrated by a different children’s book artist per section—each page of the book offers something useful: how to develop rituals around reading, best ways to make reading a family activity, how to engage a reluctant reader, why not to push Harry Potter too early, building a library. There are “Pro Tips for Reading Out Loud,” “What to Look for in Middle-Grade Graphic Novels,” “When Teenagers Take Reading Time-Outs,” and so much more. Including an extensive final chapter listing “Books to Love by Theme and Reading Level,” an invaluable reference for parents, grandparents, and even kids looking for their next book.
School is where children learn they have to read. Home is where children can learn to love to read—and become readers. And reading, as experts now know, is essential to developing those life skills, like self-regulation and executive function, that make us all-around happier and better adjusted.”
Wow, what a treasure! How to Raise A Reader stood out to me as the parent of a middle-grade reader and a new reader in Kindergarten. This book is divided into sections from babies to teenagers. The advice is approachable and relatable and I loved that it was coupled with specific book suggestions and also some types of books you might want to avoid.
How to Raise A Reader would be a great refresher for someone who has been a lifelong reader or really helpful advice for someone who is hoping to incorporate regular reading into their families lives for the first time.
The directory at the end of the book gave wonderful suggestions by not only genre and age groups but also by important messages such as kindness and empathy. Sometimes the number of books that are available to us as parents can feel overwhelming so having a list of suggestions about different topics was a wonderful addition to this book.
Thank you to NetGalley and Workman Publishing Company for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.