Friday, February 5, 2010

Raising a Reader - Book Review

Raising a Reader
by Jennie Nash
St Martins Press 2003

I thought that since I have raised a reader, I would read this book and see how I compared against Ms Nash. It is not a long book. But it has been sitting on my TBR pile since I purchased it back in 2007.

Jennie Nash turned out to be quite concerned about making very sure that her two daughters were reading well, even before they started school. Her first daughter had no problems doing this. Her second daughter was somewhat slower at picking up the art of reading, and Mrs Nash was frantic.

Despite being told by the school principal that it was OK for kids to not be reading until grade 2 and even grade 3, Jennie Nash still felt like a failed mother if her daughter was not reading by the time she entered second grade.

In my opinion, I dont think she helped her second daughter to become a comfortable reader by the books she (Jennie) chose. For some reason Jennie prefers to have her daughters learn to love language - the melodic flow of the words and rhythm and so on. So she read them the good quality books, including Newberry award winners.

Well thats fine for her, but she absolutely refused to allow her daughters to read the "popular" books" except for the older daughter who insisted on going through a stage of reading the book adaptations of Disney movies. Jennie hated reading those. So Jennie was often reading books that her daughters had not asked for.

I, on the other hand, have never read anything BUT the "popular" books to my son. I read what he wants. Most of the time he has wanted books based on his favourite TV shows. For a long time this meant Pokemon books. So I read Pokemon books. I learnt a lot about Pokemon. For the last 2 years I have been reading Captain Underpants books - over and over again. Jennie Nash hates the Captain Underpants books. I do try and squeeze a Robert Munsch book in, when I can - to save my sanity. My son likes them too.

The book he was reading on the sidewalk this morning was a Club Penguin book. He has a few of those. Mostly comics so they are harder for me to read. Because half the comic strip has no words and you have to look at the boxes to see the actions. My son is in Grade 2 and I was not worried at all. Because I know that he is reading.

Then last month my son told me about a new book series he wants me to read to him. The Diary of a Wimpy Kid. There are 4 books in the series and his school library has all 4 of them on the shelves. So this weekend I plan to go out and find these books and purchase one (for now) At $12 each, these are a bit more expensive than the other books. On the other hand they are over 200 pages so thats value for money.

I read this book for the Bibliophilic Challenge.

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