Reading Roundup: A Few Great Articles on Books & Reading

There have been some terrific articles on books, reading and literacy recently. Among the topics covered are the benefits of reading aloud, how to motivate kids to read, and what happens when kids don't have any books to read at all. Check out the links below!

Reading aloud gives 'big kids' several benefits by Melissa Perry

(ithacajournal.com)

Melissa Perry of the Family Reading Partnership lays out arguments in favor of reading aloud with children, noting that the Scholastic Kids & Family Reading Report found that the number of kids who are read aloud to drops dramatically once kids reach age 9. (Only 1 in 6 kids ages 9-11 are read aloud to).

The Merits of Reading Real Books to Your Children by Perri Klass, M.D.

(Well blog on The New York Times)

Perri Klass, national medical director for Reach Out and Read argues in favor of reading "real" (paper, bound) books with kids. Dr. Klass is not out to build a case against ebooks, but rather to argue in favor of the additional benefits of "book-books," especially when reading aloud to young children whose literacy and language skills are just beginning to develop. 

The Right Way to Bribe Your Kids to Read by KJ Dell’Antonia

(The New York Times)

Should we bribe our kids to read, and if so, is there a "right way" to do it? This article considers whether the act of reading is ultimately more important than the moral quandaries some parents feel around bribing their kids to do what is best for them. 

On Getting the Children to Read (reader responses)

(The Opinion Pages; The New York Times)

The article above prompted reader responses, including from Pam Allyn, executive director of LitWorld, and author of the Scholastic book Every Child a Super Reader: 7 Strengths to Open a World of Possible.

First Person: Black boys in ‘book deserts’ don’t get inspiring literary experiences. Let’s do better. by Tiffany Flowers 

(Chalkbeat; first appeared on Literacy & NCTE, the blog of the National Council of Teachers of English)

Tiffany Flowers of Georgia State University incisively breaks down the concept of "book deserts," and how this lack of access negatively and deeply impacts the "literacy experiences" of young black males.

‘Book Deserts’ Leave Low-Income Kids With Nothing to Read by Cari Romm 

(The Science of Us, on nymag.com)

This article offers further insight into the impact of book deserts, and one antidote: book vending machines, which dispensed 27,000 books last summer in Washington, D.C.