Parents Who Love Reading, Kids Who Don't

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Overview

Most parents would probably agree that a love of reading is the most important thing their children could acquire in the course of their education.Yet even parents who love to read themselves sometimes find that their kids just aren't interested in books. What do you do about your reluctant reader?

Mary Leonhardt has the answer. In Parents Who Love Reading, Kids Who Don't, she shows how to awaken, or reawaken, your child to the joy of reading. Drawing on her experience as a ...

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Overview

Most parents would probably agree that a love of reading is the most important thing their children could acquire in the course of their education.Yet even parents who love to read themselves sometimes find that their kids just aren't interested in books. What do you do about your reluctant reader?

Mary Leonhardt has the answer. In Parents Who Love Reading, Kids Who Don't, she shows how to awaken, or reawaken, your child to the joy of reading. Drawing on her experience as a teacher (and a parent) of reluctant readers, she identifies the seven stages that children go through as they develop their reading skills and outlines what parents can do to help them along. Her advice is clear, down-to-earth, and proven effective.

Mary Leonhardt also offers tips on how to deal with the special problems poor readers often face at school, and how to cope with TV and other distractions. Finally, she offers an extensive list of kid-recommended reading -- not books from school reading lists, but certified fun-to-read titles chosen in a poll of her own students. Her methods have worked with scores of students. If you are the parent of a reluctant reader, this is the book both of you need.

In reassuring, down-to-earth style, Leonhardt shows parents how to establish in their children a reading habit--be it through comics, teen magazines, or trashy novels--which can later be broadened into interests that will make them truly sophisticated readers. Includes a recommended reading list.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Dear Mrs. Leonhardt,

Before I took your class, I couldn't remember the last time I read a book just for the fun of it. So often teachers force kids to read books that are dull and boring, which makes reading seem more like a chore than anything else. [You] get kids to love reading again.

A student in Mary Leonhardt's English class

"I think Parents Who Love Reading, Kids Who Don't is wonderful....I have never seen a more cogent discussion of the problems and the solution. I regard this book as a service to American education -- if only anyone in the educational establishment will listen."

-- Piers Anthony

"This is the best book on education I have read in the last twenty years. Although it is directed at parents, it is equally or more important for teachers and, especially, for teacher educators. There will be little chance to improve education if we do not pay close attention to Mary Leonhardt's compelling message. Once I started reading it, I could not put it down until I finished. I can't wait to share its ideas with all the people I work with.

"-- William Glasser, M.D., author of The Quality School, The Quality School Teacher and Reality Therapy

"Writing with wisdom, warmth, and clarity, Mary Leonhardt has produced a small masterpiece that should be treasured by every parent. Read it, study it, enjoy it. It is a splendid and inspirational piece of work."

-- Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
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.)
Library Journal
Leonhardt, a veteran high school teacher, dedicates this book to all kids who hate reading. Using telling insights into children and the nature of American education, Leonhardt is on target with her explanation for the reasons why kids are not reading these days. Her reasons are clearly presented, and her suggestions (including an index listing materials her own students have loved) will be useful to parents. In addition, teachers who have not yet moved into whole-language teaching will benefit from her guidelines. Besides the excellent advice on how to negotiate with kids and schools, the author's suggested children's titles make this book invaluable. Recommended for most public libraries.-- Nancy E. Zuwiyya, Binghamton City Sch. Dist., N.Y.
Stephanie Zvirin
Focusing on reading rather than on books per se, Leonhardt, a veteran English teacher, lays most of the blame for the "endemic dislike" of reading among today's kids on the doorstep of the educational establishment. She doesn't, however, let parents off scot-free; she's convinced that if anything can be done to rekindle kids' interest, it must be done at home. But literary purists beware. Comic books, magazines, series books, and various forms of subliterature are an integral part of her plan to reclaim kids lost to TV, video games, and after-school jobs. In very practical terms, she explains how parents can mix these materials with books that have enduring appeal for young people and how they can help their reluctant school-age readers handle problems that arise in class. Parents may bristle at Leonhardt's displeasure with tracking, her doubts about special education services, and the drastic measures she suggests to curb the TV habit, but they'll still recognize her commitment to kids and to reading. Although she includes tips for teaching reading to the very young and reading suggestions for children as young as eight or nine, she seems more comfortable and conversant with materials for young people junior high age and up.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780517591642
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/17/1993
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 258
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.56 (h) x 1.16 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary Leonhardt has taught English in public and private schools for more than twenty years. She holds graduate degrees in English, Education, and Learning Disabilities. She currently teaches at Concord-Carlisle High School, in Concord, Massachusetts, where she lives.
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2005

    A lifesaver

    This book fell off the library shelf, literally, at a time when I was going out of my mind because I couldn't get my daughter to read books. Her older brother, like me, was an avid reader. And we were home schooling, so I felt her entire future was in jeopardy. I followed the guidelines in this book, we started with The National Enquirer which she couldn't get enough of, and the rest is history. She will graduate with honors from college and now recommends novels to her grandparents.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2008

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