What were my kids born to do? That is the question I hope to help them answer. And because reading is the thing I love most, it's only natural for me to hope it will become something they love, too...The trouble is that reading is a particularly slippery passion to want to pass along because it's a skill most parents would agree their children have to master, to one degree or another. --from Raising a ...
What were my kids born to do? That is the question I hope to help them answer. And because reading is the thing I love most, it's only natural for me to hope it will become something they love, too...The trouble is that reading is a particularly slippery passion to want to pass along because it's a skill most parents would agree their children have to master, to one degree or another. --from Raising a Reader
Can passion be passed along from parent to child? Can you, in other words, make someone love baseball, ballet or books? Of course you can't - but that doesn't stop parents from trying. Jennie Nash was one of those parents - a parent so obsessed about getting her kids to read that her desire sometimes strayed into desperation; her hope often became an obsession; and instead of helping, her resolve got in the way. In the end, she found that, like so many of the things we do as parents, passing along a passion for reading happens in the push and pull of digging in and letting go, day in and day out, both because of and in spite of our efforts.
Nash shares stories and misadventures from the years when her young daughters were learning what it meant to have a relationship with words--and she was learning to let them. She reminds us how the magic moments happen in their own sweet time, by being together in the presence of good books and seeing each child as unique.
Each chapter of Raising a Reader ends with personal, practical tips and games that spring straight from the narrative. A comprehensive index discusses many of the books Nash has enjoyed with her children, providing a year's worth of titles for parents and their children to explore.
For parents overwhelmed with the many technical advice books written by specialists and teachers, Nash's anecdotal guide to getting children to pick up a book might be a refreshing change. Nash is not an educator, nor is she a learning specialist. She is, however, the author of The Victoria's Secret Catalog Never Stops Coming: And Other Lessons I Learned From Breast Cancer and the mother of two daughters, aged 10 and seven, who are both avid readers. Thus, her guide bursts with examples of her own personal frustrations and triumphs. As she reports on how she made progress with her children's literacy, she shares insights and practical tips, suggesting, for example, that parents and children both keep journals to track the books they've read. Nash's use of personal stories may not be the most scientific way to teach children to read, but it could help parents who are feeling desperate or frustrated with the task of cultivating literacy. (Aug.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
I suspect that many parents who read this text will find themselves thinking that they could have written this book, too. Many of us are like Jennie Nash in that we are readers ourselves and want our children to be passionate about reading. And like Jennie Nash, many of us seem to have that one child who is all we could ask for as "parent-readers" and another who makes us pull at our hair in desperation. Throughout the chapters in this fairly slim text (about 125 pages), Nash describes her challenges and her successes with her own daughters as she attempted, with mixed results, to get them to love reading. Nash found, as do many parents and teachers that some children come to reading on their own quickly while others can be satisfied for a very long time by being read to. Nash shares her understanding that sometimes the best that parents can be in this process is patient, and that is certainly an understanding that all of us should be reminded of on occasion. My regret with the book is that it does little to help those parents who have children struggling with dyslexia or other issues that make reading on their own an onerous task. Nevertheless, new parents may appreciate this text for its take on the future, as well as the annotated bibliographies Nash provides at the end of her book. While not exhaustive, they will provide a place for parents to start as they begin buying books for their own future readers. 2003, Association for Childhood Education International, Ages adult.
— Jean Boreen, Ph.D.
In her third book (after The Victoria's Secret Catalog Never Stops Coming), writer and breast cancer survivor Nash describes how she passed on her passion for reading to her daughters. She attempts to record "all the elements-positive, negative, planned, and accidental-that went into building [that] literary life." In a succession of short chapters devoted to each of those elements, Nash shares anecdotes and thoughts about passion, obsession, delight, jealousy, faith, and togetherness, among others, in a candid tone. Activities and advice are given at the end of each chapter. Nash also provides book lists (e.g., "Books To Read Aloud on a Rainy Day by Firelight") that readers will jump at when first opening the book. In her introduction, Nash suggests that she made some mistakes in the process of teaching her daughters to read; her book would have carried more weight if she had refined her analysis of those errors. Overall a light, fun, and quick read, this is recommended for larger public libraries.-Maryse Breton, Davis Branch Lib., CA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
"Raising a Reader is for every parent who ever worried about a child's reading, who compared one child with another, who charted, prodded, prompted, and coaxed words into little mouths and minds. For any parent—timid, pushy, or frightened—who has a child entering school and literacy, THIS is the book for you."
Jennie Nash is the author of The Victoria's Secret Catalog Never Stops Coming: And Other Lessons I Learned from Breast Cancer and Altared States. Her work has appeared in Child, Shape, HOME, Reader's Digest, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Working Mother, Glamour, GQ, Mademoiselle, US, and Cosmopolitan, among other publications. She lives in Torrance, California with her husband and her two daughters.