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Children's LiteratureMarion Blank uses current media attention and skewed statistics to scare parents into thinking that there is a reading crisis and that large numbers of children will leave school with no reading skills. Before you buy this book consider some of the realities: The more reading, language and storytelling a child is exposed to in the first five years of his/her life, the more likely it is that the child will become a strong reader. Most schools with a large number of children who struggle with reading are located in economically deprived areas where parents, for the most part, either do not know about the importance of reading to children at a young age, or are aware of this connection, but simply do not have the time to read to their children because they are working two or three jobs to make ends meet. It has been shown through a large body of research that there is no one correct way to teach reading that works 100 percent of the time for all children. Blank supports the Phonics Plus Five Reading System; work that she is committed to and has spent many years studying. Most of her teaching techniques are sound and should work for most children. The problem is that they will be redundant for the majority of middle class children whose parents are likely to read this book. Parents would be better off purchasing Steve Bialostok's Raising Readers: Helping Your Child to Literacy. Bialostok clearly explains the reading process without using scare techniques and helps parents to see what they can do to help their children become motivated readers and critical thinkers. 2006, Jossey-Bass, Ages 18 up.
—Wendy M. Smith-D'Arezzo