Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Power of Reading for Pleasure

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The School Library and Reading for Pleasure

The more a child likes to read, the more he reads.
The more a child reads the better at reading and writing she becomes.
Believe it or not, the research shows that there is great educational power in children reading for pleasure.

One of the most important roles of the school library is to help students get books they want to read into their hands.

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What helps a child learn to enjoy reading?

Children love to read when...

.... they get to select the books themselves
.... they can curl up in a comfortable spot to read.
... they are excited about the topic

Here is some great, practical advice from Daniel T. Willingham, the author of Raising Kids Who Read, 2015:

"As children age, their teachers place increasing demands and limitations on reading. Children are given less choice, the material becomes more complex, and they are expected to do more with the texts. Make sure that your child remembers that leisure reading is different from reading for school. Leisure reading is purely for fun, so you can drop books if you want, skim over the parts you don’t like, peek at the ending and so on.
Second, children’s schedules become more crowded as they grow, so make books easily available for snippets of free time. Put a basket of books in the minivan next to the car seat, and keep a book with you when you run errands. And because most children will choose a video (or video game, or phone app) over a book, put limits on screen time to make space for reading.
Finally, and most important, parents should model good reading habits for children. Show your child that you believe reading is valuable. Talk about what you are reading, and ask your child about what he or she is reading. Children read more when they know their parents value reading for the pleasure it brings, rather than its role in academic success. So pick out a great book for yourself, and let them see you read!" (excerpted from the New York Times, March 19, 2015)

Reading aloud to children is a great way to inspire children to love reading. Even older children enjoy being read to. 

Bedtime Stories for Young Brains from the August 17, 2015 New York Times

There was even a study done in England about how reading for pleasure makes us more empathetic. The message here - reading for pleasure makes us better people. Why reading for pleasure is important.

Newbery Award winning author, Neil Gaiman, says Let Children Read the Books They Love.

Other Resources and Research on The Power of Reading for Pleasure


The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller
The Essential Guide to Children's Books and Their Creators edited by Anita Silvey
A Family of Readers by Roger Sutton & Martha V. Parravano
Great Books about Things Kids Love by Kathleen Odean
The Power of Reading: Insights from the Research, 2nd Edition, 2004 by Stephen D. Krashen
Raising Bookworms: Getting Kids Reading for Pleasure and Empowerment by Emma Walton Hamilton
The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease

Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children will Change Their Lives forever by Mem Fox


The Power of Reading for Pleasure - Ms. J's Animoto on reading for fun
The Power of Reading a lecture by Stephen Krashen

Friday, August 7, 2015

Caught Reading... in the garden!

I don't know about you, but for me summer is about good food.  My daughter has a fabulous garden and we eat out of it all summer.  I read all the food sections of the newspapers trying to find the best recipes and ideas for all of that zucchini and all of those green beens.  Yum.  I hope you are having a delicious summer too.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Caught Reading... on the beach

This is the beach I grew up going to in New Hampshire.  It is still one of my favorite places in the world, but oooh the water is so cold.  I was excited to be reading this book that just came out on Tuesday.  I'm going to try to finish it this week.  

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Caught Reading... in the car.

I was parked and waiting in the car so what better thing to keep me busy while I'm waiting than to read a book. Don't tell, but I've never read Mr. Popper's Penguins before.  I love to read books with snow and ice on a hot day in the summer because it cools you off.  I hope you are getting caught reading too.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Get Caught Reading - Summer 2015

Where will
Caught Reading?

Send Ms. J. a photo of you caught reading this summer somewhere different or unusual and she will include the picture in Upham's back-to-school bulletin board in September.

Email your pictures to Ms. J. at

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Friday, April 3, 2015

How to find books that your child will enjoy reading?

Having a hard time keeping your Upham student in books?
Need some resources to help keep the great books coming so she keeps reading?

Sometimes the key is as simple as finding out what he is interested in and then locating books that are on those topics.

Here are some suggestions for great reading lists:

WPS Summer Reading List

Here's the link to the WPS Library Teacher's Summer Reading List. It is a librarian compiled summer reading list.  It will be available online in a mobile device friendly format and as a print document in the Upham Office and at the Wellesley Free Library.

Book Blogs

Here are a few that I like:

A Kids Book A Day at
This blog has a new review every day and is written by a school librarian.  It has a simple appealing look, highlighting the book covers and includes a summary and a rating.

Guys Read at
Jon Scieszka is a popular children's book author who has put together these list of books that will interest guys.  This is a fun website and has a lot of great reading suggestions.

A Book and a Hug at
Lots of reviews of new books and you can browse by genre and age.

No Flying, No Tights at
If you love comic books, this is your site. Stick with the Kids section for elementary-age books. Here you'll find lists of the best graphic novels and comics out there, links to comic book creators' websites, books to help you start cartooning and pretty much everything else you could want. One-stop-shopping.

Public Library Book Lists:

These are great resources with helpful lists of books that will appeal to a variety of young people.

The Newton Free Library Kids Booklists at
Librarians have put together lists for kids with at least 7 lists of "If You Liked..." all genres, formats and reading levels are here

The Wellesley Free Library "What to Read Next: Reading Suggestions" at

The Boston Public Library Kids Booklists at

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Reading Aloud to our kids... it really matters

This amazing infographic from Scholastic illustrates how wonderful reading aloud to our children is and how much they enjoy it.  Keep it going... as long as you can.