Raising Readers – Megan Daley

raising readersRaising Readers: How to Nurture a Child’s Love of Books has been written by Australian teacher librarian Megan Daley. Daley brings years of professional and personal experience to this engaging and highly readable book. She successfully addresses multiple audiences – parents, teachers and teacher librarians – through a mix of anecdotal stories, professional experience, informed research and guest narrators. These include well-known Australians and experts who speak with authority on a range of topics and add breadth and variety to the coverage.

Her intent is clearly stated in the title and the book’s structure and organisation takes the reader through strategies and approaches from birth through to the teenage years in an exuberant and lively manner. To get a feel for Megan’s style, dip into an extract from Chapter 2: Reading and school – When it all comes together.

Sections are clearly structured and the detailed subheadings also support dipping into areas of particular interest. Specific topics in the first part of the book include the early years, reading and school, the school library, spaces to encourage reading and building reading stamina. Later chapters explore ways to make reading fun, an embedded part of daily life (at home and at school), with a great coverage of different formats and genres. There are also many tips along the way that embellish the discussion with practical examples and strategies to engage with the text and explore its features. The section on reading the visuals encapsulates many of the advantages of keeping picture books in the reading diet throughout primary and secondary years and also provides succinct coverage of visual techniques that illustrators employ that many teachers will find particularly useful to address English outcomes. Megan’s passion for children’s literature shines throughout the book, and there is a fantastic and highly practical “How-to” guide at the end. Check out the book party themes and book week costumes for some instant inspiration then head to Megan’s website, the Children’s Book Daily and explore the blog categories and get some visual party ideas.

This is a highly readable and engaging book to guide, inspire and support parents, teachers and teacher librarians to engage children and teenagers with literature. Megan Daley draws on personal experience as a mother, teacher, teacher librarian and awards judge to provide a fascinating narrative comprising of personal experience, professional expertise and research in the field. The added inserts from experts in the various fields she covers add alternative perspectives and suggestions to support home and school reading engagements. Chapters deal with different age groups at home and in school, the significant role of the school library, reading spaces, stamina, competitions and social engagements between young readers, balancing the reading diet, multimodal and digital reading and the power of visual stories. It would be easy to compartmentalise this as a book for early years and primary aged students but it is much more than this. Sage advice transfers into the realm of the teenage reader. Sections are supported with interesting and varied book lists of Daley’s favourites rather than just the better known titles and the latter sections provide lists of practical advice on all things bookish. Highly recommended for every parent’s bookshelf and all school and public libraries. Grab a copy today and enjoy the read and the insights.

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About jenbales

Avid lover of children's literature, experienced teacher librarian with expertise in resourcing the Australian Curriculum; Adjunct lecturer for Charles Sturt University and a representative of INT Books.
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