Hot Rod Hamster: Cynthia Lord: Picture Book Review
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Reading for the Next Generation: Share a Story Literacy Blog Tour

It_takes_a_village_2 Welcome to day five of the 2010 Share a Story - Shape a Future literacy blog tour. This year's theme is It Takes a Village to Raise a Reader. It's been an amazing week, with posts from around the literacy blogosphere about The Many Faces of Reading, Creative Literacy, Nonfiction, and Reading through the Ages. Many thanks to Terry Doherty from The Reading Tub for dreaming up this whole literacy blog tour idea in the first place, and to all of the participants who have made this year's celebration so fun and dynamic. [Image to the left created by Susan Stephenson at]

I'm hosting today's topic: Reading for the Next Generation. I sought posts from a dozen of my favorite bloggers, all of whom write regularly about raising readers. These are people I look to for advice and inspiration as I work on my own posts, and to whom I'll be looking in the future for guidance in connecting my own daughter with books and reaing.

These contributors will be talking about the disconnects that can arise between parents or teachers and kids, on the way to growing young bookworms. They'll be tackling practical issues like what to do when your reading interests are different from your child's, or your neighbors are pressuring you to create a "reading superstar", or your kids are too restless to sit still for read-aloud.

Our collective goal is not to tell anyone what they "should" do. Rather, we want to provide some concrete help for parents and teachers who want to encourage young readers, but are struggling with particular issues. We hope that some of you will participate by commenting on the posts below, or by responding on your own blogs to today's questions from the Share a Story blog.

Here are links to todays posts on Reading for the Next Generation, shared across a smorgasbord of fabulous blogs:

Addressing some fundamental questions:

  • Dawn Morris shares "Am I a failure if I don't read with my kids?" at Moms Inspire Learning. Dawn says: "Parents are juggling so much these days, and they may not have the time, the patience, or the desire to read with their children. How can they prevent themselves from dropping the ball of literacy? Let me count the ways..."
  • Mary Ann Scheuer shares "How do I help my child learn to love reading if I am not a great reader myself?" at Great Kid Books. Mary Ann says: "If you want your child to enjoy reading, start by making reading time and story telling pleasurable. Think back to your own childhood. What memories bring warmth and a feeling of connectedness?"
  • Amy Watson will be sharing "Help! My Reading Interests are Different from my Child's" at Literacy Launchpad. [Updated: this post was withdrawn from the schedule. But we're sure that Amy will talk about this topic one day.]

Managing expectations and reading levels:

Keeping things fun and fresh:

  • Esme Raji Codell shares "After the Love Has Gone: Read-Aloud for the Young and the Restless" at Planet Esme. Esme says: "I am ... riffing about that unthinkable time when your child doesn't want you to read aloud any more. Maybe they are busy "tweenagers." Maybe they think read-aloud is for babies. Maybe they want to do it themselves. Maybe there is a divergence of interests. Sniff-sniff! What to do? Here are some strategies to bring even the biggest or busiest kid back to the book."
  • Pam Coughlan shares "Reading is Boring (Sometimes)" at Mother Reader. Pam says: "So, reading to your kids. It can be a wonderful experience, a chance to slow down in the busy day and share something together. I dare say that often you will find it a nice thing to do. My point isn't to tell you that reading to your kids is boring, but instead to give you permission to sometimes feel like reading to your kids is boring. Because when we as mothers set ourselves up to a certain expectation to how something Should Be, we can fail to work with How It Is. "
  • Sarah shares "Let the Sillies Out: Reading to Babies and Young Children" at In Need of Chocolate. Sarah says: "when it comes time to read to your child, grandchild, niece, nephew, or young friend, most adults feel ridiculous roaring like a giant or mooing like a cow.  How do we get over our embarrassment at making barnyard noises or pantomiming an elephant sneezing? I have some suggestions that may help you make small changes in how you read and lead you to eventually roar and yelp and baa and crawl around like the silliest of adults."
  • Joyce Grant shares "Getting Your Video-Kid Reading" at Getting Kids Reading. Joyce says: "Your child loves video games but isn't a big reader? No problem. Here are some tips that will get your video-loving kid reading." She follows with seven wide-ranging tips.
  • Caroline Lennox shares "Princess Books? Give Me a Break!" at Learning Parade. Caroline says: "Encouraging my daughter to develop a love of reading has luckily not been too difficult for us; developing her reading interests beyond "Princess Books" has been the hurdle. You know the books we're talking about here - the pink, the frilly, the 'life is sweet' type that sometimes offer a free tiara and the like."

ShareAStoryLogo-color Thanks for checking out Reading for the Next Generation, Day Five of the Share a Story - Shape a Future Literacy Blog Tour. I hope that you've found some food for thought in this posts, and that you'll take a few minutes to check out this week's other fabulous links from the Share a Story main page. It does take a village to raise a reader. We're happy to have you here. [Image to the left created by Elizabeth O. Dulemba.]