Do you want to know how to help your child with reading? This book will help you do it. If you only turn to just one source to help you in this journey, this is the book that will get you where you want to go.
The Read-Aloud Handbook
The one book is: THE READ-ALOUD HANDBOOK. Written by Jim Trelease, it was first published in 1979 (self-published!). Penguin Books began publishing The Read-Aloud Handbook in 1982 and they’ve been publishing it ever since.
How this Book Will Help You
What type of reader do you have?
- A baby or toddler
- An emerging reader (typically pre-K through 2nd grade)
- Is your reader having challenges with reading?
- Or is your reader plowing their way through books so fast it’s breaking your bank account?
- A child who has disabilities?
- A child who is identified as gifted?
- A child who would prefer to do anything OTHER than read, or a child who would prefer to never do anything EXCEPT read books?
Whoever your reader is … this book will help you help them find a love of reading. Why is a love of reading important? No matter who they are or what they like, if they love reading … if they find some corner of the written word that speaks to them … then they will know how to find the answers to anything that interests them.
How does Jim Trelease help us with this task?
For starters he will answer all those questions that nag in your mind. Questions like:
- Is reading still important in the video age?
- Is something so simple as reading to a child really so effective?
- What do the best readers have in common?
- How early should I start reading to my child? (I’ll give you a hint – at birth – or even before)
- Is there something I could buy that would help my child read better?
Mr. Trelease answers these questions and many more. He shares real-world story after story of how books, lots of them, and reading aloud have made all the difference for so many children who were at risk academically and in many other ways.
He then teaches you exactly what to do and how to do it.
And he’s very brief in his explanations. Which is great because many parents don’t have much time to read. If that sounds familiar I promise you he wrote this book for you. It’s grouped into lots of short sections. You can take in a section – a paragraph or maybe a page – at a time.
Finally, the Lists
One of the most common questions that grown-ups ask me is “how do I know which books are good to read to kids”?
That question is answered in this book. Fully the second half of the book is an extensive list of the books he recommends you read aloud. It’s 2020 when I’m writing this post for you and this book has been in constant publication since 1979. 41 years of the experiences of grown-ups reading to kids has gone into the development of the lists of recommended books. I don’t think you’ll go wrong starting with these books. If anything you’ll discover a genre of reading that you, as a grown-up, will love, all the while helping the kids in your life become lifelong readers.
Buy the Book
Here’s a few places you can get #yourveryown copy of The Read-Aloud Handbook:
While Mr. Trelease has retired, his website is still available and includes a number of resources you can access at no cost.
Visit www.trelease-on-reading.com for book excerpts, handouts, and thoughts on raising readers.
Me and this Book
I have a bit of a funny history with this book. When I got my degree in Elementary Education this book was required reading for our teaching of reading courses.
And then I forgot all about it. I went on to work in other fields (not elementary education) and I wasn’t teaching reading.
But all along I continued to LOVE children’s literature. My kid lit books were some of my most treasured possessions. They carefully moved with me all over the country, through 10+ different apartments and homes, to their current residence in my home library.
And when I had my son I of course wanted him to have books to read. As many as possible. We inhaled books. I found books everywhere possible. Because I’d never stopped reading kids books, I found that I had more than 20 years experience reading and reviewing all types of children’s books, including the many award winners.
The more we read, the more I studied. I started BeehiveBooksandArt.com. I became an independent book seller for Barefoot Books.
Then, one fall, I took over my son’s school’s Scholastic Book Fair. Wow, what a fun part of the children’s book world! My amazing rep told me about all things Scholastic Book Fairs, including the Warehouse Sale. These unbelievable events happen twice a year and are a means for Scholastic to move out old inventory, creating space for the new. It’s a perfect #bebookrich world for a person like me.
At my very first Scholastic Book Fair Warehouse Sale I happened upon The Read-Aloud Handbook Sixth Edition. Some small voice way far back in the back of my memory said “I think I remember this.” Into my cart it went.
It wasn’t until a few weeks later that I cracked it open and found myself lost not just in author Jim Trelease’s amazing recommendations, but lost in my own memories as well. The summer after my junior year in college I had completed some advanced independent study about teaching reaching with the director of my department. It was one of my most favorite things that I did at university. This book (a previous edition) was a cornerstone of that project.
I wish I still had the copy I read in college. But in any case I now have my Sixth Edition copy. I’ve owned it for 6 months now. Many pages are folded down, and quite a lot of it is underlined.
For my own experiences with kid lit, and for the work I do to promote the amazing world of children’s books and all that they hold and can do for your children … THIS BOOK is the one I want you as a grown-up to have – a copy of it for your very own – to refer to and spur your own adventures with the kids in your life as you explore the magic found in books.
P.S. The Eighth Edition is now available. I bought a copy the day I wrote this post for you!
Be Book Rich,