I’ve been hearing about a fascinating new book by Kelly Gallagher titled “Readicide: How Schools Are Killing Reading and What You Can Do About It.” Gallagher defines readicide as: “The systematic killing of the love of reading, often exacerbated by the inane, mind-numbing practices found in schools.” He outlines four factors that are primarily responsible for readicide:
* schools value the development of test takers more than the development of readers
* schools limit authentic reading experiences
* teachers are overteaching books
* teachers are underteaching books
According to book reviews, Gallaher’s assertions are grounded in research studies that point to giving our kids more authentic reading experiences and providing time for their own personal reading. I’m looking forward to following the Readicide “blog tour” (http://www.stenhouse.com/html/readicide.htm), and to reading the book.
With administrators who are enamored with data and uniform curriculum to improve reading scores, we as librarians continue to champion free recreational reading, changing the world one kid at a time…one book at a time. There is no “One Thing” that makes kids love to read, improve at reading, and want to read more. We have to pull together our own personal toolkit to try out on our students. What’s in your bag of tricks — reading aloud, acting out stories, comparing books to movies, telling stories, getting kids writing and drawing and talking about books, book clubs?