Review Blog

Jun 15 2012

Promote reading edited by Pat Pledger

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Pledger Consulting, 2012. ISBN 9781876678272.
Highly recommended. This is a must-have book for all school libraries, both primary and secondary. It provides a terrific blend of practical and theoretical approaches which can be used in the library and in classrooms to promote reading. Helpful hints for displays and book reviews are provided as well as a range of activities. Some of these activities are easy to organise (such as a graffiti wall) whilst others may take longer to prepare but would be equally engaging (such as book spine poetry and book speed dating). Some could be used all year round whilst others pertain to special events (such as Book Week). There are several suggestions for collaboration between library staff and classroom teachers (such as Literature circles or Readers Cup events). The inclusion of strategies that make use of free Web 2 tools (such as QR codes, Wordle and Glogster) is particularly welcome as such tools are not only attractive to students but also beneficial to the library budget. Fortunately, source material, samples of work and relevant links to websites are provided throughout, which makes this an extremely useful text for library teams.
Contributors to this text come from a number of Australian states, from private and public school sectors and from both primary and secondary schools, so a range of experience and relevance is ensured. Longer articles provide a solid theoretical basis for the promotion of reading and the attached bibliographies provide a wealth of opportunity for further study, or may be useful for library advocacy. Two fascinating articles are based on action research projects which focus on boys and reading. Whilst both projects were based in American schools this does not detract from their relevance to Australian school libraries, rather it indicates the universal nature of some reading issues.
The contents page is organised in a logical and clear manner and the index is equally useful. All in all, this book is not only a wonderful resource for those working within school libraries it is also a testament to the creativity and knowledge to be found within the library profession.
Deborah Marshall

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