Review Blog

Apr 20 2007

Knowing readers: Unlocking the Pleasures of Reading by Susan La Marca and Pam McIntyre

cover image

SLAV, 2006

Teacher reference. Susan La Marca, experienced teacher librarian and Pam McIntyre, editor of the journal Viewpoint, have combined to provide a useful, thought provoking and well researched book that will be an invaluable tool for both teachers and teacher librarians. It is divided into three sections: Connecting with theory; Connecting with readers and Connecting with resources.

Margo Lanagan introduces the book with an essay called: Doing your own stunts: Grown-ups, children and the reading Phantom, where she challenges us to know our readers. Paul Jennings talks about testing times:
'Children who don't like books are deprived of one of our most powerful humanising influences.... You can't push a boatload of refugees out into the sea to drown if you survived the terrors of the torture chamber and the unforgiving ocean as a fellow traveller - in a book.' Pg 14.

Section 1 goes on to look at the intrinsic value of reading, enabling engaged readers, building relationships and creating a physical reading environment. There are many practical, thought provoking ideas here which will assist adults to provide the right environment for reading to flourish.

Section 2, Connecting with readers, gives many practical suggestions and lists of up to date and interesting reading material around the themes of Reading for story, reading to know, reading to see as well as giving thematic frameworks. There are classroom strategies including webquests and literature circles and further reading.

Section 3 Connecting with resources gives a wealth of websites that include general reference as well as promotional ideas, webquests, blogs, storytelling, awards and graphic novels. Further reading is also included.

This book is highly recommended as it not only puts reading into an educational context but also gives advice and ideas for teacher librarians and teachers about setting up an atmosphere and choosing appropriate texts to encourage reading.

Pat Pledger

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