counter create hit A Family of Readers: The Book Lover's Guide to Children's and Young Adult Literature - Download Free eBook
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

A Family of Readers: The Book Lover's Guide to Children's and Young Adult Literature

Availability: Ready to download

Two of the most trusted reviewers in the field join with top authors, illustrators, and critics in a definitive guide to choosing books for children—and nurturing their love of reading. A FAMILY OF READERS is the definitive resource for parents interested in enriching the reading lives of their children. It’s divided into four sections: 1. Reading to Them: Choosing and sharin Two of the most trusted reviewers in the field join with top authors, illustrators, and critics in a definitive guide to choosing books for children—and nurturing their love of reading. A FAMILY OF READERS is the definitive resource for parents interested in enriching the reading lives of their children. It’s divided into four sections: 1. Reading to Them: Choosing and sharing board books and picture books with babies and very young children. 2. Reading with Them: Launching the new reader with easy readers and chapter books. 3. Reading on Their Own: Exploring what children read—and how they read—by genre and gender. 4. Leaving Them Alone: Respecting the reading privacy of the young adult. Roger Sutton knows how and why children read. He must, as the editor in chief of THE HORN BOOK, which since 1924 has been America’s best source for reviews of books for young readers. But for many parents, selecting books for their children can make them feel lost. Now, in this essential resource, Roger Sutton and Martha V. Parravano, executive editor at the magazine, offer thoughtful essays that consider how books are read to (and then by) young people. They invite such leading authors and artists as Maurice Sendak, Katherine Paterson, Margaret Mahy, and Jon Scieszka, as well as a selection of top critics, to add their voices about the genres they know best. The result is an indispensable readers’ companion to everything from wordless board books to the most complex and daring young adult novels.


Compare
Ads Banner

Two of the most trusted reviewers in the field join with top authors, illustrators, and critics in a definitive guide to choosing books for children—and nurturing their love of reading. A FAMILY OF READERS is the definitive resource for parents interested in enriching the reading lives of their children. It’s divided into four sections: 1. Reading to Them: Choosing and sharin Two of the most trusted reviewers in the field join with top authors, illustrators, and critics in a definitive guide to choosing books for children—and nurturing their love of reading. A FAMILY OF READERS is the definitive resource for parents interested in enriching the reading lives of their children. It’s divided into four sections: 1. Reading to Them: Choosing and sharing board books and picture books with babies and very young children. 2. Reading with Them: Launching the new reader with easy readers and chapter books. 3. Reading on Their Own: Exploring what children read—and how they read—by genre and gender. 4. Leaving Them Alone: Respecting the reading privacy of the young adult. Roger Sutton knows how and why children read. He must, as the editor in chief of THE HORN BOOK, which since 1924 has been America’s best source for reviews of books for young readers. But for many parents, selecting books for their children can make them feel lost. Now, in this essential resource, Roger Sutton and Martha V. Parravano, executive editor at the magazine, offer thoughtful essays that consider how books are read to (and then by) young people. They invite such leading authors and artists as Maurice Sendak, Katherine Paterson, Margaret Mahy, and Jon Scieszka, as well as a selection of top critics, to add their voices about the genres they know best. The result is an indispensable readers’ companion to everything from wordless board books to the most complex and daring young adult novels.

30 review for A Family of Readers: The Book Lover's Guide to Children's and Young Adult Literature

  1. 5 out of 5

    Betsy

    A curious thing happens when you find yourself pregnant. I don’t mean the sudden desire to devour your neighbor or the embiggening of the belly region. I’m talking books. A person could work with children’s books for the majority of their adult life, think they know them back to front, up to down, forwards to backwards. . . . and yet when it comes to YOUR OWN child, horrors! Suddenly you know nuthin’ bout nuthin’. Less than that. I mean board books? Seriously? I need to have opinions on these no A curious thing happens when you find yourself pregnant. I don’t mean the sudden desire to devour your neighbor or the embiggening of the belly region. I’m talking books. A person could work with children’s books for the majority of their adult life, think they know them back to front, up to down, forwards to backwards. . . . and yet when it comes to YOUR OWN child, horrors! Suddenly you know nuthin’ bout nuthin’. Less than that. I mean board books? Seriously? I need to have opinions on these now? And different kinds of nursery rhymes? I’ve never even heard of the Basher Five-Two by Captain O'Grady! Slowly it dawns upon me that if I’m having this much trouble with my shiny library degree, what the heck do normal people do? Of course, there are lots of books out there designed to direct parents to good literature for children. Heck, I think even the New York Times produces such a book. But if I’m going to place my child's literary fate in something, I want people who know what they’re doing. None of this fly-by-night stuff. Horn Book editors, now there are some professionals who know what they’re talking about (even if I don’t always agree). Better still, they’ve the ability to call upon other reviewers, authors, and illustrators working in the field to get their suggestions as well. The result of all this is a new title for parents: A Family of Readers: The Book Lover’s Guide to Children’s and Young Adult Literature. Made for moms and dads, but savvy enough for professionals working the field, a book of this sort is only as good as the contributors it contains. And when you want contributors, you want folks with some knowledge in the field. Check and mate. “In A Family of Readers, we seek to provide parents and other interested adults with an essential understanding of books for children and teenagers.” Sounds simple enough. But growing a reader isn’t just some fly by night operation. You need strategy and forethought and, most important of all, great books. That’s where Sutton and Parravano come in. Alongside contributors to the Horn Book, the book is broken up into Parts and Chapters that cover everything from baby board books to teen fare. Along the way the authors make sure to tip their hats to easy readers, fantasy, a whole chapter on nonfiction, as well as historical fiction, poetry, humor, you name it! Insofar as I can tell, almost no one is left out in the cold. Later chapters even cover books on sex ed, nontraditional families, and that most dreaded of terms: “bibliotherapy” *shudder*. A parent who didn’t know their Goodnight Moon from their Chocolate War can pick this book up and immediately be updated on some of the finest fare for their young. Regular sections that recommend titles and a section at the end for “Further Reading” round the whole book out. Some chapters stand out more than others, but that’s just the nature of the game. For example, Martha Parravano’s chapter on “Stores of Transferable Energy” is one of the finer looks at the world of picture books (blighted only by a momentary reference to the Na’vi that may prove incomprehensible in ten years). She brings up problems and issues that people might be aware of but have not yet put into so many words. For example, when distinguishing between picture books written for adults and picture books written for children she says, “A doting parent may enjoy a book about a little bunny whose mission in life is to tell his mommy how much he loves her, but there’s nothing there for the child audience.” Little wonder that Parravano is also the author of an earlier section that explains how picture books adapted into the board book format only truly work on rare occasions. She has a way of pointing out inconsistencies and peculiarities that need to be noticed and acknowledged. Even a parent new to children’s books can appreciate that. The book is ostensibly for parents, but its professional development possibilities are crystal clear. For any children’s or teen librarian in need of a swift kick in the pants to remind them why they’re in this line of work in the first place, A Family of Readers acts like a quick acting can of Jolt cola to the senses. On the flip side, it would also be useful for new librarians just entering the field. I got quite a lot of use out of it myself, frantically writing down the non-fiction adventure selections from Vicky Smith’s chapter on “Know-How and Guts” (which contains the fabulous line, “You’ll love it. He has to eat bugs”). And Roger Sutton’s chapter “Go Big or Go Home” on boy books has given me a wonderful example to bring up whenever anyone says that paper books will be dead in five years. Just look at The Guinness Book of World Records, man. Kids can see all that stuff online, but they love paging through it in a paper form. Something I’d never really considered until this title brought it up. One unfortunate thing is that the book in its effort to explain one point or another doesn’t always take into account whether or not the average reader will be able to get their hands on some of its recommendations. The most disappointing of these is K.T. Horning’s inspired dissection of Baby Says by John Steptoe. Everything she says about the book, from the emotional connection between the siblings (and even between the characters and the reader) to the very design makes you want to run to your local independent bookstore to demand your own edition. Unfortunately, no such copies will you be able to find. Not unless you’ve a particular wish to shell out $44 used paperback, of course. This goes for other books mentioned as well, like the Raymond Briggs Mother Goose Treasury. A reader would do far better to get books based on the helpful “More” boxes at the end of some of the chapters. There you can find that lists like “More Great Folklore” or “More Great Biographies” contain books that are well and truly in print (as of this review, anyway, since nothing in life is certain). Reading this book, you may find yourself gravitating more towards one voice than another, depending on the subject matter. For example, I tended to look forward to any sections containing Ms. Parravano's style and opinions, while I was sometimes baffled by Marc Aronson’s selections. Mr. Aronson has contributed to the parts of the book that discuss great nonfiction for children, a subject that is given adequate praise and attention in this book. Yet he sort of drops the ball when recommending nonfiction graphic novels, eschewing actual graphic novel nonfiction (like Houdini: The Handcuff King by Jason Lutes) for Gene Luen Yan’s American Born Chinese (which is a great book, but nonfiction it is not). And in his chapter “Cinderella without the Fairy Godmother” I was baffled by his sense of the history of nonfiction in children’s reading lives. It may well be that what he says is true, that “From the expansion of national literacy in the late nineteenth century through the 1970s, middle-class Americans shared an assumed nonfiction knowledge base.” Later after the rise of the 1960s Aronson laments that “We got the History Chanel instead of History” which is a cute phrase, sure. But consider if you will what history for kids was prior to the 1960s. The content, after all, was based as it was in a kind of Eurocentric man-only world. You might well regret that children now don’t read nonfiction the way they used to, but surely you have to agree that while the quantity is lacking the quality has improved by so many leaps and bounds. I cannot decry the fate of nonfiction after the sixties when I see what the sixties did to nonfiction itself. Suddenly our kids were reading about women and other countries without the word “savage” cropping up. By all means, feel badly that less children see nonfiction in their daily lives, but I do not miss the “one book, or one set of books, that every cultured family was assumed to own” when I consider what those “one book” or book sets used to contain. I know what he’s trying to say, but I think it could be phrased better. Parents don’t have all the answers. They have some of the answers, and if they’re smart they’ll find people have some of the other answers and turn to them. And when it comes to turning your kids into readers, some of those answers are right here. A book that can speak just as well to a newbie in the field as an old grizzled professional is a rare beastie. This book balances out a variety of the top issues and discussion topics raging today, while also offering some honestly awesome book choices. The other day a woman asked me if there was a single title on children’s literature that a person should read when entering the field. Had I read A Family of Readers when she asked me, this is what I would have handed her. A kind of go-to text that should prove invaluable to book lovers, big and small.

  2. 4 out of 5

    J L's Bibliomania

    Finding books to enjoy with your kids is hard. Finding books that they would enjoy reading themselves is harder. I enjoyed the first few chapters and requested several picture books and early readers we missed from the library. I didn't finish, but plan to bring this back in a couple of months to look for more gems we missed for the upper grade-school set to offer to my kids

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jenn Estepp

    so i bought this book for the library and when it came in felt that i was sort of professionally obligated to at least peruse it. but, i assumed that would be all i did - skim the titles, dip into a few paragraphs, maybe read one or two of them on topics i was really interested in. but, lo and behold, it's really well put together and it ended up being my lunch/break reading for a few weeks. even topics i didn't particularly think i was interested in were dealt with in such a smart and entertain so i bought this book for the library and when it came in felt that i was sort of professionally obligated to at least peruse it. but, i assumed that would be all i did - skim the titles, dip into a few paragraphs, maybe read one or two of them on topics i was really interested in. but, lo and behold, it's really well put together and it ended up being my lunch/break reading for a few weeks. even topics i didn't particularly think i was interested in were dealt with in such a smart and entertaining manner that i hardly skimmed at all. (i admit: there was an essay. or two. but i'm not telling which ones)covering the gamut, but in some ways just scratching the surface, it's a reader for readers about readers. ponder it, my friend. very frequently, however, i found myself wishing that the authors had gone on a bit more. tell me more about mother goose and science project books and adventure stories! and i especially wished that sutton's author interviews were longer. but i guess that's what leonard marcus is for.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Monica Edinger

    Loved this book, but I admit I'm biased as I consider Roger, Martha, and many of the contributors friends. Felt like I was at a version of my beloved CLNE (the now biyearly-used-to-be-every-summer amazingly wonderful Children's Literature New England conference) as so many of the names are from that group. The essays are smart --- intended for thoughtful and smart parents. Definitely opinionated, just like the Horn Book from which they all came (either reprints of articles from the venerable jou Loved this book, but I admit I'm biased as I consider Roger, Martha, and many of the contributors friends. Felt like I was at a version of my beloved CLNE (the now biyearly-used-to-be-every-summer amazingly wonderful Children's Literature New England conference) as so many of the names are from that group. The essays are smart --- intended for thoughtful and smart parents. Definitely opinionated, just like the Horn Book from which they all came (either reprints of articles from the venerable journal or new essays written by familiar contributors).

  5. 4 out of 5

    Shaunee

    I really enjoyed this book as the opinions are by a wide variety of authors, illustrators and reviewers who all have had a life-time reading habit. They cite many books that I know and love, but also have added to what I know and am sure will love. I also like that rather than say a child must read this, the child's opinion is valued. Letting your child make decisions, even at an early age, as their opinions should be valued and you end up with a reader!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This book about books is so much greatness. The chapter on the value of reading fantasy alone was enough to make me highly recommend it, but that's just the beginning of the amazing insights. Anyone who thinks that YA reading is 'on the way out' needs to read the last chapter. I have a book nerd happy.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Katie Fitzgerald

    A Family of Readers is a collection of essays and short reflections by the editors and contributors of The Horn Book magazine geared toward parents who love to read and wish to raise book-loving children. The book covers all ages from babies to teens, and it is divided into sections according to the needs of kids at different reading levels ("Reading to Them," "Reading with Them," "Reading on Their Own," and "Leaving Them Alone.") It concludes with a book list. I have heard some people describe t A Family of Readers is a collection of essays and short reflections by the editors and contributors of The Horn Book magazine geared toward parents who love to read and wish to raise book-loving children. The book covers all ages from babies to teens, and it is divided into sections according to the needs of kids at different reading levels ("Reading to Them," "Reading with Them," "Reading on Their Own," and "Leaving Them Alone.") It concludes with a book list. I have heard some people describe this book as snobby, and I definitely think that is an accurate assessment. The contributors to the collection have very definite opinions of what makes a good book, and they don't seem to hesitate in naming the titles that don't meet their standards. I'm pretty snobby about children's books myself, so this didn't bother me, but parents who are big fans of The Berenstain Bears, for example, might find that some of the pieces included rub them the wrong way with their disparaging remarks about such books. While I did like the overall attitude that quality matters in children's literature, this book is not quite the definitive guide it claims to be. Many of the pieces are so short that they feel truncated, as though they are excerpts from longer pieces or quick quotations jotted down by authors who didn't have time to write longer essays. Many times, it felt like an author stopped writing just at the point that his argument became interesting. I also had some issues with the advice of the authors in the section of the book addressing teens. The idea that a parent should no longer be at all involved with their children's reading choices after a certain age strikes me as pretty irresponsible, especially since it seems like the pieces in that section really just want kids to be able read books with sexual content behind their parents' backs. What was refreshing, though, is that this book, while definitely left-leaning, did not have any of the political rhetoric that I associate with children's literature discourse in 2019. There were mentions of diversity, pieces by authors from a variety of backgrounds, and recommended books representing different cultural backgrounds, but it was all presented in a very palatable (and non-confrontational) tone that made it easier to tolerate even the viewpoints with which I vehemently disagreed. I started working as a children's librarian in late 2010, and this book came out in 2011, so many of the books mentioned are the ones that were popular in my library during my first couple of years on the job, and reading this book was a bit like reliving those months of reading. For that reason, I might have enjoyed it a bit more than I would have otherwise. For adults who are not librarians who want to understand more about the world of children's books, this isn't a bad place to start, but it's also not comprehensive enough to be the only book one reads on the subject. This review also appears on my blog, Read-at-Home Mom.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Dolly

    An excerpt from this book was required reading for one of my MLIS courses at the University of Maryland. interesting quotes: "When in my thirties I took up running, it was very important to me to be able to run one mile. The friend who was coaching me showed me a path and two landmarks, a beginning and an end, with exactly one mile between them. Although my first mile probably took me fifteen minutes, the time didn't matter so much as reaching the end. Reading 'a whole book' has the same satisfac An excerpt from this book was required reading for one of my MLIS courses at the University of Maryland. interesting quotes: "When in my thirties I took up running, it was very important to me to be able to run one mile. The friend who was coaching me showed me a path and two landmarks, a beginning and an end, with exactly one mile between them. Although my first mile probably took me fifteen minutes, the time didn't matter so much as reaching the end. Reading 'a whole book' has the same satisfaction for the new reader. And I wish it were a Law of Publishing that all easy readers have page numbers at the bottom of each page. It lets you know in a very concrete way how far you've come and how far you've got to go." (p. 97) "But it was in 1957 that the beginning reader genre became blessed with genius. Two publishing imprints expressly designed to bring primers into the home began that year, Harper & Row's I Can Read Books, inaugurated by Else Holmelund Minarik and Maurice Sendak's Little Bear, and Random House's Beginner Books, with Dr. Seuss's The Cat in the Hat. The books could not be more different. The Seuss is all anarchy, the Minarik/Sendak all comfort." (pp. 97-98)

  9. 5 out of 5

    Karen Ng

    After reading Jim Trelease' "The Read Aloud Handbook" and a series of other more inferior books about reading to children with book recommendations, I stopped at getting similar books since I think one inspirational/informative book is enough in this area. However, this book proved me wrong. One of the author, Roger Sutton, has been the editor of the magazine "Hornbook" for many years, and both the Hornbook and he are well known by their seriousness in picking the reviewing Children's publicatio After reading Jim Trelease' "The Read Aloud Handbook" and a series of other more inferior books about reading to children with book recommendations, I stopped at getting similar books since I think one inspirational/informative book is enough in this area. However, this book proved me wrong. One of the author, Roger Sutton, has been the editor of the magazine "Hornbook" for many years, and both the Hornbook and he are well known by their seriousness in picking the reviewing Children's publications and their strictness in giving stars. The book read like a triple feature Hornbook magazine. Everything I like about the magazine is in the book. There are famous children's authors, writing about different topics/genres and their point of views in things relating to Children's literature. I always love reading "other" writings from authors, which make me understand them more. There is a chapter on every genre, from book for babies all the way to Young Adult Fiction. The book recommendations are great, including a few new ones that were not included in The Read Aloud Handbook. Since Mr. Trelease hasn't been updating his famous book, I might have to give this one to new parents from now on....

  10. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    This was one of the more interesting "book about children's books" that I've picked up, and there have been a lot of those. I skipped over some parts (What Makes a Good Science Nonfiction Book?) but other chapters were very insightful and there were some fascinating interviews with authors and a great little chapter on poetry by Naomi Shihab Nye. Did not agree with everything, but I tend to gravitate toward writers who write about children's books in the same way I think about them, so it was go This was one of the more interesting "book about children's books" that I've picked up, and there have been a lot of those. I skipped over some parts (What Makes a Good Science Nonfiction Book?) but other chapters were very insightful and there were some fascinating interviews with authors and a great little chapter on poetry by Naomi Shihab Nye. Did not agree with everything, but I tend to gravitate toward writers who write about children's books in the same way I think about them, so it was good, I think, to get some different viewpoints. It's going back to the library, but not before I copy a few chapters to put in my File of Good Things I've Read and Want to Keep.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Fiona H.

    An excellent collection of articles about modern children's literature. I've found it very helpful to read before taking up a position as school librarian. It is a very accessible read, and I appreciate the insights of parents and librarians of different generations. I love the way the book is set out, progressing from books for very young children to teenagers, with a collection of articles for each genre.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

    Select essays and book recommendations, along with some author interviews, provide information on different genres and types of print materials for children. A good resource for anyone needing guidance on book recommendations.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    I loved this list. I had to start another Goodreads shelf for Brayden with the recommendations from it. Here are some of the quotes I liked: "Mother Goose will show newcomers to this world how astonishing, beautiful, capricious, dancy, eccentric, funny, goluptious, haphazard, intertwingled, joyous, kindly, loving, melodious, naughty, outrageous, pomsidillious, querimonious, romantic, silly, tremendous, unexpected, vertiginous, wonderful, x-citing, yo-heave-ho-ish, and zany it is." -Iona Opie "When I loved this list. I had to start another Goodreads shelf for Brayden with the recommendations from it. Here are some of the quotes I liked: "Mother Goose will show newcomers to this world how astonishing, beautiful, capricious, dancy, eccentric, funny, goluptious, haphazard, intertwingled, joyous, kindly, loving, melodious, naughty, outrageous, pomsidillious, querimonious, romantic, silly, tremendous, unexpected, vertiginous, wonderful, x-citing, yo-heave-ho-ish, and zany it is." -Iona Opie "When a book actively strives to keep the child locked in childhood relationships and needs, it's not truly a child's picture book. A doting parent may enjoy a book about a little bunny whose mission in life is to tell his mommy how much he loves her, but there's nothing there for the child audience. Far more realistic and definitely more on the child's side are picture books in which the parent tells the child that he is loved- unconditionally, and despite the child's behavior." The book includes an interview with Maurice Sendak. Man, he sounds like a very interesting and odd fellow. He really puts his whole heart into his books. I need to look at his other works, seeing as I've only read Where the Wild Things Are. Good idea: Naomi Shihab Nye reads poetry to her son as she wakes him up (Carl Sandburg, Langston Hughes, Emily Dickinson, etc). She says: "I like imagining what filters down into Madison's deep consciousness. We don't discuss the poems at breakfast, but after a few weeks of my reading them, he began saying, "I really liked those poems today. Could you read them again soon?" or "All day that poem came into my mind." I feel gratified and strongly suggest to other parents this simple method of helping children "wake up with literature" as well as go to sleep with it. It is our happy task to find as many comfortable ways we can to make enduring words an essential part of all our lives." On The Cat in the Hat: "It demonstrates respect for children by allowing them to face down chaos- whether it's that of a messed-up house or the jumble of letters on a printed page- on their own... It is astonishingly disrespectful, and in the end invites readers to join in the rebellion when Mother comes home: Should we tell her about it? “Now, what SHOULD we do? Well... What would YOU do if you mother asked YOU? “ Reading as conspiracy. You gotta love it." Jon Scieszka: “Teaching in elementary school, and watching kids in action, I came to appreciate how effortlessly kids learn when they play. Babies learn to talk without taking multiple-choice talking tests. Toddlers learn to toddle without writing toddling essays. How do they do it? By playing around. So from teaching I learned to respect kids as natural learners, supply them with the tools to learn, and then get out of the way. I learned to inspire instead of lecture. I learned to trust play. That philosophy is at the heart of everything I write for kids. I want my readers to laugh, of course. But then I want them to question, to argue, to wonder- What if? I want them to play. I want them to learn for themselves.” “What makes a book a “boy book” rather than a book about a boy? I think Hobbs has it right in his title: Go Big or Go Home. What reluctant readers want are big plots, big themes, and lots of action focused on a hero the reader could imagine himself being, with maybe just a little work.”

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mauri

    Pros Lots of little interesting publishing world details – why you should be careful about selecting the board book “version” of a favorite picture book, trends in publishing, how the line between YA and Adult fiction gets blurred internationally (“The Spell Book of Listen Taylor” was published as adult fiction in Australia, then re-edited for YA in the States). The format had strengths and weaknesses, with the author writing the lead in for each section, followed by essays on individual topics. A Pros Lots of little interesting publishing world details – why you should be careful about selecting the board book “version” of a favorite picture book, trends in publishing, how the line between YA and Adult fiction gets blurred internationally (“The Spell Book of Listen Taylor” was published as adult fiction in Australia, then re-edited for YA in the States). The format had strengths and weaknesses, with the author writing the lead in for each section, followed by essays on individual topics. At its best, it gave a varied, nuanced number of viewpoints to reflect on. At its worst, I skimmed through overly long bits on what makes a good dinosaur book (realism! maybe?) and grumped over sections that were too fly-away to draw a coherent statement from. While the essays seemed to march in lockstep at times (Goodnight Moon! Catcher in the Rye!), the recommendations at the end of each section were quite broad. I stopped every two pages to look up a new book or add something to my to-read list. Cons The section on “girl” books and “boy” books was stunningly narrow. Essays on both focused on how the maligned genres of “problem” novels (for girls) and non-traditional reading matter (for boys) are really good for them, and shouldn't be discounted. Sure. Okay. That's great. But there's a strong vein of girls will be girls and boys will be boys, let's just throw whatever they'll read at them, because the most important thing is that they're reading SOMETHING, right? No use pointing out how there should maybe be more books geared towards helping boys through the everyday problems, or how girls might appreciate some crazy action-adventure novels or non-fiction. Hell, we don't even need to write new books, we could probably get by with raising our children more equitably with regards to their emotions and interests and more of them would be willing to “cross party lines”, as it were. (Let's leave aside the fact that all of the “boy” books listed are massively popular novels that everyone I knew read, including Harry Potter, Holes, Frindle, and Hatchet, and that the girl books are much less well-known, with the exception maybe of Judy Blume. I had to stop my eyes from rolling out of my head at the holding up of Little House on the Prairie as a terrible book for boys, in which nothing happens. Laura Ingalls' biggest fan is most likely my 60-something dad.) I write novel, yes? The huge lack of “minority” representation in childrens literature – barely touched on. Despite the above novel, this probably pissed me off more than anything Science fiction – ignored, while fantasy and mystery get a few essays each. Too many essayists trying to be the writers they are, playing with words and being “funny” while forgetting to make a point. I begin to feel like the only person in the world who hates both “Goodnight Moon” and “The Catcher in the Rye”. In general, I don't think I was the right audience for this book. The authors starts out in a tone suggesting that this is for book-lovers looking to raise more book-lovers, when really it seems to have a lot of info for parents who don't read anymore trying to get their children into reading because they hear it's good for them.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    I've been savoring this book since a good friend gave it to me for Christmas last year - savoring because it's so full of information, and because it takes some time to digest it all. There are short essays about children's and teen books, often by famous authors, and presented in the order of a child's growth. It's similar in feel to the journal Horn Book, likely because Horn Book's editors also edited this. It's a great resource for parents and librarians, and of particular interest if you're I've been savoring this book since a good friend gave it to me for Christmas last year - savoring because it's so full of information, and because it takes some time to digest it all. There are short essays about children's and teen books, often by famous authors, and presented in the order of a child's growth. It's similar in feel to the journal Horn Book, likely because Horn Book's editors also edited this. It's a great resource for parents and librarians, and of particular interest if you're both. A few lines I especially loved: From Roger Sutton's intro: "Adults can be like this with children's books, looking for utility or edification, and completely forgetting what drew them into reading in the first place. Given the chance, kids will read the same way adults do: for themselves. Don't think of books for young people as tools; try instead to treat them as invitations into the reading life. From Sarah Ellis' "Banana Peels at Every Step": The writer for children, however, is humbled by the fact that, when the laff-o-meter is running, all this artfulness can be completely trumped by a phrase such as peanut butter belly button. From Janet McDonald's "Where Snoop and Shakespeare Meet": Well, soapboxes are for soap and soap is for washing clean. Books give off light, and light reveals the dirty, the clean, and the in-between.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ccl Children's

    This is a great book to help adults select and guide children toward books that will engage the child as a listener or reader and promote a love of books. Authors Roger Sutton and Martha V. Parravano are the editor in chief and the executive editor of The Horn Book magazine, respectively. Contributors include authors, illustrators, editors, and reviewers of children’s books. This body of the book is arranged into four parts: Reading to them, reading with them, reading on their own, and leaving t This is a great book to help adults select and guide children toward books that will engage the child as a listener or reader and promote a love of books. Authors Roger Sutton and Martha V. Parravano are the editor in chief and the executive editor of The Horn Book magazine, respectively. Contributors include authors, illustrators, editors, and reviewers of children’s books. This body of the book is arranged into four parts: Reading to them, reading with them, reading on their own, and leaving them alone. Each part is then further divided into chapters. Each chapter includes an introduction or overview by one of the two authors, essays by contributors, and short list of recommended books relating to that chapter. Each book in the list of recommended books has a short summary. Each list from “easy readers” through “books for teens” also includes what the authors consider the recommended grade or age of a reader for that book. While this may sound a little dry, it is truly an enjoyable read and will be helpful for anyone who needs a little guidence when asked by a child "what should I read next?"--ML Find it in our catalog: http://catalog.ccls.org/search~S10/?s...

  17. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    A wonderful collection of essays by readers for readers and for the children and friends of readers. For the most part, all of these writers are with me on the same page regarding what makes a good book for children and what does not...I say for the most part because we do diverge a bit when it comes to teen reading and also on the the particular subject of sex education for nearly all child readers. Perhaps with teen readers I'm biased because I never read books written for teens, or the group A wonderful collection of essays by readers for readers and for the children and friends of readers. For the most part, all of these writers are with me on the same page regarding what makes a good book for children and what does not...I say for the most part because we do diverge a bit when it comes to teen reading and also on the the particular subject of sex education for nearly all child readers. Perhaps with teen readers I'm biased because I never read books written for teens, or the group that is now labeled YA, Young Adult. I moved from children's books to adult literature in the 7th grade and never looked back. The sex education topic is too big to be covered in this review. I'm considering buying a copy of this book to have as a reference, and also because I love the writing within the essays. Wish I'd had something similar to this when I was still teaching, although I did read Hornbook semi-regularly and was a pretty good judge of what was good and what wasn't all by myself when it came to buying books to have in my classroom for my students to read independently and also to be read together as a class. Visiting a bookstore and perusing the shelves and seeing what's out there, though, it's clear there are a lot of people who aren't very discriminating.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I am skimming through some of the early parts of this book (with some sentimental feelings!), as my children are out of the stages of early picture books and readers. There are some gems in the essays sprinkled throughout, including this part of the author's interview with Maurice Sendak: "I see myself as a fairly weak person. I've gotten better with age. Age has really done well by me. It's calmed the volcanoes down considerably. Age is a form of kindness we do ourselves. But I don't feel like I I am skimming through some of the early parts of this book (with some sentimental feelings!), as my children are out of the stages of early picture books and readers. There are some gems in the essays sprinkled throughout, including this part of the author's interview with Maurice Sendak: "I see myself as a fairly weak person. I've gotten better with age. Age has really done well by me. It's calmed the volcanoes down considerably. Age is a form of kindness we do ourselves. But I don't feel like I've been misunderstood. Honestly, I don't feel like my work is that important. I have no brilliant conceptual gift for drawing or any really exceptional gift for writing. My gift is a kind of intuitive sense that I think you would find in a musician--knowing what the music should sound like, knowing where to put your fingers......The realy mystery is, Why does this make me so happy? Why does this free me of every inhibition? Why does this allow me to be so normal?.....In that period of time, I am stirred to the top of my last brain cell because I'm working. I am stirred into life by my labor." ------------ Good reading lists, comments, ideas and encouragement. A book to revisit in the future.

  19. 4 out of 5

    jacky

    I loved this book! This book was a perfect fit for me. As an English teacher with a child, I am more sophisticated (or maybe snobby is a better word?) in my thinking about what my child will read. This book is for that type of parent. This is not a book for someone who just reads the occasional best seller on a plane or at the beach. That said, this book was great. I read the beginning about board books and picture books (because that is where we are with Natalie right now) and the end about YA I loved this book! This book was a perfect fit for me. As an English teacher with a child, I am more sophisticated (or maybe snobby is a better word?) in my thinking about what my child will read. This book is for that type of parent. This is not a book for someone who just reads the occasional best seller on a plane or at the beach. That said, this book was great. I read the beginning about board books and picture books (because that is where we are with Natalie right now) and the end about YA literature (because that is where my profession brings me). I intend to come back to the middle later. The book is set up as a series of essays be various authors, some of whom are authors of children's literature as well. All the sections were interesting and easy to read, which isn't always the case with this type of subject (literature and parenting). Best of all, I got tons of book recommendations! Many books to set aside for later in Natalie's life and some to look for now. It was also validating when I had read or shared with Natalie some of the titles mentioned.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Michael Fitzgerald

    A disappointment - this book could - and should - have been much more and much better. Instead, it is shallow and trite, with about 80 pieces (I can't even call most of them "essays" or "chapters") some of which have the length and depth of a back cover blurb. There are big names here (Henkes, Zolotow, Zemach, Voigt, Lowry), but many get just a single page. Some of these are tantalizing, but then you realize that *that* is the meal. There isn't any more to it. The short lists are especially bad. A disappointment - this book could - and should - have been much more and much better. Instead, it is shallow and trite, with about 80 pieces (I can't even call most of them "essays" or "chapters") some of which have the length and depth of a back cover blurb. There are big names here (Henkes, Zolotow, Zemach, Voigt, Lowry), but many get just a single page. Some of these are tantalizing, but then you realize that *that* is the meal. There isn't any more to it. The short lists are especially bad. I have to disagree entirely with the front-cover hype "A godsend for adults who want to instill a passion for reading in the next generation." - I think that if this is accurate about what is out there for kids to read, we're in serious trouble. Fortunately, there are other viewpoints. Better to read something like Caldecott Medal Books, 1938-1957, where the authors are given enough room to say something.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    From the editors of the Horn Book Magazine comes a book for readers who are in uncharted territory when it comes to their children's reading lives. It's a book of essays, with the occasional interview thrown in, on choosing books for babies through teens. (though to be fair they recommend allowing your teen ample reading freedom). Sutton and Parravano write the overviews to the different sections, and then various reviewers and authors discuss what makes a good book in that section. Along with t From the editors of the Horn Book Magazine comes a book for readers who are in uncharted territory when it comes to their children's reading lives. It's a book of essays, with the occasional interview thrown in, on choosing books for babies through teens. (though to be fair they recommend allowing your teen ample reading freedom). Sutton and Parravano write the overviews to the different sections, and then various reviewers and authors discuss what makes a good book in that section. Along with the titles mentioned in each essay the sections conclude with annotated lists of additional titles. Of particular interest to me was the section on which picture books translate well to board books. It's hard to tell when you're shopping online since you can't see the whole book. Plus most retailers group all the reviews together making it hard to pick out reviews specific to the format. I actually wish they had included more examples in that section of this book. Overall a good book to reference when purchasing gifts for the children in your life.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Brianna

    I didn't think that I would read this cover-to-cover. I thought I would just skim the sections about genres that I'm unfamiliar with and skip over everything else - but I couldn't put it down! I really enjoyed the collection of voices and the insight into a wide variety of reading material. Some of the information was very familiar (girl books, for example) and other sections were very informative (board books and preschool science books - who knew?). Perhaps my favorite little passage was the i I didn't think that I would read this cover-to-cover. I thought I would just skim the sections about genres that I'm unfamiliar with and skip over everything else - but I couldn't put it down! I really enjoyed the collection of voices and the insight into a wide variety of reading material. Some of the information was very familiar (girl books, for example) and other sections were very informative (board books and preschool science books - who knew?). Perhaps my favorite little passage was the interview with Maurice Sendak. My to-read list grew enormously after reading this book. I borrowed a copy from a friend, but I think that I may purchase a copy for my own personal resource library. I worry about this book becoming dated, however - in how many years will we look back at the recommendations and think, "Oh, that book was SO 2010-2011"?

  23. 4 out of 5

    Audrey

    So I read this right after reading Wild Things: The Joy of Reading Children's Literature as an Adult (note: I went into the library to get that one, saw A Family of Readers on the shelf next to it, and grabbed them both), and it is really everything that I think Wild Things was trying to be. Bruce Handy does talk up Horn Book quite a bit in his intro, so it makes sense that this volume might have a leg up on his book. Anyway, enough of the comparisons. This is a great read -- it moves through the So I read this right after reading Wild Things: The Joy of Reading Children's Literature as an Adult (note: I went into the library to get that one, saw A Family of Readers on the shelf next to it, and grabbed them both), and it is really everything that I think Wild Things was trying to be. Bruce Handy does talk up Horn Book quite a bit in his intro, so it makes sense that this volume might have a leg up on his book. Anyway, enough of the comparisons. This is a great read -- it moves through the stages of reading (from being read to by adults to reading on your own) with lists, essays, reflections, genre musings -- just lots of great insights and opinions on the act of reading and what to read at each stage. And the lists here are so much more expansive and inclusive than Handy's book, which stuck mainly to the classics.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    Really enjoyed this look at the different stages of reading. The bibliography provided me with even more books I want to add to my list of reading! Essentially, the authors advice for creating a family of readers is to be a reader yourself-model the behavior that you want to see in your child and allowing them to pick books they are interested in reading exactly the way that you as a reader does, "The best way to understand how children read is to read for yourself." "Only by experience it (a book Really enjoyed this look at the different stages of reading. The bibliography provided me with even more books I want to add to my list of reading! Essentially, the authors advice for creating a family of readers is to be a reader yourself-model the behavior that you want to see in your child and allowing them to pick books they are interested in reading exactly the way that you as a reader does, "The best way to understand how children read is to read for yourself." "Only by experience it (a book) as a reader--not a grown-up, not a parent--will you be in a position to recommend it to another: not a child, but a fellow reader."

  25. 5 out of 5

    meg

    although this is allegedly written for parents, to aid them in all the stages of their children's reading development from baby to teen,it's also a great professional resource for educators and librarians alike. even if you think you already know it all, this is an inspired look at all the different qualities that make children's and young adult books great. brought to you by the fine editors of horn book, with several entries and interviews from many an author and illustrator (and of course lis although this is allegedly written for parents, to aid them in all the stages of their children's reading development from baby to teen,it's also a great professional resource for educators and librarians alike. even if you think you already know it all, this is an inspired look at all the different qualities that make children's and young adult books great. brought to you by the fine editors of horn book, with several entries and interviews from many an author and illustrator (and of course lists for additional reading), it's hard not to come away swooning with a renewed excitement for children's literature.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Roger Sutton's expertise is evident throughout this book. Designed as a guide through children's literature, he gives a little bit of history, author interviews, book recommendations, and insight about what kids want to read. He introduces each section of the book and his voice is evident throughout the collection. Authors reflect on genres, their own experiences with writing and reading, and tell about their craft. It's a beautiful compilation and I recommend it for serious parents, librarians, Roger Sutton's expertise is evident throughout this book. Designed as a guide through children's literature, he gives a little bit of history, author interviews, book recommendations, and insight about what kids want to read. He introduces each section of the book and his voice is evident throughout the collection. Authors reflect on genres, their own experiences with writing and reading, and tell about their craft. It's a beautiful compilation and I recommend it for serious parents, librarians, and professionals that want to know more about today's children's literature. The recommended title lists are short but very good.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Marcia

    A great book! Especially if you love reading children's books, love reading about children's books or just know kids who like to read. A helpful volume for librarians, teachers and really parents who are the target audience. The authors are from Horn Book, which has never been my favorite selection tool (SLJ hits the mark more often) but they are experts. They've broken the book down by format and genre, beginning with board books and going straight to YA. It includes many author essays and inter A great book! Especially if you love reading children's books, love reading about children's books or just know kids who like to read. A helpful volume for librarians, teachers and really parents who are the target audience. The authors are from Horn Book, which has never been my favorite selection tool (SLJ hits the mark more often) but they are experts. They've broken the book down by format and genre, beginning with board books and going straight to YA. It includes many author essays and interviews, and each chapter ends with a list of top books in that category.Fun to read, and I learned a lot, plus have many new books on my "to read" shelf. Highly recommend it!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lorraine

    The great thing about being a reader is loving everything about reading. This book is best suited for us, people who take preparing to read seriously, in this case finding good stories to recommend for the juvenile and young adult reader. It gives insight on how to pick everything from board books for babies to fantasy adventures for the solo reader also dystopia and thrillers for older YA readers. It is not to far from being a textbook, so do not expect to read it and get its full value in one The great thing about being a reader is loving everything about reading. This book is best suited for us, people who take preparing to read seriously, in this case finding good stories to recommend for the juvenile and young adult reader. It gives insight on how to pick everything from board books for babies to fantasy adventures for the solo reader also dystopia and thrillers for older YA readers. It is not to far from being a textbook, so do not expect to read it and get its full value in one sitting. Chapters include categories such as (this is not an inclusive list): Books for Babies Picture Books Reading on Their Own Non-fiction: Biography, Science Poetry Messages Teen books

  29. 5 out of 5

    Danielle DeVane Wells

    Another book about books... which I LOVE! I'm in love with these kinds of books because I'm always wanting great book recommendations. This book is NOT bullet pointed lists of books. It's written in regular, conversational style writing. A great feature of this book is the biblography in the back. Every book he mentions in the book is listed in the back. I still don't know if I love the layout of the book (the fact that it's not simply lists of books, but rather explanations of books and the aut Another book about books... which I LOVE! I'm in love with these kinds of books because I'm always wanting great book recommendations. This book is NOT bullet pointed lists of books. It's written in regular, conversational style writing. A great feature of this book is the biblography in the back. Every book he mentions in the book is listed in the back. I still don't know if I love the layout of the book (the fact that it's not simply lists of books, but rather explanations of books and the authors opinions about them). But I found great suggestions so I believe it was worth it. Thus the 4 star rating.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kristina

    Seeking out great children's lit is a favorite pastime. Jim Trelease's Read Aloud Handbook first gave me permission to take the matter seriously and this guide is helping me to up the ante. It's chock full of funny and thoughtful essays from Horn Book editors and favorite authors. I've been tipped off to plenty of quality books I was hereto for unfamiliar with such as the Science Play series by Vicki Cobb. I've found helpful introductions to genres like science fiction and fantasy that I know ab Seeking out great children's lit is a favorite pastime. Jim Trelease's Read Aloud Handbook first gave me permission to take the matter seriously and this guide is helping me to up the ante. It's chock full of funny and thoughtful essays from Horn Book editors and favorite authors. I've been tipped off to plenty of quality books I was hereto for unfamiliar with such as the Science Play series by Vicki Cobb. I've found helpful introductions to genres like science fiction and fantasy that I know absolutely nothing about but might turn out to greatly interest Bea.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.