Chapter eight isn't my favorite Read-Aloud Handbook chapter (because it's not really about books, per se) but Trelease does make some compelling statements about how, for a variety of reasons, schools often do a miserable job of "marketing" reading to children.
The love of reading is more caught than taught and best caught in groups.
Sigh. Another vote against institutional school. Truly, did you ever do a literature study in school that didn't make you want to die? I have two memories from high school where English was thrilling for me, both were with the same wonderful crazy-overeducated teacher. I also have a memory of reading the "Followup Questions" for the story "The Monkey's Paw" in a literature textbook, and just thinking, this is the most insulting thing that's ever happened in a year of wasted time.
Series books are avidly read by the best readers, without impeding their skills.
This sounds true, but wait, what about the weaker readers? I don't even know what series books kids crack out on these days (in my day we ladies enjoyed the Sweet Valley High), but do those series have a positive or negative impact on the skills and comprehension of weaker readers? I'm all for lots of reading of whatever flavor, but I'd be curious to know what the science says about the impact of series titles on less fluent readers.
For what it's worth, I remember being distressed in the extreme when I ran out of Nancy Drew titles to borrow from the school library in 2nd or 3rd grade. I had a ravenous hunger for books, and Nancy Drew was one of the things that kept me from feeling starved, and for that I shall always appreciate her. (Plus I learned a fact or two from her, I remember something about gypsum solving one mystery and another book was full of intriguing information about Kachina dolls and Hopi Indian culture.)
CHAPTER 9: TV, Audio and Technology: Hurting or Helping Literacy?
The Trouble With TV: For some of the benefits of TV for promoting early reading, visit the wonderful Teaching My Baby to Read blog for her list of valuable DVDs!
As for the risks, here are some eye-opening stats from Trelease:
- "The doctors concluded that for each hour of daily TV viewed by the child before age three, the risk of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder by age seven increased 10 percent."
- "The presence of a television set in the child's bedroom was significantly associated with lower math, reading and language arts scores."
And that's all folks! The rest of the Treasury is Trelease's very valuable compilation of read-alouds by age, interest and reading level, so this concludes our read-along of The Read-Aloud Handbook. Enjoy exploring his many wonderful recommendations, and good luck!