BOOKS

Book cover of Take Me to Your Readers
Take Me to Your Readers
Larry Swartz. Stenhouse Press, 2017. 128 pages, $24.00.
*****
Reviewed by Ann Pharazyn

Take Me To Your Readers is a terrific resource for teachers with many usable strategies to help students develop their reading tastes and love of reading. Drawing on the many classrooms he visits, the author makes recommendations, implements strategies and gains insights from current classroom teachers.

For reading engagement, choice is important, but reading the same novel builds community. So it is important to have variety in programs. You can also choose novels with a theme in mind and incorporate current events. Lasting interest in reading comes from engagement. Building engagement can take many forms such as time for independent reading and honouring the ability to choose books at student level.

One of my favourite strategies is book pass (random book distribution, read for three minutes then either rotate the book or use book pass to continue reading it, continuing until most students have found a book they are willing to read).

It is important to connect home and school reading. This can be accomplished through a borrow-a-book program. Encourage students to share their books with family members.

In this book there are strategies to incorporate many different text formats including magazines, novels, newspapers, poetry, comics and graphic texts. The use of picture books and mentor texts inspires rich conversations and deep thinking about books. This leads to engagement.

The author provides different ways of responding to novels and other books such as the 35-word novel summary, story boxes, book trailers, novel in an hour or even text message conversations. He also includes many writing strategies such as video journals and free verse poems.

Swartz highlights the ability of reading to address different issues such a disabilities, gender and equity, investigating and building insight into different cultures, including First Nations, while integrating curriculum through science and history.

I highly recommend this book. It can be used in all grades. There are plenty of reproducible pages, teaching tips and fun activities to build a love of reading.

Ann Pharazyn is a member of Lambton Kent Teacher Local.

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