Non-Fiction Review: How To Raise a Reader

How to Raise a Reader by Pamela Paul
How to Raise a Reader
by Pamela Paul , Maria Russo

2 out of 5 stars


This book gives advice for encouraging a child to read at every stage of their lives into adulthood. There are guidelines for reading to newborn babies and toddlers, guiding a child to read on their own, encouraging a middle grader or preteen to love reading, and influencing a teenager in their reading choices. There are chapters for each age group with suggestions on when to let a child explore books on their own, and when to step in with a subtle influence and inspire them to read.

There were some things that I liked about this book. The writing style is good, but a little pretentious in places. The authors write as if they know everything there is to know about parenting, reading, and which books are best.
They criticized some of my favorite childhood books as being too “preachy” and “moral”, so right away they lost my respect for their opinions. They would have done better to be more accepting of different tastes in books, instead of being so quick to judge certain books as “boring” or unappealing to children. Well, those books were appealing to me when I was a child, and they are STILL my favorites!

They should have kept their narrow opinions to themselves, and written this book with a broader vision of the reader in mind. The way they write is too critical and it alienates the reader, and does NOT inspire confidence in their recommendations.

There are also many leftist views promoted in the books that are recommended, and I did not see a wide variety in the types of books mentioned. It was disappointing to see a book like this used for promoting a political agenda. There are seven places in the actual text that I found political views being given. And there are about a dozen books recommended that I recognized as having definite political leanings.

There are still some good tidbits of advice in this book, and many good books that are listed. I did enjoy some of it. However, I would not exactly recommend it to parents. I would say to take it with a grain of salt, and not base all your child’s reading on these recommendations without checking out the books yourself first. Some of them are inappropriate for children or teens or contain disturbing subject material.

I’m just so disappointed in this book. It was okay, but had some problems.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review. All the opinions stated here are my own true thoughts and are not influenced by anyone.

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