Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Born Reading: Bringing Up Bookworms in a Digital Age

by Jason Boog
Touchstone     2014
336 Pages     Nonfiction

Recently I observed a strange thing. Only one grandson did any recreational reading on his own. The others read when they were forced to read or when a parent read to them. How is this possible when their grandmother reads voraciously? Additionally, I noted my toddler grandson knew how to swipe my iPhone to get to the games. So, when I noticed that a librarian I greatly admire, Betsy Bird of the New York Public Library, had written the forward to the new book Born Reading by Jason Boog, I decided that I ought to look into Boog's ideas about how to create lifelong readers. 

The biggest strength of Born Reading is the way Boog takes 15 key concepts, which he calls The Born Reading Playbook, and expands them in each chapter to create parents who know how to interact with their children and children who love to read. He has done the research, talked with the leading experts in child development, and also has created lists of great books and educational apps that will best supplement a child's development. He teaches parents to read "interactively" with their children in a way that makes reading part of the daily life experience.

Two of the things that really attracted me to Born Reading were Boog's research regarding digital media and young children and his observations about interactive reading. As a children's librarian, I am very tuned in to the concept of interactive reading, but I have only observed the consequences of the digital age on my grandchildren, since media has changed dramatically since I retired ten years ago. I valued Boog's opinions on the use of digital media.

Besides all that, Boog has a remarkable website filled with great information for parents on reading with lists of suggested books, websites, and media choices. I have used it on the educational book blog I produce for the online school Free World U.  You can find

Several caveats: Boog is not a librarian, a children's literature expert, nor an educator. He is a writer and a father. The Publisher's Weekly reviewer calls Boog "A know it all rather than an educator or peer" but his material is valuable none the less. A perfect gift for young parents.

This slide presentation is a nice addition to Boog's information.

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