Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Reading news

Time for a round-up of reading-related news and blogs. First though, this statue I came across on a walk by the Thames. It’s called Sunbeam Weekly and the Pilgrim’s Pocket. I loved it just because it depicts a child reading, but I’ve discovered that it is extremely interesting historically.

Lost for Words: Poor literacy, the hidden issue in child poverty is an important report on the relationship between child poverty and poor literacy. It usefully pulls together lots of key research. In the light of this, it is perhaps unsurprising that huge numbers of young army recruits have very low reading ages.

New research demonstrates that children who are read to are less likely to engage in violent crime when older, and that improved literacy in early years education is one way to reduce violent offending. Sharing books with children is linked to communication skills, empathy, emotional skills and the ability to make relationships.

The Read It, Daddy blog consistently celebrates the power of shared reading. The latest post explores reading for pleasure vs reading for academic achievement. Well worth reading.

Lyn Hopson, one of the librarians shortlisted for the School Librarian of the Year Award, has written a guest blog for Booktrust on creating a book-loving school. Lovely ideas here. I totally agree that changing attitudes to reading demands a whole-school approach.

In a recent Guardian Book Doctor blog, Julia Eccleshare discusses whether schools should buy new children’s books or stick to the classics. I’m delighted at her espousal of contemporary fiction.

A recent discussion on the TES website explores the use of electronic texts in engaging reluctant readers and SEN pupils.

Primary teachers and librarians might like to know that Blue Peter is looking for Y5&6 pupils to judge the Blue Peter Book Awards 2014.

Finally, let me quote Malala Yousafzai, opening Birmingham Library: ‘A city without books, a city without libraries, is like a graveyard.’