Monday, September 26, 2011

The Read Out Loud Handbook ~ See what all the fuss is about.

I'm going to stray a bit here from Fiction to Non-fiction, because I believe this book to be a treasure and a guide for parents who want to find great fiction reads for their kids. 

I was introduced to this book at a book club one day.  The lady who recommended it, called it her "Bible" for literature.  I borrowed her much underlined copy, because I wasn't convinced that it would be that great of a book.  But as you can guess, I was wrong. 

My own copy of this book has been read, re-read and underlined and is currently lent out to another friend.  Why? you may ask is this book so great.  Don't we already know that reading out loud to our children is good? 
Don't our schools tell us to read to our children for at least 20 Min. each day? 

Jim Trelease not only explains why its good to read out loud, but he provides 30 years worth of personal research and real stories that will inspire, even the most avid read-out-louder.  His own story of how he got his book published is interesting and inspiring enough. 

He self-published the first edition of "The Read Out Loud Handbook" back in the 70's.   He got a break thanks to a local newspaper columnist and started selling like crazy.  A major publisher noticed his sales and picked him up.  (There's more to the story, but you'll have to read the book.)

Six editions later, and updates on his "original" case studies, Mr. Trelease manages to keep selling this book 30 years later.  The success stories and the proof he provides on the first part of the book are compelling enough.  But the real treasure, in my opinion, lies in the second half of the book.  It's the ever growing list of recommendations for good read-out-loud books, divided by age group and category.  Some books are considered classics, while some others are newer releases.  Each recommendation, comes with a great description of the book, so you can be sure to pick the perfect book for your child.

Whenever I run dry of ideas, I reach for this book.  Whenever I feel like I need to feel inspired, I pick up this book.  Like my friend, I regard it as a Bible of sorts. It is one of my most used resources as a mother and educator and this is why I'm featuring it today. 

~Sil~ The Supernatural Chick


  1. My parents read to me, sang to me, and provided me with new experiences, but when I learned to read, I took that task for myself. I read everything I could get my hands on. I'll check out this book.

  2. Wow, Sil! This is so awesome.....I love that the research goes back 30 years and delivers recommendations for different age groups. I can't wait to get my hands on this book.

  3. The other possible good thing about this book would be to get your (our) books in those lists as well! I was thinking of Kim's book. Can you imagine the awesome publicity?

  4. I never even thought about that...sorry to say I am not a marketing expert. My mind just doesn't go there, but what a great thing that would be. Oh my gosh, The Curse of the Yama would be such a hit on one of those lists. Great idea!:-)