Reading for pleasure urgently requires a higher profile to raise attainment and increase children’s engagement as self-motivated and socially interactive readers. Building Communities of Engaged Readers highlights the concept of ‘Reading Teachers’ who are not only knowledgeable about texts for children, but are aware of their own reading identities and prepared to share their enthusiasm and understanding of what being a reader means. Sharing the processes of reading with young readers is an innovative approach to developing new generations of readers.
Examining the interplay between the ‘will and the skill’ to read, the book distinctively details a reading for pleasure pedagogy and demonstrates that reader engagement is strongly influenced by relationships between children, teachers, families and communities. Importantly it provides compelling evidence that reciprocal reading communities in school encompass:
- a shared concept of what it means to be a reader in the 21st century;
- considerable teacher and child knowledge of children’s literature and other texts;
- pedagogic practices which acknowledge and develop diverse reader identities;
- spontaneous ‘inside-text talk’ on the part of all members;
- a shift in the focus of control and new social spaces that encourage choice and children’s rights as readers.
Written by experts in the literacy field and illustrated throughout with examples from the project schools, it is essential reading for all those concerned with improving young people’s enjoyment of and attainment in reading.