The writer, who has produced more than 100 books over a 35-year career, said that while children still have huge appetite for reading, thanks in part to encouragement from their schools, adults increasingly appear to prefer their smartphones.
“I find it sad that adults aren’t reading as much,” she told the BBC. “On the train 10 years ago people were reading books – I would love trying to work out what titles they were reading. “Now I’ll be the only person with a book on my lap and everyone else is glued to their smartphones or checking emails. Electronic life has wiped out books.”
The Summer Reading Challenge takes place every year during the summer holidays. You can sign up at your local library, then read six library books of your choice to complete the Challenge. There are exclusive rewards to collect along the way, and it’s FREE to take part!
via Summer Reading Challenge.
Celebrating Reading for Enjoyment – Findings from our Annual Literacy Survey 2016
Whether or not children and young people enjoy reading has been a focus of recent research and policy, and evidence is now accumulating that shows that reading enjoyment is beneficial not only for reading outcomes but also for wider learning.
Reading for enjoyment is not only at the heart of our programmes, but it is also a central element of our research activities. This report pulls together what our evidence tells us about reading enjoyment.
Key findings, based on data from 42,406 pupils aged 8 to 18, include:
1 child in 4 in 2016 said that they enjoy reading very much, with another 1 child in 3 saying that they enjoy reading quite a lot. Overall, nearly 6 children in 10 (58.6%) say that they enjoy reading either very much or quite a lot.
While enjoyment levels had been rather stable between 2005 and 2012, they have been rising steadily since 2013, and in 2016 we recorded the highest percentage of reading enjoyment levels. Levels in 2016 were 14% higher than they were in 2005.
Children who enjoy reading are more likely to do better at reading than their peers who don’t enjoy it. At age 14, children who enjoy reading have an average reading age of 15.3 years, while those who don’t enjoy reading have an average reading age of just 12 years, a difference of 3.3 years.
- Nearly twice as many children aged 8 to 11 than those aged 14 to 16 said that they enjoy reading (77.6% vs. 43.8%).
Ahead of this morning’s announcement of the shortlist for the 2017 CLiPPA (Centre for Literacy in Primary Poetry Award) comes this timely blog post by Michael Rosen:
Some teachers have told me that on occasions people who manage schools have told them that they shouldn’t just be letting children read to themselves, and/or they shouldn’t just be reading and enjoying poetry. The teachers need to be doing some specific teaching and the children need to be doing a set task. In this blog, I’m going to try to answer this. I’m going to defend the activity of reading and enjoying poetry in the primary classroom. Just that. No task. This involves me imagining a situation in which a teacher has to justify this in a meeting with someone who is telling that teacher that there is little or no point in simply reading and enjoying poetry.
This year, as I edited two historical novels, I felt I needed to read more in that genre. As a children’s books editor, new books in this space appear often in my reading lists. Surprisingly, editors hit reading humps too, and for a while no book seems right, none that one can sink into. At those times, I have turned to peers and reviews for recommendations, and tried to figure why certain books are able to pull readers in, what makes them stand out and why should we read what others are reading.
For some reason, in 2016, I decided to keep a record of every book I read. In a long reading life, this is something I have never done. Books have come and gone, and I have only relied on my memory to tell me if I have read one or not. But in this age of record-keeping and sharing, why not for once, see what I have been reading? At the end of the year, this list is also a record of what led me to pick some of these books. What the further purpose of this exercise was, I am not too sure. But I stuck to it diligently, updating the title and author of each book that I completed in a list.
please continue reading via What this editor of books read outside her work in 2016 says a lot about why (and how) we read.
Published today [read the strategy in full]:
Every year in England, thousands of children leave primary school without the confidence and fluency in reading that they need. New assessment arrangements introduced in summer 2016 show only 66% of 11-year-olds reading at the expected level.
This problem is reinforcing social and ethnic inequality and holding our economy back. The vital importance of teaching phonics and comprehension in schools needs to be complemented by approaches that help every child to engage with and develop a love of reading.
Read On. Get On. was launched in 2014 by a coalition of charities and education organisations committed to improving reading levels in the UK. The campaign is now at a crossroads.
Therefore, we are proposing a different kind of a strategy and a new type of campaign which builds on the expertise of teachers and the strengths of settings, schools, libraries and the third sector, and which mobilises society.
Amazon has a new plan to get kids reading.
The tech giant on Wednesday launched Amazon Rapids, a reading app aimed at 7-to-12-year-olds. The paid app contains hundreds of stories, all told in dialogue animated to look like text messages.
The interactive app allows readers to swipe back and forth through dialogue, prompting each new message to appear on the screen. Until the reader prompts the next message to appear, the character who speaks next will even look like they’re typing, with the three dots familiar to anyone with iMessage.
The app, available on iOS, Android and Amazon Fire, has “hundreds” of stories and will add “dozens” each month, Robinson said.
The app allows readers to look up words they don’t know and save them to a glossary. It includes a “read to me” feature for the app to read the dialogue out loud.
The stories are written by children’s authors, many of whom have written Amazon-exclusive children’s books in the past. Professional illustrators, many of whom have also worked with Amazon before, draw the stories’ accompanying illustrations.
Michael Morpurgo, speaking at the inaugural Book Trust Annual Lecture
The concern I have about giving this talk – supportive as I am hugely of the aims of this Book Trust “Time to Read” campaign – is that I know, and you know, that I am talking to the essentially like-minded.
We may differ, but even then perhaps only minimally, as to how we achieve what we are all hoping for, seeking and working for: a culture in which to love and cherish books is common to everyone, a society in which we all feel that literature is universally valued and respected, belongs to us all, helps us to grow intellectually and emotionally, helps unite us; a society where homes and schools encourage children to grow up listening to and reading stories, where local libraries are open and free at the point of delivery.
We know, without reminding ourselves endlessly, the obvious and less obvious benefits children can glean from developing a life-long love of reading, the widening and deepening of knowledge and understanding, the ability to empathise, to explore and discover, to be comforted, excited, provoked and challenged, to spur confidence and creativity.
Like many wordsmiths and storymakers, I speak of all this often, rather too often, I fear, at conferences here and there, at literary festivals, at gatherings of like-minded folk, as I am doing this evening.
Our hope, of course, when we do this is that we provoke debate, and that this debate will help to change attitudes, and ultimately contribute to the enriching of children’s lives, and life-chances, through a love of stories. That’s my hope. That’s why I’m here. I think it is why we are all here.
But is this a vain hope? What are we doing this for? What is the point? Who will be listening, except ourselves?
I, like you, can sing the old song, blow the trumpet, bang the drum, for the love of books, the importance of literacy for our children, proclaim it loud. I can bemoan the closing of libraries; the homes where parents don’t read to their children; the schools where stories and poems can still so often be used simply as fodder for teaching literacy to the test.
I could blame successive governments who have all indulged in short-termism in their education policies, to a greater or lesser extent, who corral schools and pressure teachers into teaching literacy fearfully, who insist that measurable outcomes and results are the be-all and end-all of the education process, who often make a chore and a trial out of reading and books, who have succeeded so often only in banishing enjoyment.
But that would be passing the buck. We live in a democracy – just, an imperfect democracy certainly. Indeed, books and literature have played a crucial role over the centuries in creating and preserving our democratic system as well as the freedoms and rights we now so often take for granted; the freedom to speak our mind, to write and read what we will, and our freedom to choose.
We choose our governments. We are all of us in some way responsible both for the successes and failures of our literacy and our society, for they are, as we know, intimately connected. So when it comes to reading and books, if we have failed to engage and enthuse generations of children, especially those millions from less advantageous backgrounds – and most certainly we have failed far too many of them – then for all of us, even here amongst so many who have striven to create a more literate society, it is mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.
Indeed, I think it could be said that literacy, or the lack of it, helps divide us, helps define and separate those who have from those who have not; those who feel they belong and those who feel they do not, who feel alienated.
The truth is that over the years, indeed over the centuries, reading and literacy amongst our children, in our society, has certainly grown, but sadly it is also true it has not been all-inclusive, as it should have been, far from it. And that has been the great failure on our part.
To mark the School Library Association’s birthday in 2017 a photographic competition ‘Read80’ has just been announced to celebrate reading for pleasure and the impact school libraries have.
Competitors are encouraged to take photographs that show people of any age celebrating the joy of reading anywhere and to submit them to our competition.
Submission is by upload to Instagram or Twitter with the tag #SLARead80 – all images so tagged will be automatically entered into the competition.
The competition is for entries from 1 September 2016 to Friday 23 December 2016. A selection of entries may be included as part of a celebratory publication during 2017.
There will be 2 prizes of the Reading Cloud (one for Primary and one for Secondary Schools)
“The Reading Cloud is a fantastic new online reading community designed to engage students, parents, teachers and librarians in reading for pleasure. The Reading Cloud uses the very latest technologies to really capture the imagination of students, linking real and virtual reading experiences to drive up literacy standards and develop core reading skills.”
NB Please note that the winning schools will require an existing Junior Librarian.net or an Eclipse.net hosted licence.
For individual junior and senior competitors the prize will be £80 worth of National Book Tokens to tie in with the SLA’s 80th birthday.
Full details and small print about the competition are available here – http://www.sla.org.uk/slaread80.php
Phil Earle has just been appointed the new online Writer in Residence for children’s reading charity, BookTrust. He takes over from Sita Brahmachari, and is the 13th BookTrust writer is residence, hope he’s not too superstitious!
Phil said: “Growing up as a non-reader, I had no idea about the power of stories: of the places they can take you or the people you can meet as a result. I really want to show children that the right book for them is out there.”