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The Rights of the Reader Paperback – October 2, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

First published in 1992, this new translation of French author Pennac’s joyful ode to reading features an introduction by illustrator Quentin Blake, who also contributes quirky, playful sketches to complement the author’s engaging prose. Passionate and witty, Pennac draws upon his experiences as a child, parent, and inner-city teacher in Paris to espouse insightful declarations and reflections about the power of story. Pennac criticizes parents who do not nourish the enthusiasm their children have for reading, chastises educators who suck out the joy of the written word, and laments how our consumer culture reduces the book to a mere product—and he manages to do all of this without sounding didactic. Pennac closes the book by elaborating on his well-known 10 “rights of the reader.” Interest in this book among teens is likely to be limited, but those who share Pennac’s passion for reading will find it affirming. Grades 9-12. --Ed Sullivan --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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"A refreshing and inspirational book that should never go out of print." National Literacy Trust"

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Walker Books Ltd (October 2, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1406300918
  • ISBN-13: 978-1406300918
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,709,799 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on December 3, 2008
Format: Hardcover
THE RIGHTS OF THE READER is translated from French, which Daniel Pennac wrote in 1992. Pennac was an inner-city teacher in Paris. He believes that we need to promote reading for pleasure in order to get our young ones to read.

He relates many stories from his own time spent growing up and teaching. He believes in the power of the story. He thinks that when children are asked to answer comprehension questions when learning to read, all their love of reading disappears.

I really think he is on to something here. I teach fifth grade and read aloud all the time. Since the No Child Left Behind act has become law, I haven't had as much time to read aloud as I did before. I have so many standards to teach and especially in California where they are so high, that reading aloud time has been drastically cut. I loved this book because it validated what I believe.

He also wrote ten rights of the reader:

1. The right to read. I liked this right because even though I am a reader there are times when I don't read because life has gotten to me. I remember a real sparse time after the birth of both of my kids. I didn't crack a book for about nine months.
2. The right to skip.
3. The right not to finish a book. This hit home with me, too. I always felt guilty when I didn't finish a book for a book club, but I have the right not to finish a book whenever I don't like it.
4. The right to read it again - Harry Potter, here I come!
5. The right to read anything.
6. The right to mistake a book for real life.
7. The right to read anywhere. This applies to me since I have read many times in Disneyland - and I have pictures to prove it.
8. The right to dip in.
9. The right to read out loud.
10.
Read more ›
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By E Simpson on February 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've now read The Rights of the Reader (Pennac, 2006, Translated by Sarah Adams) six times. I enjoy his use of irony / sarcasm, vignettes, and his lively, plain speaking. Readers of all ages can relate to his book. Every reader has every right listed from the right not to read to the right to be quiet - and this includes students from K-post graduate. In schools, the rights would need to be have guidelines (we can't have our students exercising their right to not read all the time and we cannot give them choices all the time). Knowing we need to have guidelines, I think if we give (allow them to know they have these rights, even) students these rights and discuss what they mean with genuine student input, we should see an increase in pleasure reading - or at the least, a decrease in "I hate reading, why do I have to read in school all the time?" If more teachers practiced "the right to read out loud," or "the right to read it again," demonstrating how pleasurable reading can be, we should also see an increase, as did the teachers in Pennac's book, of students wanting to read.

Quentin Blake's drawings are rendered in black on light cream pages in the Candlewick Press edition; they lose in the translation from the Walker Books colorful illustrations. Blake and Pennac (and translator Adams) are a good team.

Parents, teachers, and all who work with, live with, or have any contact with children should read the book. So should people who just want to dip in, to see if they like reading, read this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By I. Sondel VINE VOICE on October 25, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A terrific little book full of good advise to parents and teachers. No rewards or incentives (unless they are more books), this is a book about nurturing a love of reading - reading for pleasure and for self edification. This is how I was brought up for the most part. My High School English teacher had a large bookcase in his classroom (we had no library at my school - only 100 students), and he simply said choose any book you like, they're all approved reading and then tell me what it was about and what you liked and disliked about it. He'd also go through the shelf and tell us about the books that he enjoyed most, and he'd also read aloud to us and have us read aloud in class. He never made us finish if what we were reading bored us, he'd simply say "choose something else." As a result I developed a love of reading and the sense that reading is it's own reward. Reading this leads me to think Doug was ahead of his time, but would not have surprised him in the least.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Manu C. on November 17, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read both the original book (in French) and this one (to share with an English speaker). I absolutely love it and would consider reading it once every couple years should be a requirement for many parents.
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