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on October 11, 2006
One and a half years ago, my kindergartener was reading at a 3rd grade level but lacked "comprehension". While he could retell basic plot elements, he appeared to lack any ability to synthesize or think about what he had read.

So I dutifully bought several comprehension workbooks and was preparing to work with him all summer. Then I stumbled across Trelease's wonderful handbook, and the light went on. What a compelling message about the importance of reading aloud to kids! What a wonderful book list! And what a beautifully simple way to transform my son into a truly comprehending reader!

All I needed to do was read to my son abundantly, ENCOURAGE discussion, rejoice and respond if he spontaneously asked questions while I was reading (THAT was a paradigm shift), and surround him with great books. I could toss out the workbooks.

My son's reading comprehension greatly improved, my children LOVE our read-aloud times - as do I - and they love to read themselves. What's not to like? This book is a wonderful resource that I have referred to repeatedly.
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on August 2, 2006
Dear Parents, Grandparents, Teachers and all who find special joy in their children.

This is the finest book about what reading could and should be that I have discovered in many, many years as a parent, grandparent and 22 years as an elementary school teacher.

I strongly recommend that you obtain a copy of this terrific book and use it in building new bridges to the wonders and joys of reading with your children.

The essence of the book can be captured in this simple phrase:


If we raise them with beauty and joy then that is what they will find in life.
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on December 4, 2006
After reading Trelease's book (the fifth edition), I wanted to send a copy to every parent, teacher and administrator. I was already reading aloud to my children, but this book made such a convincing argument that I redoubled my efforts. The author clearly demonstrates the correlation between early exposure to books and later success in school and life. If all parents and teachers followed his advice, we could create a society of avid readers. His title is actually somewhat misleading, as it's more about how to get kids motivated to read. Reading aloud is one way to get there, but he also makes an extremely persuasive case for "silent sustained reading" as part of the school curriculum at both the primary and secondary level. He includes plenty of useful and innovative tips from parents and teachers, as well as great examples of how these techniques have been successful.
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on May 20, 2009
Jim Trelease's Read-Aloud Handbook, first published in 1982, has sold over one million copies and gone through six editions. Trelease traveled extensively for the next 25 years, speaking to American educators and parents about how to promote a love of reading among children. He emphasizes reading aloud with parents and other adults, and his arguments for reading are focused on preserving culture, as well as benefiting children educationally and emotionally.

This book consists of ten chapters, the first nine of which a case for reading aloud to children, discussing when to begin reading, and treat other topics related to childhood literacy. Chapter three is especially helpful, describing the stages of reading aloud to children. Trelease follows children them through their maturation process, suggesting specific reading strategies and kinds of books for different stages of maturity. The tenth chapter is an annotated list of recommended readings.

Because of his secular approach, Trelease's primary criteria for selecting books are suitability for reading aloud, writing quality, and appeal to children. His emphasis is not on moral formation, and his moral criteria seem representative of our mainstream culture, especially the increasingly liberal educational culture. Still, this collection is highly respected, and contains many classic books. I have used it primarily to see what books might be popular with children in more secular circles.

The sixth edition is extensive, with over 1000 titles, more than in previous editions. Rather annoyingly, many titles are only suggested in topical unannotated lists such as "Fairy Tale Parodies" and "Sports Stories." I do recommend the final edition because it is more up-to-date and thorough than previous ones.

Jim Trelease has a web site [...] listing many of his educational resources, excerpts from his book, as well as a page for reviews of books that were published since the last edition of the book.
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on January 10, 2007
The research and explanations he gives for reading should motivate everyone to read. Funny thing is...the people who need to read this book probably won't because they don't like to they don't read to children. Great points and goes hand in hand with information learned from college in the education department. Take the time to read to your kids...if you need drive to do it? Read his book. Highly recommend it! It will give your children a headstart in school! And Life!!!!!!!
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on April 16, 2013
Every parent and teacher should own and read a copy of this book. Build a love of reading, which builds a love for knowledge. Develop their thinking, progressively improve comprehension and logical inferences. Input (reading) increases output (language, knowledge, thinking, understanding, skill, enriched vocabulary,questioning assumptions etc.) Get this book and learn why and how you can share reading with your children and share a world of experiences with them.
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on March 21, 2009
Research suggests that a child, in order to be ready to learn to read, needs to hear about a thousand stories before they start school. When I first heard that number, it just sounded so high. Did I need to take some time off from work to stay home to help hit the thousand? But the more I thought about it, my kids were well on their way to a thousand plus. When you add up all those little Dr. Suess and P.D. Eastman books, you can plow through a dozen of those on any given day. Here's the sad fact, though. As a middle school teacher working with struggling readers, I see kids that are twelve and thirteen that are nowhere near the thousand to this day. And it shows. Simply put, one of the most important activities you can do with your kid is read. Let them hear the language modeled well. Let them start to notice all the similarities between stories. I remember laughing when my own daughter, at four, told me that she didn't need to see "The Little Mermaid" because it's probably the same as "Cinderella" and "Sleeping Beauty" and "Snow White". Let your child pick up on rhyming patterns and begin making their own as well.

This book would be worth purchasing for the long list of read-aloud suggestions in the back, but Trelease's own reasons for turning off the TV are dead-on. So is his discussion on OWNING books as apposed to only going to the library. The library is a must, but ownerships means value to kids. Think about it. You own DVD's. You own video games. You must value those things. You need to own books to show their value. And, you can add this one to your list of books you own and items you value.

Chris Bowen
Author of, "Our Kids: Building Relationships in the Classroom"
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on May 26, 2014
I bought this book after reading about it recommended in another book.
I was not disappointed. It is a must read (in my opinion) for every parent.
Jim gives detailed accounts of studies on the benefits of reading aloud to your children. There are examples in the book of ideas of what other parents have done, and there is a great book list in the back of his recommended read aloud's.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and have even bought it for family members.
Read aloud to your kids! Great book!
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on February 3, 2007
I found the Read Aloud Handbook to be a helpful guide and resource. In addition to shedding light on the value of reading aloud to children, there is an extensive list of suggested books for reading aloud to children of many ages.

As a teacher, I found alot of supportive documentation for reading aloud in the classroom. We have incorporated required read alouds as well as daily Silent Reading for all students in our district middle schools. I recommend this for teachers and particularly parents who question the value of reading aloud to children, as well as those who agree to "spare their children" the "punishment or burden" of recreational reading. Young people need to learn to appreciate the joy of reading. They are missing out on so much in so many ways.
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VINE VOICEon March 17, 2007
This is a must read for all parents and teachers. Full of great information on education and reading. A fabulous list of suggested reading for all ages. The information is well organized with heartwarming stories illustrating the importance of reading. Someone said they give this book as a shower gift...what a great idea!

I've seen Jim Trelease in person and the one thing I remember most from his presentation was his suggestion to display books face out rather than the traditional way, spine out.

I thought it was interesting to read about how book publishers pay extra to get their titles placed facing out on the book shelves. Doesn't that make sense? And it's part of why it always seems like I can find so many books that look good when I'm in the book store and why I often feel overwhelmed by the options in the library.

After reading this book I started keeping track of all the chapter books we read to our daughter. She gives me a book report after each book we read and I record it in a journal. I'm looking forward to looking at it five or ten years from now.
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