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The Enchanted Hour: The Miraculous Power of Reading Aloud in the Age of Distraction Hardcover – January 15, 2019
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“An inspirational account that will make you want to grab a book and share it with someone you love.” -- Sun (UK)
“This wonderful audiobook is a fully enjoyable listen. . . . [Gurdon’s] pacing is excellent, and her ability to maintain listener attention is impressive. . . . An important and engaging audiobook.” -- AudioFile Magazine
“Don’t pick up this bewitching book! It’s so enchanting you won’t be able to put it down.” -- Mem Fox, author of Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes and Reading Magic
“The Enchanted Hour enthralled and inspired me in equal measure.... Meghan Cox Gurdon’s book is the most charming, gentle encouragement to step away from your phone, and into the embrace of your family’s most vivid imaginations.” -- Sarah Ivens, author of Forest Therapy
“Parents and grandparents shouldn’t miss The Enchanted Hour, but more important, we all need to heed this delightful book’s wise advice: Please read to your kids. It’s not the school’s job to get our kids reading, it’s our job – and it’s a wonderful, magical act of love and caring.” -- James Patterson, international bestselling author
“Meghan Gurdon has given today’s parents much needed wisdom to raise attentive and curious children in the Age of Distraction. I hope her book finds a huge audience.” -- Rosemary Wells, author of the Max and Ruby series
“Gurdon convincingly describes the importance and delight of sharing books with loved ones. . . . For anybody interested in reading, especially parents, teachers, caregivers, and librarians, this inspirational work proclaims its joys and rewards.” -- Library Journal (starred review)
“In her heartfelt first book, Gurdon makes an earnest... case for reading aloud.... An inspiring argument for sharing the joys of reading.” -- Kirkus Reviews
From the Back Cover
Imagine an elixir so strong that a daily dose would make your family smarter, happier, healthier, more successful, and more closely attached. Now imagine that you could have it without spending a dime.
It all starts with a book, a voice, and a place to sit . . .
From a beloved Wall Street Journal columnist comes a book that will transform your understanding of reading aloud. Grounded in the latest brain science and behavioral research, and drawing widely from life and literature, The Enchanted Hour reveals the stunning advantages that await people of every age and background when they partake of this ancient practice.
Meghan Cox Gurdon shows how reading out loud is a fast-working antidote to the fractured attention spans, atomized families, and unfulfilling distractions of the tech era. From a thrilling look at what happens in a toddler’s brain when a grown-up reads a story, to the way shared books are keeping far-flung military families connected; from the imaginative transport of classic novels, to the rejuvenating late-life consolations of poetry and prose: the evidence is clear and the benefits are irrefutable.
Taking us into hospitals, homes, bookstores, and schools, Gurdon blends cutting-edge science with funny, touching stories of real families—including her own—in a compelling testament to the power of what Charles Dickens called the “spoken syllable.”
Lively and authoritative, with practical tips and reading recommendations, The Enchanted Hour will inspire readers to share this invaluable, life-altering tradition with the people they love most—and perhaps rediscover an enchanted slice of their own childhoods in the process.
- Publisher : Harper (January 15, 2019)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 304 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0062562819
- ISBN-13 : 978-0062562814
- Item Weight : 15.7 ounces
- Dimensions : 6 x 1.01 x 9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #410,898 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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I think most everyone recognizes that reading aloud to children is inherently valuable and good, but Ms. Gurdon spends much of the book explaining why this is so--citing numerous studies and telling many personal tales of her own experiences with her children and other children she met while researching and writing the book. Some things I had not realized before reading this book: babies are positively impacted in their development by parents and grandparents (and others) reading aloud to them even from picture books; children who are read to regularly (as opposed to quite so much time on devices) are generally more well-behaved; and reading aloud--and being read to--is valuable in all sorts of way--for our entire lives.
I posted a recommendation of this book on my Facebook page, and one person commented that she had been a first grade teacher for 20 years, that "read aloud time" was one of highlights of the day both for her and for her students, but that there were many children in her classes over the years who had never been read to before they got to her class.
The final chapter has some excellent practical suggestions for how reading aloud can become an integral part of the lives of young families (as well as older adults), and how significant the advances in vocabulary and changes in behavior in young children can be traced, in part as least, to parents reading aloud to their children. Deciding to read aloud to each other is quite counter-cultural, and those who decide to take it up will have to decide to turn off their "devices" for some time each day, but the rewards that come from reading aloud are so great, it's hardly worth even thinking of "powering down" the phones and tablets as a sacrifice!
Reading aloud is so rewarding. Thank you Meghan Cox Gurdon!
This book is a must read for every parent. It's revolutionary as it shows us that something that is so easy and accessible and totally free can make the most incredible impact on your child that will carry an effect into their adult life. And finally you'll form a unique bond that is difficult to establish in our almost virtual-reality existence or distraction and loneliness.
Top reviews from other countries
However, one of my favourite types of book is a book about books and reading. Is that a little warped? I don’t know why but I absolutely love them ad find them fascinating. They are almost memoirs told through h books. This was one of the reasons that I wanted to read The Enchanted Hour. Unlike other books I have read about this topic, The Enchanted Reader by Meghan Cox Gurdon the therapeutic qualities of reading – although this is discussed, it also loves and the neurological development that reading produces. It is the scene behind it that is truly fascinating. The blend of these two features really make The Enchanted Hour a fascinating read. It is enlightening and one that all educators should read.
The Enchanted Hour is fascinating look at the importance of reading and creating an atmosphere of stories that is enjoyable – the impact of which will be felt far into adulthood.
The Enchanted Hour: The Miraculous Power of Reading Aloud in the Age of Distraction by Meghan Cox Gurdon is available now.
I have taken several steps in my day-to-day life to improve and adjust my parenting and teaching, as a result of this book.
This book has had a hugely positive impact on my life, and hopefully the lives of those in my household.
I thought I was doing well at providing a rich learning environment and now (with some tweaking) I feel confident that I am.
This book is also charmingly written and easy to read - some nice vocabulary makes it clear that the author has immersed herself in children’s literature.