Tuesday, January 1, 2008

What will life be like if people stop reading?

The New Yorker recently featured an article about what the overall decline in reading will mean to society on a large scale. It's spookily titled "Twilight of the Books" and written by Caleb Crain.

It's smart stuff on how reading developed, how reading changed human beings, and how today's growing reliance on TV and streaming video on the Internet for entertainment and news could eventually change the way we think. Of course, there's lots of head smackers about kids, reading and TV, like this tidbit:

The antagonism between words and moving images seems to start early. In August, scientists at the University of Washington revealed that babies aged between eight and sixteen months know on average six to eight fewer words for every hour of baby DVDs and videos they watch daily. A 2005 study in Northern California found that a television in the bedroom lowered the standardized-test scores of third graders. And the conflict continues throughout a child’s development. In 2001, after analyzing data on more than a million students around the world, the researcher Micha Razel found “little room for doubt” that television worsened performance in reading, science, and math.

I highly recommend the article, which you can read here.

A 12-Year Old's 2007 Reading List

Happy New Year!

Since this blog is supposed to be about getting kids to read more, I thought I'd share my 12-year-old daughter's list of books she read last year, in 2007. I spend a lot of time on this blog blabbing about getting kids to read more, so I better have some proof in the pudding! All my kids are reading machines, but this one keeps records! She keeps the books she reads written down in a notebook with the author's name, number of pages and the date she finished reading the book. Nerdy? Maybe. But she'll always be able to look back and see the books she read as a young girl. Which this nerdy dad thinks is really cool. (There are also many other benefits to this practice which I discussed in a blog entry back in July, '07!)

Here are the books with an asterisk next to her TOP TEN (her starred reviews). 78 books read in 2007! Now that's something to celebrate!

1.) Eldest, by Christopher Paolini
* 2.) A Corner of the Universe, by Ann M. Martin
3.) Winter Games, Camp Confidential #12, by Melissa J. Morgan
4.) Fairest, by Gail Carson
* 5.) Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life, by Wendy Mass
6.) The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, by Arthur Conan Doyle
7.) Pish Posh, by Ellen Potter
8.) The Fire Within, by Chris D'lace
9.) The Thief Lord, by Cornelia Funke
10.) Amalee, by Dar Williams
11. ) So Totally Emily Ebers, by Lisa Yee
12.) The Million Dollar Kids, by Dan Gutman
13.) The Egypt Game, by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
14.) The Gypsy Game, by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
15.) Soccer Chick Rules, by Dawn Fitzgerald
16.) Cat Running, by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
17.) The Toothpaste Millionaire, by Jean Merrill
18.) Feathers, by Jacquelin Woodson
19.) Madison Finn, Super Edition #3, by Laura Dower
20. Horns and Wrinkles, by Joseph Helgerson
21.) The Annoyance Bureau, by Lucy Frank
22.) Double Dutch, by Sharon M. Draper
23.) Click Here (To Find Out How I Survived Seventh Grade), by Denise Vega
24.) Hatchet, by Gary Paulson
25.) Crane, The Five Ancestors, #3, by Jeff Stone
26.) In the Cards Love, by Mariah Fredericks
27.) The Cupid Chronicle, by Coleen Paratome
28.) S-P-E-L-L-D-O-W-N, by Karon Luddy
29.) Listen, by Stephanie S. Tolan
30.) The Fruit Bowl Project, by Sarah Durkee
31.) Camp Confidential #13, by Melissa J. Morgan
32.) The Clique, by Lisa Harrison
33.) Twelve, by Lauren Myracle
34.) Camp Confidential #15, by MelissaJ. Morgan
35.) Charlie Bone #16, by Jenny Nimo
36.) Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, by J.K. Rowling
37.) The Problem with Paradise, by Lesly Dahl
38.) Camp Confidential #14, by Melissa J. Morgan
39.) Camp Confidential #16, by Melissa J. Morgan
* 40.) The Lightning Thief, Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1, by Rick Riordan
41.) Gregor the Overlander #5, by Suzanne Collins
42.) How to Steal a Dog, by Barbara O'Conner
43.) Just Another Day In My Insanely Real Life, by Barbara Dee
44.) The Sea of Monsters, Percy Jackson and the Olympians #2, by Rick Riordan
45.) The Face of the Milk Carton, by Caroline B. Cooney
46.) Whatever Happened to Janie? by Caroline B. Cooney
47.) The Voice on the Radio, by Caroline B. Cooney
48.) What Janie Found, by Caroline B. Cooney
* 49.) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, J.K. Rowling
50.) The Titan's Curse, Rick Riordan
51.) Blue Fingers, by Cheryl Aylward Whitesel
* 52.) The Amulet of Samarkind, by Jonathan Stroud
53.) The Golem's Eye, by Jonathan Stroud
54.) Ptolemy's Gate, by Jonathan Stroud
55.) The Outsiders, by S. E. Hinton
56.) Gilda Joyce and The Ghost Sonata, by Jennifer Allison
57.) Seven Tears into the Sea, by Terri Farley
58.) Austenland, by Shannon Hale
* 59.) Eclipse, by Stephanie Meyer
60.) Feed, by M.T. Anderson
61.) Enola Holmes, by Nancy Springer
62.) Atherton, by Patrick Carman
63.) New Moon, by Stephanie Meyer
* 64.) Just Listen, by Sarah Dressen
65.) The Isabel Factor, by Gayle Friensen
66.) The Summer Sherman Loved Me, by Jane St. Anthony
67.) Grace Above All, by Jane St. Anthony
68.) Wicked Lovely, by Melissa Marr
69.) Griffin's Castle, by Jenny Nimo
70.) The Sisterhood of Traveling Pants, by Ann Brashares
71.) The Truth About Forever, by Sarah Dessen
72.) That Summer, by Sarah Dessen
73.) The Faerie Path, by Frewin Jones
74.) Pretty Is, by Elizabeth Holmes
75.) The Princess and the Hound, by Mette Ivie Harrison
* 76.) Firegirl, by Tony Abbott
77.) The Last Queen, by Frewin Jones
* 78.) Nobody's Princess, by Esther Friesner