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Raising a Reader: A Mother's Tale of Desperation and Delight
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Raising a Reader: A Mother's Tale of Desperation and Delight

3.6  ·  Rating Details ·  101 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
What were my kids born to do? That is the question I hope to help them answer. And because reading is the thing I love most, it's only natural for me to hope it will become something they love, too...The trouble is that reading is a particularly slippery passion to want to pass along because it's a skill most parents would agree their children have to master, to one degree ...more
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published August 23rd 2003 by St. Martin's Press
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Jul 25, 2010 Sara rated it really liked it
This short little book was a real gem. I've struggled for seven years to help my oldest son learn to love reading as much as I do. He just doesn't have much interest - even as a baby, when I would open a book to read to him, he would slam it closed. When at school he was allowed to check out books, he invariably picked out Superhero books, with text too complicated and too small. I hated reading these books to him. But his teacher advised me that they don't try to direct kids to certain books an ...more
Dec 31, 2014 Rebecca rated it really liked it
I started and finished this book today, the last day of 2014. It was a good little book about reading to/with kids from the perspective of a book-loving mom to two young girls. I liked it a lot! I like the chaper titles, the little stories, the lessons learned, her writing style, the length of the book . . . . I could have written the final paragraph on page 20 where she describes how I feel about paying library fines. "What mattered was having the experience of abundance." I'm re-re-re-inspired ...more
Dec 28, 2011 Rae rated it liked it
An uplifting and encouraging read for parents who struggle with children who do not necessarily share a passion for reading.

A few fave quotes:

But reading suffers when we turn it into a high-anxiety, competitive activity. The process suffers, our kids suffer, and we suffer along with them. I know this, not because I have any expertise in teaching reading beyond my own experience as a parent, but because during the years in which my two children learned how to read, there were many times when my d
Nov 21, 2007 Paul rated it really liked it
Teaching a child to read, and getting that child to like reading, can be one of the most frustrating, and heartwarming, jobs for any parent. This book looks at one family’s journey through such a process.

One of a parent’s biggest wishes for their child is that they find something about which they are passionate, something on which they can build a life. For the parent, there is a fine line between passion and obsession, a line that is easy to cross.

It’s hard to instill a love of books if the chi
Wendy Geller
Aug 30, 2011 Wendy Geller marked it as to-read
Interesting--want to check this out. I am an inveterate reader (one of my worst nightmares is being stuck somewhere without reading material) and my parents are readers but didn't push it on fact, they watch boatloads of TV and didn't bother to limit TV in our household when I was growing up. My two sisters are also readers. I have no idea how we adopted the habit except for the usual advice--have books and magazines and newspapers in the house, let your kids see you reading, visit libra ...more
Jul 10, 2009 Bookish rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, read-2009
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, as I am a bookworm myself, and my son is growing into one. While I haven't had the mental struggles Jennie Nash describes, I do find myself "directing" my son's book choices more than I should, as he is getting to the point where selecting books that appeal to him is all part of the fun. Perhaps the most valuable part of this book, however, is the book recommendations. Many were already on my list - having either read them already or run across them in my search f ...more
Apr 28, 2008 Arryn rated it really liked it
This was an enjoyable quick-read about one mother's efforts to instill a love of reading in her two young daughters. It's less a "how-to" book and more a "here's how it worked for me." Like many mothers, Jennie Nash struggled to walk the fine line between encouraging and compelling her children to love reading. It's a common desire for many bibliophiles: to pass on their love of books, even to children who struggle with words or simply show no interest in reading for pleasure. In the end, there' ...more
Mary Ann
Jan 29, 2015 Mary Ann rated it really liked it
It was less how-to and more anecdotal than I'd expected, but I ended up really liking it. I think what she wrote is what I needed to hear: that it is okay if my passion for reading is not a passion for my sons, and that it is okay if they do not want to read what I want them to. Also, it is okay that my 5.5 year old is not catching on as quickly as I'd expected. I'll just keep reading to them and trying to make it fun. I also plan to look into some of the resources she mentioned in the book.
Jul 04, 2013 Nina rated it it was ok
Was okay. A short conversation about books which I like instead of a book on lists of books. Wrote a few of her recommendations down to read to my kids later on. Bought the book, but will donate it to the library. For a longer conversation about great books, I recommend Honey for the Child's Heart instead.
Terri Pickett
Aug 23, 2011 Terri Pickett rated it really liked it
A quick, enjoyable little book. I can totally relate to this mom's quest to pass on a love of reading to her kids and the joys and challenges of doing so. Some good book recommendations and a few helpful tips but mostly it was just fun to read about another person out there who'd rather be reading (alone or with her family) than just about anything else :-).
Jul 07, 2010 Sandra rated it liked it
This is a book from a mother who reads, who gives advice on how to get your kids to love reading and embrace it. Things like bookstores and libraries need to be a part of your hangouts (like they aren't?).

I enjoyed this book, it was easy to read and in about 2 sittings I had it finished.

Cynthia Egbert
Jan 04, 2011 Cynthia Egbert rated it really liked it
I really loved this book. It was charming and filled with positive ideas to get our children engaged in the reading process. Also, it has nice quotes and a fun series of book suggestions in the latter part of the book. I recommend this highly to all parents!!
Jun 04, 2008 Cheleville rated it really liked it
I love books. LOVE books. And I hope my two boys grow up to love them too - so far so good. This book is written by a mom with a similar desire - though maybe a little too zealous in her execution. Good ideas, good resources, and some good perspective.
Jun 06, 2012 Kasey rated it liked it
I liked this book. It was a cute story about the struggles a mother went through to pass her love of reading to her children. I thought this was going to have more tips and different ways to get your kid to read but it was more a short story about Jennie's family.
Oct 29, 2009 Lisa rated it liked it
I'd actually give this a 3.5 but if you had young children you might like it even more. It is Nash's observations about what works to get your children to become readers. Along the way, she gives a lot of specific tips and names of books and authors your children might enjoy.
Jun 03, 2008 Kimberly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: obsessive parents
Recommended to Kimberly by: Chele Zehnder
I think this book expresses a great concept in the "parenting" genre. The "this is how I screwed things up" meme is much more influential to my stubborn way of thinking than the "do as I do" line of thinking. I appreciate the author's candor.
This was a really delightful and quick read. If you are a 'reader' you'll enjoy this title, with or without kids!
Dec 28, 2011 Courtney rated it really liked it
A quick afternoon read. A good reminder that all we can do is provide kids with the tools to read and books to enjoy, and they will learn to read in their own time.
Jul 17, 2014 Amanda rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
Loved this book! The stories were adorable and relatable and she gave great tips to encourage children to read.
Jun 06, 2012 Corinne rated it did not like it
It's been awhile since I read this but I didn't gain any knowledge that was helpful. I love to read, have read to my kids but still I have failed to make them be "readers"
Feb 02, 2013 Amy rated it it was amazing
Definitely a five-star book for me because it validated my love of reading. For my complete review:
Sep 29, 2012 Toni rated it really liked it
Want your kids to become readers? The secret is reading to them and in front of them! Parents that read have kids that read! Reading ROCKS!
Rikki rated it really liked it
Dec 26, 2013
Shannon Mccarty
Shannon Mccarty rated it really liked it
Aug 13, 2012
Kim rated it liked it
Mar 19, 2009
Suzanne rated it really liked it
Sep 04, 2008
Maryanne rated it really liked it
Dec 31, 2008
Sarah rated it really liked it
Jan 18, 2009
Eileen rated it really liked it
Jul 25, 2012
Martinha rated it it was amazing
Feb 04, 2015
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Jennie Nash first began writing essays as a student at Wellesley College, where she wrote the column “On and Off Campus” for the alumnae magazine. As she worked toward a degree in English, she developed a series of essays about her friendship with her roommate, which she later turned into an honors thesis entitled Two Women in Particular. Ms. Nash graduated cum laude from Wellesley in 1986. After ...more
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