A Sacramento mom dishes on parenting, family and everything in between

Jeanne Chasko, 58, holds reading in high esteem. Chasko is a mother, grandmother and substitute teacher who is looking for a job teaching elementary school.

Chasko recently read and reviewed "Reading Together: Everything You Need to Know to Raise a Child Who Loves to Read" (Perigee, $15, 279 pages), a book that author Diane Frankenstein wrote to help guide people toward appropriate books for kids and help connect children with reading.

Chasko enjoyed the book and found it to be a useful tool.

Follow the link below to read her review.
Much of our social language is learned through conversation. The book, "Reading Together," embraces and encourages conversations about books with our children or students. For that reason and others, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is written as a practical guide for parents, grandparents and teachers and I found the format and content delightful.

The book is easy to read and informative - it took only about two hours to read through. It is written in a reference book style with a list of books at the beginning after an entertaining introductory chapter. The books are reviewed in three categories: picture books, books for second to fifth graders and books for fourth to sixth graders and beyond. Frankenstein gives a wonderful overview of the books. Each book is on a "story page", with the following information: subject, story synopsis, who, what, when, where, why, questions, quotes and more.

The author adds a "souvenir" to each book review - a quote from the story that one could use to remember the book. One could use her suggested quotation, or alternatively ask the child what that "souvenir" could be. I consider this one of the best tips I have heard in a long time. This tip could be extended to books that adults read for pleasure, for study, or for book groups.

At the end of "Reading Together," there are additional lists of books under various subject areas, such as: "hope", "stories passed from generation to generation", "nature's riddles", etc. This is a huge bonus and a valuable reference to have in the home or classroom. There is also a chapter called "Subject Conversations" which has ideas on how to talk about "bullies", "challenges", "courage" and more which can lead to deeper understanding in various areas of life. This chapter is another good tool for building literacy.

I would gladly recommend this book to other teachers, parents, grandparents and friends. The author uses copies of the book cover on each story page, as well as light-hearted line drawings which serve to keep each page fresh and interesting. It was a joy to read.

As a new grandma and the mother of two daughters who are nannies, I shared this book with them and they are going to use the ideas from this book with their charges. I also intend to share it with the women in my book club and other areas of my life. It is really for everyone who reads to children - men too, of course! My daughter with the baby was excited to use the ideas in the book with her two stepchildren, ages 5 and 7.
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