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February 18, 2010


Elizabeth H. Cottrell

My children, now ages 29 and 31, always wanted to be read to when they were sick, even if they were too sick to play games, and even years after they could read on their own. There is something powerful about the combination of a parent's or grandparent's gift of time and presence combined with the magical ability of a good story to get a child's mind off of feeling sick.

They are now both highly competent professionals, and they give much credit to the amount of reading aloud in our household for their writing and speaking skills.

Ellen Osberg

I am an elementary school teacher and the most rewarding part of our day is often that time when I read aloud to the kids during their lunch time. The mouthiest, most hyper of them - all respond to a good story. As examples of experiences, life choices - or just beautiful language - I value our reading together. The students and I simply love it!

Linda Ward-Callaghan

How right you are about continuing to read to children, even after they learn to read. While they are lucky to have a rich visual world at their fingertips through websites, gaming, movies, et cetera, much of that visual stimuli undermine exercising the imagination. Books provide a portal into the imagination, and talking about the story or information found in a book opens up the mind through conversation. The EVERY CHILD READY TO READ program recommends "dialogic reading" with young children as a tool in helping them acquire the six essential pre-reading skills. Read more here: http://tiny.cc/BAiJq

Paul Douthit

This is one of the best pieces I have read in your "Well Read Life" series. With your permission I am going to copy it and begin giving it out to the parents of children I work with who have some difficulty with reading. If parents would be able to take the time to read to their children and be read to by their children well into their teenage years, the majority of children could have a potentially different view or take on reading and possibly on education as well.

Thanks for your work!

Steve Leveen

Dear Paul,

I would be honored to have you share these words, and Roger's wisdom, with the parents you know. My hat goes off to you for the important work you're doing with young readers--thank you.

All best from a fan,

kelly peters

One of my favorite memories is of my mom reading to me and my sister. We all read our own books alone, but somehow this time of sharing the journey of the characters at the same moment, together, created the space for us to connect with each other in a different way.

Sabne Raznik

My nephew is currently dying with leukemia. He really enjoys reading the Bible together. Since he is growing significantly weaker every day, I have chosen the Psalms. Some days he reads with me, taking turns every other verse. Other days, when he doesn't feel so well, I read it to him. Leukemia affects a child's ability to concentrate, comprehend, and retain-- because of the loss of oxygen carrying blood to the brain-- so we take it slow and only read two or three Psalms a day. He says he is not scared to die.


Dear Sabne,

I just let out a big exhale after reading your comment about your nephew. What a gift you are giving him--and he, you, I hope. My heart goes out to him and his whole family, including you. Thank you for the painful but so valuable perspective on reading to children.



Really nice pieces about David Brown and the Rosenblatts. The latter, especially, says a lot about our ability to cope with terrible events and the importance of dealing *with* them, not running away or denying them. With adult thoughtfulness and empathy, children can handle most anything, as some of your comments suggest. We never know our strength until it's tested, and we can be pleasantly (if sadly) surprised. Onward.

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