Reading by Right

Jun 2017 | 256pp

Price: £59.95
CILIP members price: £47.95

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Reading by Right
Successful strategies to ensure every child can read to succeed

Edited by Joy Court

Literacy has now been recognized as a human right for over 50 years in several international declarations and initiatives. Every child has a right to read and we have a social responsibility, as parents, teachers, librarians, publishers, booksellers, campaigners and policy makers to ensure that they are able to exercise that right.

Reading by Right: Successful strategies to ensure every child can read to succeed provides a collection of chapters from international experts covering aspects of overcoming reading difficulties or reading reluctance in children and young people. The book reveals strategies that are proving effective in overcoming barriers to reading from birth to teens, looking at practices and projects from around the globe and revealing some common principles and drivers that have generated success.

Content covered includes:

  • an examination of the current state of reading in the UK and internationally and what the latest research tells us about children who are failing to read
  • how youngsters become ‘reluctant readers’ and how to improve the situation for everyone
  • examples of successful projects from the Republic of Korea and Finland – countries that consistently perform well in reading tests and international league tables
  • analysis of diversity in publishing and children’s books, drawing on expertise from authors and publishers.

This book will be valuable for readers from all those professions that engage with young people and families and with the development of literacy, including librarians; teachers;  service managers; consultants and other professional practitioners; and also to concerned parents.

Foreword  – ‚ÄčChris Riddell

Introduction – Joy Court

1. Supporting every child to read Alexandra Strick and Wendy Cooling

2. Listening to their voices: what research tells us about readers Teri S. Lesesne

3. Becoming a reluctant reader Prue Goodwin

4. Reading Club: a case study from Finland Mervi Heikkilä and Sara Tuisku

5. Trained reading helpers: Beanstalk’s magic ingredient – Ginny Lunn and Hilary Mason

6. Let all children experience the joy of reading: promoting children’s reading in Korea – Yeojoo Lim

7. Reflecting readers: ensuring that no one is excluded – Jake Hope

8. Pulling in reluctant readers: strategies for school librarians – Alison Brumwell

9. Not just for the avid reader: inclusive Carnegie and Kate Greenaway shadowing – Amy McKay and Joy Court

10. Listen up! How audiobooks support literacy Rose Brock

11. Reading the future Jake Hope


'Most of us utilise reading every day of our lives, for our work, as part of study/education, for enjoyment and when seeking information. Very few of us dissect how we got to be able to do that. The beauty of this book is that it gets us to reflect on the ‘how’, and the challenges faced by those children who may not be able to acquire that skill as a matter of course, but who may need interventions to ensure that they develop competence, and equally importantly, an enjoyment of reading as they proceed through life.'
- Josipa Crnic, Deakin University, Journal of the Australian Library and Information Association

'This book is a great read (no pun intended!), but it is far more than that. This is an essential toolkit for anyone working with children’s reading. Alongside the research there are many practical ideas for parents, librarians and teachers to take reading forward. Carrying this book around is the equivalent of having a vast library of information at your fingertips, curated by some of the finest librarians and experts. Personally I consider the index a thing of great beauty and the references and appendices are a wonderful resource on their own.'
- Dawn Finch, Awfully Big Reviews

'This book would best be utilized by library systems but could also be useful to an enterprising and creative individual librarian.'
- Cheryl Clark, VOYA

'Reading by Right provides the reader with many excellent examples of how to engage with children and young people in developing their reading skills. The key elements include allowing children to have ownership of their reading material. No material is inappropriate. Allow them to read picture books, graphic novels, educational graphic novels, non-fiction, audiobooks, etc. Allow them to play instead of reading if they prefer. Develop games that incorporate the books you’d like them to be reading. Support them in developing their own reading habits. Encourage reading for pleasure. The book provides an excellent bibliography throughout and also websites for further study on this topic. I am inspired to see how much of what I have learnt from this book I can bring to my library service.' 
- Amye Quigley, Executive Librarian, Kildare County Library and Arts Service, An Leabharlann

'Reading by Right, a new book edited by Joy Court, is a rich read with examples of successful projects from the Republic of Korea, the US, UK, and Finland. There is also an interesting analysis of diversity in publishing and children’s books - you have the right to read it!'
- Research Rich Pedagogies

'Thoughtful and inspiring essays address the importance of reaching all readers, strategies for encouraging reluctant readers, and reasons why some children become reluctant readers...This reading is “right” and highly recommended.'
- Renee McGrath, Nassau Library System, NY, School Library Journal

Joy Court is Chair of the CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Medals Working Party. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and of the English Association and a Trustee and National Council member of UKLA. She is Reviews Editor for The School Librarian and author of Read to Succeed.



Rose Brock, Assistant Professor, College of Education, Sam Houston State University, USA

Alison Brumwell, freelance education and literacy consultant, Leeds, UK

Wendy Cooling, freelance children’s book consultant and founder of the Bookstart project

Prue Goodwin, freelance lecturer in literacy and children’s books

Mervi Heikkilä, Director of Libraries in Seinäjoki, Finland

Jake Hope, reading development and children’s book consultant

Teri S. Lesesne, Professor, Department of Library Science, Sam Houston State University, USA

Yeojoo Lim, adjunct faculty member, Hansung University, South Korea

Ginny Lunn, CEO, Beanstalk

Hilary Mason, education consultant, trainer and writer

Amy McKay, school librarian, Corby, Northamptonshire, UK

Alexandra Strick, specialist in the field of children’s books and disability/diversity

Sara Tuisku, Finnish-language, culture and communication professional

1. Supporting every child to read – Alexandra Strick and Wendy Cooling

In Chapter 1 Wendy Cooling and Alexandra Strick tell the story of how the internationally renowned and successful Bookstart programme became truly universal by developing inclusive book gifting. In doing so, they share valuable insights into the pressures on families with sensory-impaired babies and how professionals can best support them. The chapter also looks at the design and features of the actual books and the authors offer advice to inform book selection for libraries and early years settings.

2. Listening to their voices: what research tells us about readers – Teri S. Lesesne

In Chapter 2 Teri Lesesne shares a wide research overview of what creates a lifelong reader, basing her account very firmly in her own reading history and that of her US students. In so doing she highlights the opportunities that could be missed, the gaps through which a reader could be lost, and suggests the profitable areas around which to build interventions.

3. Becoming a reluctant reader – Prue Goodwin

In Chapter 3 Prue Goodwin looks from the other side, directly at the reluctant reader, the reader who is not succeeding, and asks the vital question of how they became reluctant. Prue’s ground-breaking research identified many of the key problems with the teaching of reading in the UK, and yet the teaching of reading has remained a hostage to political interference. In this chapter Prue explores the causes of reluctance to read and considers possible ways to change some of the unchallenged practices that seem to cause children to reject reading.

4. Reading Club: a case study from Finland – Mervi Heikkilä and Sara Tuisku

In Chapter 4 Mervi Heikkilä and her colleague Sara Tuisku describe their Reading Club project in Finland, which was developed to promote reading for children who have reading difficulties and provides an excellent example of co-operation between the public library and the education system.

5. Trained reading helpers: Beanstalk’s magic ingredient – Ginny Lunn and Hilary Mason

Chapter 5 describes the work of Beanstalk, a third sector charitable organisation in the UK and one that is a partner organisation heavily involved in the National Literacy Forum and the Read On. Get On. campaign. Ginny Lunn and Hilary Mason describe how their trained volunteers work with schools and with the struggling readers that a school has identified, and the enormous impact that their one-to-one support has on those readers. They acknowledge the valuable support that libraries provide and analyse what factors contribute to the success of their intervention.

6. Let all children experience the joy of reading: promoting children’s reading in Korea – Yeojoo Lim

Teenagers in the Republic of Korea have the highest levels of literacy and numeracy of all OECD countries. In 2012, 66% of 25- to 34-yearolds had attained tertiary education, the highest share of any OECD country and a marked increase from 37% in 2000 (OECD, 2014). South Korean education has seen remarkable growth since the mid-1960s in Chapter 6 Yeojoo Lim describes the ‘education fever’ in Korea and how this has sparked an interest in encouraging reading.

7. Reflecting readers: ensuring that no one is excluded – Jake Hope

In Chapter 7 Jake Hope examines one of the most critical potential barriers to reading, one which everyone working in libraries and education should be aware of and be developing strategies to overcome. He explores the important question of diversity: how can we make sure that reading provision through libraries is made in a way that is accessible to people with a wide range of abilities and backgrounds so that everyone feels that reading does indeed reflect their needs and lives?

8. Pulling in reluctant readers: strategies for school librarians – Alison Brumwell

In Chapter 8 Alison Brumwell brings us the benefit of her wide experience in supporting schools in the UK. This chapter outlines some of the challenges faced by school librarians across all sectors when seeking to engage with reluctant and less-able readers. Three case studies are presented that are supported by quantitative data and evidence derived from other research. With highly practical suggestions and advice, the chapter is essential reading for school librarians everywhere.

9. Not just for the avid reader: inclusive Carnegie and Kate Greenaway shadowing – Amy McKay and Joy Court

In Chapter 9 a formidable school librarian, Amy McKay, demolishes any stereotypical images of librarians and, more importantly, of the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Shadowing schemes, which since the early 1990s have been developing a worldwide community of readers who voluntarily read for pleasure the books shortlisted each year for these prestigious and historic medals. The chapter explores the valuable research into the CILIP Shadowing scheme undertaken by the Open University (Cremin, Swan and Mukherjee, 2012) to demonstrate what makes shadowing groups work for everyone, and presents a veritable host of suggestions to hook those hard-to-reach readers.

 10. Listen up! How audiobooks support literacy Rose Brock

In Chapter 10 Rose Brock explores the potential of audiobooks as a literacy tool for librarians and educators to explore. Drawing on well-developed practice in the US, this chapter has much to offer librarians who are only just beginning to develop collections of this type of resource.

11. Reading the future – Jake Hope

In the final chapter Jake Hope takes us back to a fundamental analysis of what reading is and again challenges all our preconceptions to make us ‘think outside the box’ in terms of hooks and ways to attract those who have withdrawn from reading and to ensure that we can meet the future head on.

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