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Welcome to the Horn Book's Family Reading blog, a place devoted to offering children's book recommendations and advice about the whats and whens and whos and hows of sharing books in the home. Find us on Twitter @HornBook and on Facebook at

“Eff inappropriate”

(But you all know he didn’t say “eff.”)

This (early) morning Roger was the guest speaker at Coffee and Conversation at the Cambridgeport School Library. The topic was Summer Reading, and most of you know Roger’s feelings on the subject: let ’em read what they want. “Reading has to be a voluntary engagement,” he told the attentive group of parents along with our school principal, Principal Katie. This is a school where reading is it, a project-based learning environment in which a “reading-as-homework” model has replaced take-home worksheets and other conventional homework. But it’s good to be reminded that when it comes to pleasure reading, parental interrogation-slash-meddling is not necessarily the most effective, nor the best, way to engender kids’ love of reading for reading’s own sake.

Here are the handouts from today’s talk — “The Rights of the Reader” by Daniel Pennac, illustrated by Quentin Blake, and The Horn Book’s Summer Reading list. Also, here’s Robin Smith and Dean Schneider’s tongue-in-cheek classic “Unlucky Arithmetic: Thirteen Ways to Raise a Nonreader.”

As always, thanks to school librarian extraordinaire Liz Phipps Soeiro for organizing the event and to Friend of The Horn Book Kate Grams for “bringing the bagels!”

Fun in the library: Fida, Roger, and Liz the Librarian,


Elissa Gershowitz About Elissa Gershowitz

Elissa Gershowitz is executive editor of The Horn Book, Inc. She holds an MA from the Center for the Study of Children's Literature at Simmons College and a BA from Oberlin College.