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Reading Rockets' children's literature expert, Maria Salvadore, brings you into her world as she explores the best ways to use kids' books both inside — and outside — of the classroom.
Dick and Jane — All Grown Up
Last month I read about the warm reception that an exhibit of the Dick and Jane books received. Seems that there's a fair amount of nostalgia about the good old days – or the way we want to remember the past.
But would Dick and Jane resonate with today's children? Maybe, but I think not.
Books have been likened to mirrors and windows; one reflects back, the other allows readers to glimpse another place, time, experience and more. Few children I know – even in the good old days – look or talk like Dick and Jane.
There is a range of books available for young readers just starting to read independently. And they not only better mirror those who read them; they better reflect their interests and concerns.
Baa-Choo by Sarah Weeks (HarperCollins) is laugh-out loud funny while Katherine Paterson's Marvin One Too Many (HarperCollins) gently conveys one child's difficulty in mastering reading in school and the Stories Julian Tells by Ann Cameron (Random House) is really a celebration of the ups and downs of family life
Seems like books for newly independent readers have grown up just like readers of Dick and Jane.