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Maria Salvadore

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.

Challenge assumptions

October 16, 2014

Challenge assumptions. We all should.

I started thinking about the various assumptions held when author Valerie Tripp gave a memorable and thought provoking lecture, the Anne Scott MacLeod Children’s Literature Lecture, at the Library of Congress last week entitled, “Challenging Assumptions.”

(This biannual lecture was cosponsored by the Library’s Young Readers Center and the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland. Valerie’s talk was recorded and so I hope it will be streamed in the future.)

It is often assumed that emails need to be answered immediately. It is also often assumed that reading is equally valuable regardless of the form of delivery. But maybe both of these assumptions should be challenged.

An article in the New Yorker, Being a Better Online Reader, calls this into question, citing work by Tufts University professor Mary Anne Wolf, author of Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain (Harper).

Wolf doesn’t make a judgment call but does conclude that more research is needed, or as Maria Konnikova restated in the New Yorker: “Not only should digital reading be introduced more slowly [to children] into the curriculum; it also should be integrated with the more immersive reading skills that deeper comprehension requires.”

Child using a tablet

Makes one think, doesn’t it? I wonder if my e-reading self reads differently than my physical book reading self. But for now, I’m going to go read the books that I’ve just downloaded to my eReader.

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"Books are a uniquely portable magic." —

Stephen King