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Dr. Joanne Meier

Along with her background as a professor, researcher, writer, and teacher, Joanne Meier is a mom. Join Joanne every week as she shares her experiences raising her own young readers, and guides parents and teachers on the best practices in reading.

The power of books and text sets

November 20, 2013

We've all read books whose plot or main character stay with us for a long time. With kids, books can be a great and subtle way to illustrate personality traits we may want to engender. Collections of books with similar themes (sometimes called "text sets") give teachers and parents a way to focus on a theme but do so in such a way that you're not beating your kid over the head with the same message over and over again. Years ago I wrote about a text set on persistence whose message of perseverance and persistence we still refer to around our house. ("Sometimes you gotta Tillie it…") using Tillie and the Wall as our reference. A really great resource called the Mind in the Making Book Collection recently became available. Mind in the Making partnered with First Book to create a book collection that combines children's books with tips for building Mind in the Making's Seven Essential Life Skills, including Focus and Self Control, Making Connections, Critical Thinking and Taking on Challenges. For each book, users will find an age group recommendation and a tip sheet for using the book with your child. The book suggestions make great additions to any home or classroom library!

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"Oh, magic hour, when a child first knows she can read printed words!" — A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, 1943