Hooked on Books – Transforming the Teaching of Reading

Jane Consadine

I worked with a teacher who described this as her ‘reading teaching bible’ so I felt I had to give it a read.  It is one of the most accessible books I’ve read.  It helps you to see how to get the reading culture right in your classroom.  The initial quote is ,”If teachers had only one job to do, then it should be bestowing the gift of reading.  Without reading, a child’s world shrinks and begins to narrow.  Opportunities are limited, doors begin to close and self-esteem crumbles.Teachers must get it right.”

This quote really resonates with me and makes me think ‘Are we getting it right?’  In chapter one of the book there is a table which shows the difference in literacy skills between those who are employed and unemployed in many countries.  It is clear that poor literacy skills lead to poor life opportunities.  This book is clearly structured and evidence informed and gives a clear direction on how to improve reading skills.  It shows what can be achieved if teachers have high expectations and follow a clear structure. It acknowledges the importance of reading engagement.  The practical strategies can be instantly implemented by any classroom teacher.

The book focuses on 3 Zones of reading:

  • Ideas – the vocabulary – taught through the FANTASTICS
  • Understanding – the comprehension taught through the STYLISTICS
  • Competencies – the analysis taught through ANALYTICS

Daily Book Talk sessions focus on these areas.

Whilst this book gives you a full structured programme to use to teach reading, you could also dip in and out and use some of the ideas.  I believe that this book is a must read for any teacher who wants to change the culture of reading in your school.