In Charlotte Huck's Children's Literature, Barbara Z. Kiefer defines literature as " . . . the imaginiative shaping of life and thought into the forms and structures of language" (5). The interaction of text and reader ultimately produces a personal experience--an inner, artistic experience that allows us to form insights into the working of humanity. The natural curiousity of children finds shape, growth, and inspiration when cultivated by reading literature. Imagination, joy, perspective, understanding, values--all the blossoms of growth through children's literature.
The garden of rich children's literature produces inventors, thinkers, innovators--our children's interests and passions are anchored by the material that they read. As an English teacher and a Library/Media Services student, one of my objectives is to facilitate an interest in reading, to provide students and families with the tools they need to find inspirations from the words and stories of others. This LibGuide works to provide ideas for reading--genres of interest broken into reading levels within each tab.
After working for over fifteen years in the field of education, raising two daughters, and continuing my own education throughout my life, I have come to philosophical conclusions regarding learning: the learner must be interested in the subject matter and must find relevance in the subject matter in order to actually internalize information. Also, positive connotations encourage learning.
When it comes to reading, those first positive feelings are created by the sharing of stories—reading aloud, family stories, music, poetry (nursery rhymes), videos, art—that breed a child’s desire for knowledge and intrigue about life.
Shake through all of the research, methods, plans, and strategies and there appears to be one common denominator: reading promotes interest in reading. It sounds simple, and it is simple. How can a child, or anyone else, be interested in anything without actually being involved in some way? To nurture an interest in reading, children need to read—and have families read to them at home from the time they arrive so that they will continue to read at home.
Through this Children’s Growth Through Literature LibGuide, reading/literacy is promoted by suggested books at specific reading levels and in a variety of genres. Links to web sites expand upon what is found here—for now. One facet of my literacy plan is to have students and families submit their favorite finds to share with our community of readers. In my home district of Oconto, families will receive book share forms to provide additions to this resource, and an on-growing list of recommendations will be made available to all families.
At the bottom of this page, please utilize the box available for submitting topical, useful web links. Additionally, all viewers are invited to send reading/book/literacy suggestions via email to be classified by genre and reading level.