Reading for Pleasure is a great antidote to some of the common problems surrounding reading in schools today. In the last twenty years, the world we live in has dramatically changed. When I was growing up in the 1980s, I could have easily read a whole book in the time it took a game to load on a computer. That was the Sinclair Spectrum for you! Today, students have instant access to games, films and other media. So, how do you get students to read books in the modern age? How do you get students reading in an age when you can have an instantly engaging experience at the click of a button? Thankfully, Kenny has some practical, easy-to-use and sensible remedies.
The personal and anecdotal style of the books fits so well with the message here: reading is a personal experience. Each child, student, teenager, adult, teacher and reader has a different, unique reading experience and we often forget that when trying to engage students with reading. I found Kenny's own reading autobiography fascinating and, for me, it was interesting to see how his experience differed from my own. Yet both experiences produced avid readers, highlighting the fact that there is more than one way to make a reader for life. Furthermore, the book doesn't shy away from the difficult areas such as gender, class, politics, academic aspirations and the role and use of libraries in schools.
Like a wise Gandalf for -˜hobbity' teachers, Kenny guides us through the pitfalls and over the sometimes overwhelmingly mountainous terrain of teenagers and their reading habits. This is the book that literacy coordinators, teachers and school leaders should read if they want to develop, foster and maintain a reading culture in their schools. One thing is for sure: Kenny sensibly stops us from become Gollums and obsessing over our -˜precious' book reviews.
Reading for Pleasure was a pleasure to read.