Teaching “Dirty Books”

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About a year ago, Cedarville University, a Baptist school in Ohio, enacted a new curriculum standard based on Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” As reported then in Christianity […]

The Top Ten Young Adult Books You Need to Read

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This year I read a lot of young adult fiction, and I was struck by how much these books engaged social justice issues in a complex and nuanced way. Fair warning, though: when teenage protagonists struggle with issues of equity and difficult moral decisions, they sometimes use vulgar language. While such language is quite common […]

Getting Young Readers Unstuck

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by Heather Altena and Eleanor Tiemens Ah, newly independent readers. First through third graders are an intoxicating mix of excitement and intransigence in their reading habits. They get hooked on one genre or topic and will. not. let. go. That’s one of the reasons they love book series so much. Unfortunately, it takes time for […]

In Defense of Reading

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Every now and then I run into someone who, upon finding out that I am a literacy researcher, patiently explains to me that with computers and the Internet, books will soon be things of the past and teaching reading will be about as valuable as teaching cursive. One of the Christian high schools in my […]

Confessions of a Poor Reader

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For most, reading is a pleasurable skill that is acquired almost imperceptibly. I’ve heard it’s like waking up one morning suddenly knowing how to make sense of the jumble of letters on a page, almost effortlessly, without even having to move your lips. At least that’s what I’ve heard. It’s not like that for me. […]

Reading Suggestions for Teachers and Their Students

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In keeping with the theme of this month’s issue, John Walcott asked the panel members to recommend some of their favorite books for Christian educators or for their students.   Justin Cook submitted the following recommendations for teachers: An Ethic of Excellence, by Ron Berger (2003). Ron Berger is a master teacher in the expeditionary […]