Encourage Reading from the Start. By Pat Scales. Chicago: ALA, 2018. 228 p. Paper $49.00 (ISBN-13: 978-0-8389-1650-6).

Fans of Pat R. Scales are already familiar with her work for both Book List and School Library Journal. As a collection of her articles, essays, and interviews, Encourage Reading from the Start supports librarians working with children’s and young adult literature. In “How Reading Shapes Us,” Scales discusses how the concept of “family” has evolved into a more diverse definition. Scales highlights authors, like Patricia Polacco, who have built a career drawing on family stories, leading readers to expand their world views through exposure to both familiar and diverse familial structures. For example, the interview with Elana Arnold insightfully compares her own writings with classic young adult works, such as Bridge to Terabithia and Missing May. Scales’ suggests stories, such as Polacco’s and Arnold’s, as effective fuel for reading with students, as well as embedding into book talks to encourage students’ independent reading. Current refugee struggles are highlighted in “What History Tells Us,” which ties current literature to historical works in a way that connects and invigorates. “No One Wanted Us” is an especially topical chapter, as it connects Kerr’s When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit and Crew’s Children of the River to current stories about refugees and displaced children, like those in Gratz’s Refugee.

Anyone who is just learning about sharing literature with young people can build skill and confidence reading this book. Veterans of the field will enjoy remembering old friends and connecting new publications. The chapter seamlessly blends paired titles, questions for discussion, and activity ideas to inspire readers to respond to their own reading. Scales has put together a collection that feels like a warm blanket and excites ideas for new discovery. This book is highly recommended for librarians, teachers, and others in the educational field.—Lisa Hunt, Librarian/Media Specialist, Apple Creek Elementary, Moore, Oklahoma


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