And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. ~ Deuteronomy 6:6-7
Friday, May 27, 2011
Apologia - Read For The Heart
I am a book lover. To me, there is nothing more nourishing to my spirit than a quiet afternoon alone in a bookstore. From the time that I was a young girl, my father and my grandmother provided a wide assortment of books for my reading pleasure. They varied in subject and style, and I loved them. Now, as a mom, I like to think that I'm passing that enthusiasm along to my daughters as well. Our home is overflowing with books. The bookcases are filled to their capacity, baskets and shelves in our bedrooms are bursting, yet still, we can't resist those bookstores, library book sales, garage sales. Books. They call to us.
You may or may not be of the same mind when it comes to reading. Or, you may be a book worm, but struggle to get your own children on board. Whatever the situation is for you, I truly believe that the book that I have had the opportunity to review over the past few months will become a treasured resource for you and your family.
Read For The Heart is what I would say, a must have book for your library. Author Sarah Clarkson, has provided for us a great selection of literature that would benefit every family. Now, don't zone out on me, this book is anything but dry! I suppose the beginning is as good a place to start as any, so here we go.
The first several chapters begin with the unsettling statistics that reveal our society's decline in reading, and the increase in television viewing and recreational technology. As I read through these pages, I can't say that I was surprised, but what did catch my attention was the amazing effects that reading causes in our brains. As you read, your brain is processing the words, their letters, their meanings, even the sounds of the letters, although you're only reading silently!
Clarkson also reminds us of the way good literature builds our character. It has the ability to stir our hearts, reinforce what is good and beautiful, and as Clarkson says herself, to strengthen the mind.
Those first chapters were so inspiring for me, and I was ready for more. The next part of the book contains the book lists, and conveniently, they are divided in sections according to topic. You might expect that at this point in Read For The Heart, while the information is useful, a book of lists is, well, boring. Not so! Within each of these sections, the author weaves in tales from her childhood, facts about various book awards ( The Caldecott is one example ) and how they are given out. She gives reasons why a particular topic is important in a child's intellectual development.
I would also like to mention that when I say book lists, I don't mean to imply that it is title only. For each book, there is a nice little summary of the plot, characters, appropriate age, and any other pertinent information for parents. Are you beginning to see what a gem this book is? I hope so!
At the very end of Read For The Heart is an extensive appendix for you to page through. Here you'll find all of the included books that have been chosen to receive various awards, and you'll also find that Clarkson has kindly created a few lists for boys' interest, girls' interest, etc..
I can't say enough positive words about this book. My hope is that, after reading this review, you'll be motivated to pick up a copy for yourself :)
* I received a free copy of Read For The Heart in return for my honest review of it, with no additional compensation.