The Enchanted Hour

The Enchanted Hour

The Miraculous Power of Reading Aloud in the Age of Distraction

Book - 2019
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"A Wall Street Journal writer's conversation-changing look at how reading aloud makes adults and children smarter, happier, healthier, more successful and more closely attached, even as technology pulls in the other direction. A miraculous alchemy occurs when one person reads to another, transforming the simple stuff of a book, a voice, and a bit of time into complex and powerful fuel for the heart, brain, and imagination. Grounded in the latest neuroscience and behavioral research, and drawing widely from literature, The Enchanted Hour explains the dazzling cognitive and social-emotional benefits that await children, whatever their class, nationality or family background. But it's not just about bedtime stories for little kids: Reading aloud consoles, uplifts and invigorates at every age, deepening the intellectual lives and emotional well-being of teenagers and adults, too. Meghan Cox Gurdon argues that this ancient practice is a fast-working antidote to the fractured attention spans, atomized families and unfulfilling ephemera of the tech era, helping to replenish what our devices are leaching away. For everyone, reading aloud engages the mind in complex narratives; for children, it's an irreplaceable gift that builds vocabulary, fosters imagination, and kindles a lifelong appreciation of language, stories and pictures. Bringing together the latest scientific research, practical tips, and reading recommendations, The Enchanted Hour will both charm and galvanize, inspiring readers to share this invaluable, life-altering tradition with the people they love most." --
Publisher: New York : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, ©2019.
ISBN: 9780062562814
Characteristics: xix, 278 pages ;,24 cm.

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IndyPL_JosephL Jul 02, 2019

A wonderful and fervent reminder of just how important reading aloud can be. From the history of communal recitation to the science behind how children develop in reading homes and how important it can be for everyone, from cradle to casket.

Though Meghan Cox Gurdon often repeats herself during each chapter, she constantly works to hammer home just how important reading can be for every age and every circumstance possible. What's more, while she encourages avoiding technology alternatives to reading aloud, like many of her contemporaries, she doesn't discount them altogether. Rather, she simply states that technology should be used in moderation and never become a replacement for good parenting and a book before bed.

Make sure you check out the pdf that comes with this book! It offers a wonderful collection of books to read aloud for various ages and to fit a variety of age-appropriate themes.

b
becker
Feb 14, 2019

The message in this book may seem a bit obvious to those of us who call ourselves readers but I thought it still had a lot to offer. There was a chapter about the power of building vocabulary in young children that I particularly enjoyed. It also contains some very good read-a-loud book lists that are suitable to a variety of age groups. This book would be interesting and helpful for parents, caregivers or educators.

d
darladoodles
Dec 25, 2018

For me this book was a total home run and I am excited to recommend it to friends and family when it is published in January. The magic of reading aloud is known to me from raising my boys; and as a juvenile librarian I am a big advocate for reading. Just as when I read Trelease's book "The Readaloud Handbook," I found that this book reinforced and validated the wow factor in shared reading experiences. Some have commented that this is of greater interest to young parents. I would counter with the argument that it is likely that most adults interact with children in some way; rather it be part of their work (as it is for me), relatives or friends. We can all partake of the blessings of reading aloud in some way. It is never too late as shown by the story of the woman who read to her father in his hospital room. Start reading aloud with someone today and be a part of the miracle. If you are not sure where to start, read this book first for guidance and title recommendations.

A big thank you to HarperCollins and Edelweiss for a digital ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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