||Read-i-cide n: The systematic killing of the love of reading, often exacerbated by the inane, mind-numbing practices found in schools. Reading is dying in our schools. Educators are familiar with many of the factors that have contributed to the decline — poverty, second-language issues, and the ever-expanding choices of electronic entertainment. In this provocative new book, Kelly Gallagher suggests, however, that it is time to recognize a new and significant contributor to the death of reading: our schools.
In Readicide, Kelly argues that American schools are actively (though unwittingly) furthering the decline of reading. Specifically, he contends that the standard instructional practices used in most schools are killing reading by: • Valuing the development of test-takers over the development of lifelong readers; • Mandating breadth over depth in instruction; • Requiring students to read difficult texts without proper instructional support; • Insisting that students focus solely on academic texts; • Drowning great books with sticky notes, double-entry journals, and marginalia; • Ignoring the importance of developing recreational reading; • And losing sight of authentic instruction in the shadow of political pressures.
Kelly doesn’t settle for only identifying the problems. Readicide provides teachers, literacy coaches, and administrators with specific steps to reverse the downward spiral in reading—steps that will help prevent the loss of another generation of readers.