Reading Tub Recommendations – Just in Time for Summer

reading tubThings have been a wee bit quiet around The Reading Tub these past few months.

I *would* feel guilty, except that we have been reading up a storm and working on a H-U-G-E project. Now it is time to launch our project …

Reading Tub Recommendations!

RTR is a newsletter where subscribers tell us the age of their child and what kinds of books their child likes to hear/read and we send them a read-tested book recommendation.

It is more than just a newsletter, though. Reading Tub Recommendations is a guide for parents and caregivers trying to find that “it” book. The one that turns their struggling or resistant child into a reader and (maybe) a bookworm.

The right book for the right kid at the right time.

At its core, this is what Reading Tub Recommendations is all about.

It has taken us seven months to cull through the 2,500 reviews on the Reading Tub website to find the books (700!) we think will engage kids and their families. More importantly, we wanted to present books that are loved but may not be as well known.

Months before there was a #WeNeedDiverseBooks we were pulling out books that incorporated global ideas, characters, and stories.

We aren’t the first people to offer a tailored newsletter, but we just may be the first to help readers find the book at their library and/or add it to their wishlist right from the email. Cool, right?

reading tub recommendations options

Choose to READ more of the review & get “read alikes,” ADD to your Wishlist, or BORROW from the library!

I could go on and on about RTR and our goal to bring literacy home for families. Instead, I’m going to invite you to learn more – and get a sneak peek – here.

Reading Tub Recommendations Launches Soon!

As a way of paying tribute to my Dad, who was the most voracious reader I know, we are going to launch Reading Tub Recommendations on Father’s Day.

Subscribe today so that you can be part of the launch for Father’s Day.

If you received our Literacy Lalapalooza newsletters, then you’re all set. Existing subscribers will automatically receive Reading Tub Recommendations.


UPDATED: What is dyslexia? – Kelli Sandman-Hurley

I don’t often paste in content from other sources for Family Bookshelf, but understanding dyslexia is important, and this Infographic is a great way to see just what happens when our brains process information!

Dyslexia affects up to 1 in 5 people, but the experience of dyslexia isn’t always the same. This difficulty in processing language exists along a spectrum — one that doesn’t necessarily fit with labels like “normal” and “defective.” Kelli Sandman-Hurley urges us to think again about dyslexic brain function and to celebrate the neurodiversity of the human brain.

~ Terry


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dyslexia infographic
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Screens & Screen Time: a Precarious Balance (Soapbox Series #10)

The Soapbox Series is a periodic post that allows me to vent, share, or comment on ideas, experiences, and topics that may or may not relate to the literacy and reading mission of the blog.
tv_xfswiaWhen I was a girl, there was only one kind of screen: television. It was for spending our leisure time. It gave us a window to “outside worlds,” the ones beyond our neighborhood. Most of the time it was turned off, and we were outside, or playing games, or reading, or drawing … finding other ways to fill our days.

Now screens are a “necessary” part of our daily lives and those of our children. We’re using or “on” our screens almost nonstop. Just as we used to use a television as Mother’s Helper at home, we now have smartphones and tablets to help us too.

When my daughter was a toddler and preschooler, we had strict limits on screen time (1 hour a day), and rationalized that educational television or computer games mitigated the advice to refrain from any screen use.

Now, as the parent as a nearly 13-year-old, I am rethinking that logic. Now, screens – namely computers – are so pervasive that life without them is seemingly nonexistent. The educational use – homework assignments, research at school – feeds an addiction to do *everything* with a screen at hand.

  • Drive the 20 minutes to school, and we get requests to play games on our phones.
  • Walking in the door from school, and after a perfunctory “hello,” we’re asked if we can log her on.
  • Offer a print book, and we’re asked if it is available for her eReader.
  • Remind her that her time is up and its time to take a break, and deal with a teen meltdown.
  • Turn off a screen, and we’re confronted with “I’m bored” within 10 minutes.

This is my personal window into the phenomenon of screen addiction. I have struggled with this quite a bit trying to find the right balance. The last straw, however, came in the form of a newspaper article. In yesterday’s Washington Post. On Page G4 (Technology and Innovation, Sunday Business), Hayley Tsukayama recommended an app that teaches kids how to unplug.

Seeing that was like a smack in the head with a 2 by 4. It is a true oxymoron. We need an App so parents can tell kids to get off screens (and it has a built-in timer for parents) to set limits?

For the record: I felt the same way about Nickolodeon’s short-lived series Lazy Town, which told kids to turn off the television and live healthy lives.

Is this a cautionary tale? I don’t know, and it is too soon to really reach any conclusions.

Modeling (ideal) behaviors is a foundation of creating readers and, in a broader arena, parenting. How do we balance the very real need for Mother’s Helpers with living a “real” life?

Sure would love your thoughts!