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Joy of Reading: One Family's Fun-Filled Guide to Reading Success Review by Whitney Dunahee

By Debbie Duncan
PO Box 726
Windsor, CA 95492

The Joy of Reading: One Family's Fun-Filled Guide to Reading Success is a 202-page book that describes one family's journey of building a love of reading. Author Debbie Duncan shares her family's favorite books for all ages and stages of children. The mother of three school-age children, Duncan features more than 600 children's books as she shares her family's journey from picture book read-alouds to middle grade favorites to historical fiction and more. Duncan's passion for children's literature is evident throughout the book as she encourages parents to read aloud to their children. She gives many practical suggestions for books parents can provide to their children that will entertain, educate, and inspire. I expected the book to be more of a reference book but was pleasantly surprised to find that not only is it valuable as a reference, it is also a warm, personal, and inspiring read.

In reading the book, I was reminded of many of my own childhood favorites that I have not yet shared with my own children. Reading is already an important part of our family culture, but I was inspired to place even more focus on family read-aloud times. While I didn't agree with all of Duncan's suggestions, I did find many titles that I look forward to reading with my children. This is a secular book, and, as such, Christian families will want to evaluate suggestions to make sure they meet their individual family's standards and needs. The book was written in 1998, so titles written in the past 12+ years are not included. I very much enjoyed the book and will use suggestions from it to enhance the reading experiences of my children.

Product review by Whitney Dunahee, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, November 2010