Academic journal article The Journal of Negro Education

It's Not Complicated! What I Know for Sure about Helping Our Students of Color Become Successful Readers

Academic journal article The Journal of Negro Education

It's Not Complicated! What I Know for Sure about Helping Our Students of Color Become Successful Readers

Article excerpt

It's Not Complicated! What I Know For Sure about Helping Our Students of Color Become Successful Readers, by Phyllis C. Hunter. New York: Scholastic, 2012, 160 pp., $20.99, paperback.

Phyllis C. Hunter has taken a similar approach to Dr. Richard Allington's (2012) work on working with struggling readers and doing solid reading instruction. Past research by Allington focuses on assisting struggling readers and working with specialized populations. However, the author of this text takes his work a step further by building on the existing professional development resources available and offering a step-by-step tool for educators to use as a roadmap to understanding how to teach reading to students of color. Each chapter provides a common sense approach to reading instruction that includes discussing reading as an uncomplicated process for teachers.

"Chapter 1: Our kids need support to become successful readers," provides an overview of the importance of this book for children of color. Through the use of personal narrative, the author presents strategies and recommended texts. "Chapter 2: When our kids are motivated to read, It can change their lives focuses on reading motivation" focuses on reading motivation. This chapter is the most critical section in this book since children in communities of color are more likely to live in book deserts where there is one book for every fourteen children. "Chapter 3: Our kids need access to more books" focuses on the need to match children with the right books based on their reading level and individual interests. "Chapter 4: Around-the-clock oral language and bedtime stories can prevent the 30-million word gap" is about the need to strengthen the language development of children of color in order to aid in their development as readers. "Chapter 5: Academic vocabulary and avid reading gives our kids a brain boost" focuses on the need to build children's vocabularies and expand their experiences in order to aid in their development. "Chapter 6: What happens to our kids in Kindergarten through Third grade can change their lives" is a chapter that focuses on students getting quality early reading instruction. All aspects of initial reading instruction are highlighted in this chapter. "Chapter 7: Our kids are not reading if they aren't comprehending" is another important section in this work. Many teachers who work with students to teach them reading find that comprehension is key to understanding what you read. …

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