As a ridiculous reader, I’ve churned through literally hundreds of titles in the past five or six years, and while all have changed who I am as a teacher, none has been more practical than Deeper Reading by Kelly Gallagher.  In Deeper Reading, Gallagher—a high school English teacher working in a high poverty school in California—details a collection of ready-to-use strategies for structuring pre, during and post reading activities in the middle and high school classroom.

I’ve purchased countless copies of Deeper Reading to hand out to colleagues, have recommended it as a title for faculty book studies, and spent so much time with my own copy that it is a dog-eared mess.  Heck, I’m even willing to admit that much of what I know about teaching students to read comes from Deeper Reading—which embarrasses me, considering that I didn’t buy my first copy until I was about 10 years into my career. 

That’s why I was left a bit slack-jawed the other day when Stenhouse—Gallagher’s publisher—contacted me the other day and asked me to host their first ever blog book tour stop for Gallagher’s new book Readicide:  How schools are killing reading and what you can do about it.

I spent the past few days trying to nail down a few details and am excited to announce that readers of the Radical will have a few unique opportunities in the next three weeks.  First, a live link to the complete text of Readicide will be made available here on the Radical on January 14th.  Your eyes will be among the first to read Gallagher’s provocative arguments—backed with research-based evidence—that our nation’s emphasis on standardized testing has actually harmed readers and that teachers must take the lead in driving change.

Then, Gallagher will answer your questions—about the concept of Readicide, about teaching reading to middle and high schoolers, about responsible actions that teachers can take to reinvent reading instruction in their classrooms—here on the Radical on January 22nd.  Who’d’ve thunk that one of my favorite authors would actually be able to interact with my audience directly?

Very cool, indeed.

So if you’re interested in having free access to a book that is sure to leave you thinking, mark your calendars for January 14th.  Then, set aside a bit of time to read and reflect on Gallagher’s arguments and to churn up a few questions for Kelly.  Let’s pick his brain a bit, huh?  If we work hard, we’ll end up with a pretty convincing set of arguments that we can use to advocate for meaningful instruction in our own schools.

In the meantime, you can expect to see a review of Readicide here on the Radical before the end of the week—I finished my copy yesterday—and a Q+A with Gallagher sometime next week.  I’m sending him a few prompts to spark a bit of conversation later today.

Oh yeah—and spread the word!  You’ve got to know some reading teachers, don’t you?

We’re ALL reading teachers, aren’t we!


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