Written by Hannah Groves, SLA
While some associate ‘reading for pleasure’
with reading fiction, school library staff are well aware that many children also
enjoy an array of non-fiction and eagerly engage with books about sport,
celebrities, world records and more. But what about science?
How many young people do you think read
science books and, more specifically, read them for pleasure? A surprising
number actually view such books negatively, considering them by their very
nature to be boring or difficult. But there are many benefits to be found from engaging
with these titles, which is why the School Library Association (SLA) are
pleased to announce the publication of Reading Science for Pleasure, a
guide to encouraging engagement with science books in both primary and secondary
In this publication, Ruth Jarman and Joy
Alexander draw on their vast experience of working with school library staff,
teachers and TAs to offer guidelines for exposing children and young people to the
many wonders of science. They present a wealth of tried and tested ideas
designed to help young readers uncover the knowledge and adventures contained
within science information books, helping pupils find enjoyment in these
important, STEM-related titles and feeding their curiosity to cultivate new
interests that will valuably broaden their reading horizons.
Often, present-day science information books
are actually very appealing, well-written and attractively illustrated. They
have the power not only to extend young readers’ knowledge, but also to excite
their interest and imagination, and this guide is a useful tool in helping young
people successfully develop their curiosity, creativity and scientific
connection with the world around them.
Of course, the benefits of reading for
pleasure are by no means limited to one genre. Whilst reading is an incredibly
powerful tool for learning, it also allows us to relax and research from the
National Literacy Trust found that children who engage with reading for pleasure
are three times more likely to have high levels of mental wellbeing than those
who do not. Especially with everything going on in the world at the moment,
there are profound concerns about our young people and it’s important to
encourage everyone to think about the small steps they can make that will allow
all children to experience the benefits of reading for pleasure.
If you’re looking for where to start, the SLA
have created a completely free download to help establish a love of reading in
schools. Produced in partnership with celebrated storyteller Alec Williams, Get
Everyone Reading is a great first step in encouraging reading for pleasure and
serves as a guide through all the different elements which create a positive
reading culture, as well as briefly exploring why reading for pleasure is so beneficial.
About the School Library
The SLA is a UK focused
charity which supports everyone involved in school libraries. We believe that
every pupil is entitled to effective school library provision and the
educational, emotional and developmental benefits that come with it. The SLA is
committed to supporting, promoting and sustaining high quality reading and
teaching and learning opportunities for all in a diverse and changing world.