A book that explains how to help your child learn about reading, by teacher and reading specialist Gross, in collaboration with her husband, a journalist and novelist. In a nation that, according to studies, claims some 27 million illiterates, there is a pressing need to teach children to develop reading skills. This guide describes a program parents can use to instill a lifelong love of reading in their children. Gross claims that US schools are to blame for the high level of reading difficulties, so it is up to parents to take the responsibility for the literary futures of their kids. Dividing children's lives into three separate stages--infancy to six-years-old, six through 12, and 12 through 16--Gross examines the motivations for reading; and she offers sound suggestions for captivating kids' interest and turning their natural curiosity and love of imitating into reading and writing skills. She explains the phases kids must go through to become readers--understanding the significance of the written word and associating it with the object it represents, identifying emotionally with what is written, recognizing literary patterns--and she suggests specific exercises and activities, stressing all the while that it must be a fun, interesting process. Some of her ideas are old hat (reading to your kids; not letting them watch too much TV; taking them to the library), while others are novel (teaching youngsters to use word processors so the emphasis is on the word itself, not the mechanics of writing; encouraging them to read interactive fiction; using TV to spark literary and life interests (for instance, Star Trek can give kids a sense of the dramatic structure of good science fiction). Her lists of recommended books for kids to read, or have read to them, at each of the three stages are helpful, and she includes information on book clubs and recorded works. Many items of interest here on reading development for every parent, teacher, or librarian. With the depressing statistics on illiteracy in this country, timely indeed.