READ WITH ME by Walter Anderson


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For years, two national organizations--Laubach Literacy Action and Literacy Volunteers of America--have striven to help the millions of Americans who are either totally or functionally illiterate. Here, Parade magazine editor Anderson, who's on the advisory board of Literacy Volunteers, celebrates these organizations' efforts through a felicitous combination of interviews, information, and inspiration. At the center of the book is a series of interviews with four men and three women who have benefited from literacy programs. There is, for example, Robert Mendez, a 40-year-old L.A. resident who could not read--despite being a high-school graduate. Now his greatest pleasure is reading to his small son. And there is Elaine Williams, whose dyslexia went undetected until she enrolled as a student with the Literacy Volunteers of Massachusetts. Her description of her guilt at being unable to read (""I reasoned, 'I must be bad. . .This is my fault. . .I'm not trying hard enough!' "") is heartbreaking. Today, Williams is a full-time employee of the Literacy Volunteers. Anderson follows each interview with comments from the students' tutors; together, they form a memorable picture of dedication and determination. The author also includes brief passages on the joys and importance of reading, pertinent details from his own life, apropos comments by Clay Felker, Jacques D'Amboise, Wally ""Famous"" Amos, and others, as well as a list of sources for further information and readings. A moving and noteworthy report.

Pub Date: Sept. 8th, 1990
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin