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When author Sarah Mackenzie was in her early twenties and the mother of a 1-year-old child, a friend lent her a copy of The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease. The book introduced Mackenzie to an idea she had never considered: the main goal of reading to children and of teaching them to read isn’t so they’ll learn to read on their own. Rather, according to Trelease, the chief goal of reading aloud together is to create firm bonds between children and parents or between students and teachers and to give children a love of reading that will last a lifetime.

Today, Mackenzie is the mother of six children and the founder of the Read-Aloud Revival podcast. Her main goal in reading aloud to her children since infancy hasn’t been to shape them into successful adults. Rather, she wants her children “to live out the fullness of God’s vision for their lives”—to learn to be imaginative, nurturing, empathetic, and loving children of the God of all truth.

Like Trelease, Mackenzie asserts that children who are read to will most likely “fall in love with reading—an affection that will serve them their entire lives.”

In her book, Mackenzie honestly and refreshingly shares the challenges of taking time to read aloud to children in a busy household and gives parents tips on how to accomplish that. Especially helpful is the last section of the book, which offers suggestions for the best read-aloud titles for children from infancy through the teen years. Parents, grandparents, teachers, and anyone else who lives with or works with children will benefit greatly from Mackenzie’s experience and research. (Zondervan)

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