One Child Reading

One Child Reading

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Book - 2016
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Wayne State

"The miracle of the preserved word, in whatever medium—print, audio text, video recording, digital exchange—means that it may transfer into new times and new places."

– From the Introduction

In a significant and unique contribution to our understanding of reading and literacy development, Margaret Mackey draws together memory, textual criticism, social analysis, and reading theory in an extraordinary act of self-study.One Child Reading reflects a remarkable academic undertaking. Seeking a deeper sense of what happens when we read, Mackey revisited the texts she read, viewed, listened to, and played as she became literate in the 1950s and 1960s in St. John’s, Newfoundland. This tremendous sweep of reading included school texts, knitting patterns, and games, as well as hundreds of books. The result is not a memoir but rather a deftly theorized exploration of how a reader is constructed. This is an essential book for librarians, classroom teachers, those involved in literacy development, and all serious readers.

A significant and unique contribution to our understanding of reading, readers and literacy development.

Book News
In this individual case study of literacy, Margaret Mackey (School of Library and Information Studies, University of Alberta) uses a conversational tone and humor to chronicle her experiences as a reader in detail, from her earliest memories throughout her childhood and education. Employing ideas from literacy theory and cognitive science, she revisits and analyzes specific children’s books, textbooks, picture books, games, hobby instructions, and music lyrics that she read growing up in the 1950’s and 60’s in St. John’s, Newfoundland. The book contains b&w illustrations on every page: children’s books, cards, record jackets, and games, as well as plus b&w historical photos of the town, local classrooms, and family photos from personal collections. The author’s personal web site offers photos, audio, video, and interactive supplements. The book’s readership includes students, librarians, educators, classroom teachers, and others interested in literacy development. Distributed in the US by Wayne State University Press. Annotation ©2017 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (

Publisher: Edmonton, Alberta : University of Alberta Press, c2016
ISBN: 9781772120394
Branch Call Number: 418.4 MAC
Characteristics: xvi, 567 p. :,ill. ;,26 cm.


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