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The Enchanted Hour: The Miraculous Power of Reading Aloud in the Age of Distraction by @MeghanGurdon

Title: The Enchanted Hour: The Miraculous Power of Reading Aloud in the Age of Distraction

Author: Meghan Cox Gurdon

Genre: Reading, Parenting, Nonfiction

Book Blurb:

A Wall Street Journal writer’s conversation-changing look at how reading aloud makes adults and children smarter, happier, healthier, more successful and more closely attached, even as technology pulls in the other direction.

A miraculous alchemy occurs when one person reads to another, transforming the simple stuff of a book, a voice, and a bit of time into complex and powerful fuel for the heart, brain, and imagination. Grounded in the latest neuroscience and behavioral research, and drawing widely from literature, The Enchanted Hour explains the dazzling cognitive and social-emotional benefits that await children, whatever their class, nationality or family background. But it’s not just about bedtime stories for little kids: Reading aloud consoles, uplifts and invigorates at every age, deepening the intellectual lives and emotional well-being of teenagers and adults, too.

Meghan Cox Gurdon argues that this ancient practice is a fast-working antidote to the fractured attention spans, atomized families and unfulfilling ephemera of the tech era, helping to replenish what our devices are leaching away. For everyone, reading aloud engages the mind in complex narratives; for children, it’s an irreplaceable gift that builds vocabulary, fosters imagination, and kindles a lifelong appreciation of language, stories and pictures.

Bringing together the latest scientific research, practical tips, and reading recommendations, The Enchanted Hour will both charm and galvanize, inspiring readers to share this invaluable, life-altering tradition with the people they love most.

My Review:

Oral storytelling has been around since the beginning of time. Reading aloud to children is not only a great bonding experience but has many physical, emotional and mental benefits. In this book by a Wall Street Journal's children's book reviewer and essayist, there’s finally scientific evidence supporting the theory of reading aloud.

Step by step, Meghan Cox Gurdon lays the foundation for reading with our children. It builds vocabulary, cognitive skills and makes both the reader and the listener healthier individuals. Reading aloud also takes away the isolation technology brings. Families are connected in ways devices just can’t compete with.

Adults will find this a useful book, too. I remember when MR N and I first got engaged, we would take turns reading from a book before we went to sleep. It was a fun way to engage in intimacy without having to spend money.

I’m a huge proponent to reading and try to spread my joy of reading to all who’ll listen. This book is a must read for anyone looking to improve their lives and the lives of their children. Highly recommend!

Disclaimer: I received an ARC from Harper via Edelweiss in the hopes I’d review it.

My Rating: 5 stars

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Author Biography:

Meghan Cox Gurdon is an essayist, book critic, and former foreign correspondent who has been The Wall Street Journal's children's book reviewer since September 2005. Her work has appeared widely, in publications such as The Washington Examiner, The Daily Telegraph, The Christian Science Monitor, The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, and National Review. A graduate of Bowdoin College, she lives in Bethesda, Maryland, with her husband, Hugo Gurdon, and their five children.

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Reviewed by: Mrs. N

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