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Are We Squashing the Love of Reading?

Pernille Ripp Quote why is it all right to impose rules on children's reading lives that we would never follow as adults?
Image used with permission by Pernille Ripp

Goal: Lifelong Readers

I love to read. I want my children to love to read. I remember my daughter crying in the car because she was not allowed to read books she was interested in. The Accelerated Reader (AR) test placed her at a 2nd-grade reading level even though she was in 3rd grade. There are many well-intentioned things we do to have students read which may have the opposite effect on a child’s love of reading. Some studies show that students who were required to do Accelerated Reader developed negative associations with reading and were less likely to be life-long readers. In talking with groups of my college students, I hear over and over this sentiment. How they felt damaged by Accelerated Reader and had negative feelings as a result. Reading logs are another way we can contribute to students disliking reading. Jon Corippo points out that reading logs encourage students and parents to become liars. I know this is true for me. Anytime I was asked to log anything, I lied.

The Reading Rules We Would Never Follow as Adult Readers

I found Pernille Ripp‘s blog post on “The Reading Rules We Would Never Follow as Adult Readers.” She asks a great question, “Why is it all right to impose rules on children’s reading lives that we would never follow as adults?”

“There is no one system that fits all and if a system we have in place is even killing the love of reading for one child, then we need to rethink it.” -Pernille Ripp

Check out Pernille’s post and consider her points for rethinking what we ask students to do when it comes to reading.


Biggers, D. (2002). The argument against accelerated reader. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 45(1), 72-75.

Carter, B. (1997). Hold the applause!: Do accelerated reader ™ and electronic bookshelf ™ send the right message?. School Library Journal, 42(10), 22-25.

Pavonetti, L. , Brimmer, K. , & Cipielewski, J. (2003). Accelerated reader: What are the lasting effects on the reading habits of middle school students exposed to accelerated reader in elementary grades?. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 46(4), 300-311.

Thompson, G. , Madhuri, M. , & Taylor, D. (2008). How the accelerated reader program can become counterproductive for high school students. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 51(7), 550-560.

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