Perhaps the most important function of education is to shape our sense-of-self as a learner. This doesn’t happen through speeches or the occasional triumph. It takes place in the hundreds to thousands of brief interactions overlooked easily and forgotten about just as quick. The wisdom in Daniel Pennac’s words places a child’s self-perception first. These rules are not hard and fast. There are plenty of beneficial reasons to bend them. I strongly believe that when every decision is weighted against these values, it leads to kids who perceive reading as the way to foster their identities. Students gain the ability to speak knowledgeably and purposefully about their skill development. Overwhelmingly, the end results are that students move to middle school with a mastery of the standards and kids who approach the act of learning with passion, purpose, and precision.
1. The Right Not to Read
2. The Right to Skip
4. The Right to Read it Again
3. The Right Not to Finish a Book
5. The Right to Read Anything
6. The Right to Mistake a Book for Life
7. The Right to Dip In
8. The Right to Read Out Loud
9. The Right to Be Quiet
10. The Right to Read Anywhere
The rights are either direct quotes or slightly altered summaries of Daniel Pennac’s work. If these ideas resonate with you as well, please support the wonderful work Candlewick Press is doing on behalf of children’s literature and purchase a copy of The Rights of the Reader from your local independent bookstore.