on “real reading”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve found myself defending children’s reading of insert kid-friendly format or genre here to concerned (albeit well-intentioned) adults. Sadly, some authors/series get branded as not “real reading” more often than others. Captain Underpants, Johnny Boo, Diary of a Wimpy Kid…you get the drift.

And here’s where I get stuck, because “reading” is what the learner does—not the book. “Real reading” is format and genre neutral, because it’s about the reader.

How do we allow what matters most (the readers and their thinking) to shine? To me, there are just as many ways thinking can be made visible than there are reader preferences. Here’s just one: