Encourage Reading from the Start: Essays, Articles, and Interviews from the Field

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A past-president of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) and longtime spokesperson for First Amendment issues as they relate to children and young adults, for several decades Scales has been a tireless champion for children’s reading in all its richness and diversity. This collection gathers her most popular editorials, feature articles, and author interviews from the pages of Book Links magazine. Filled with stimulating ideas for school and public librarians, this book

  • spotlights compelling editorial columns that cover the core values of ALA, including democracy, privacy, and diversity;
  • includes interviews with popular authors such as Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, Graham Salisbury, Elana K. Arnold, Angela Cerrito, and many others; and
  • features essays on reading trends and classroom discussion topics, with annotated bibliographies.

These interesting and engaging pieces will inspire all those who work with young readers.


How Reading Shapes Us

  • Playing House    
  • Talking with Elana K. Arnold
  • Somewhere in the Darkness
  • Gotcha Day
  • Talking with Rita Williams-Garcia
  • Let’s Read Short Shorts
  • Sidetracked by Books
  • Reading Turquoise
  • Ambassador of the World

What History Tells Us

  • Moving Day
  • How Do We Say Thank You, Jean Fritz?
  • Jean Fritz’s You Want Women to Vote, Lizzie Stanton?
  • Talking with Gennifer Choldenko
  • It’s Not My War
  • Talking with Graham Salisbury
  • They Laughed
  • Talking with Angela Cerrito
  • No One Wanted Us
  • Talking with Susan Goldman Rubin
  • Loving v. Virginia and Interracial Families
  • Trouble, Folks

Where Science Leads Us

  • The Man in the Moon
  • My Mother Was Rosie the Riveter
  • Talking with Steve Sheinkin
  • Architecture and Construction
  • On the Street Where I Lived
  • Families Coping with Mental Illness

When Art Inspires Us

  • A Lesson from Frank
  • E. L. Konigsburg’s The Second Mrs. Giaconda: An Update
  • “Pointe” the Way
  • Times a-Changin’

How Freedom to Read Defines Us

  • It’s About Conversation
  • Studying the First Amendment
  • Because of Alice: Phyllis Reynolds Naylor’s Alice Books
  • Talking with Dori Hillestad Butler
  • Three Bombs, Two Lips, and a Martini Glass
  • It’s September


Pat R. Scales

Pat R. Scales is a retired middle and high school librarian whose programs have been featured on the Today Show and in various professional journals. She has also served as an adjunct instructor of children’s and young adult literature at Furman University and has been a guest lecturer at universities across the nation. A First Amendment advocate, she is a former chair of ALA’s Intellectual Freedom Committee and serves on the Board of Advisors of the National Coalition against Censorship. She is a past president of the Association of Library Service for Children, and in 2011 received the Distinguished Service Award. She chaired the 1992 Newbery Award Committee, the 2003 Caldecott Award Committee, and the 2001 Laura Ingalls Wilder Award Committee. She writes for Book Links magazine and a bimonthly column for School Library Journal. Her books include Books under Fire: A Hit List of Banned and Challenged Children's Books, Second EditionTeaching Banned Books: 32 Guides for Children and Teens, Second Edition, and Protecting Intellectual Freedom in Your School Library. She was recipient of The Freedom to Read Foundation's 2023 Roll of Honor Award.

"The collection as a whole provides an effective overview of the importance of engaging and empowering young readers with quality literature, and gives educators and librarians alike a passionate, practical starting point for doing so.”
— School Library Journal