Saturday, December 6, 2008

Reading Comprehension Text is Fun Teen Tool!

Stories of Relevancy:
11 Reading Passages for
By Shadrach Linscomb
View House Publishing
ISBN: 9780966342000
47 Pages
(Now Available only in Ebook format)

As a life-long reader, I applaud and want to highly recommend Shadrach Linscomb’s Stories of Relevancy: 11 Reading Passages for Comprehension. While the book is aimed for teens, the stories are ones that would be interesting for anyone working to improve their reading skills. It might also be used by parents to open discussions with teens about important life issues.

Have you ever gotten so involved with a tv program and then had “to be continued” flash across the screen or you fell asleep right before the end and woke up to realize you might never know how the story ended. Normally, reading a book prevents that from happening! But what Linscomb has done is to take advantage of our natural curiosity and uses it to help young readers not only improve their reading skills, but work on their writing skills!

How? Well, just as you might get interested in a story and want to know how it ends, Stories of Relevancy provides snippets of 11 short and longer stories...enough to get you interested! Then, sometimes you get to evaluate whether the story ended as you would want it to end or other times, you get to write your own ending! Actually, I don’t recall ever seeing a reading comprehension book as well created as this one...

Most importantly, the stories are true to life. They deal with drugs, family life, dysfunctional families, and role models. One story discusses how peer pressure can be resolved through peer counseling. On the other hand, peer pressure to “fight” another is presented—and the reader must consider what options are available and what to do in response to the situation. Still another story describes the problem of a single mother having to finally share that a young boy’s father is in jail.

Linscomb uses his stories to force recognition of the many options faced by teens—does a young boy take a good job, earning minimum wage or does he choose to sell drugs to make more money. Highlighting the people that surround a teen as those who can be of help and support is another important aspect of the stories. Family is loving; neighbors are role models who take interest and guide the younger generations.

This author uses his varied background to create a workbook that will not only help with reading comprehension; it will help with interpersonal relationships and other life skills. Most important of all, perhaps, is that it allows each young reader a chance to share and express himself, in responding to each story.

“Reading is fun-damental” is a well-known catchphrase in support of reading literacy. In my opinion, Linscomb goes well beyond the “See Jack run” elementary reading skills we all remember—he presents an opportunity to create a caring, sharing, environment in which a teenager can learn and expand their knowledge base! How cool is that!

G. A. Bixler
For IP Book Reviews

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