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One Child Reading

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Margaret Mackey
Roberta Seelinger Trites, Foreword

Language and Literature, Education, Childhood Studies

Published: April 2016
ISBN: 9781772120394
Pages: 596 Size: 7.5x10
Illustrations: 140

"The miracle of the preserved word, in whatever medium—print, audio text, video recording, digital exchange—means that it may transfer into new times and new places."
– From the Introduction

In a significant and unique contribution to our understanding of reading and literacy development, Margaret Mackey draws together memory, textual criticism, social analysis, and reading theory in an extraordinary act of self-study. One Child Reading reflects a remarkable academic undertaking. Seeking a deeper sense of what happens when we read, Mackey revisited the texts she read, viewed, listened to, and played as she became literate in the 1950s and 1960s in St. John’s, Newfoundland. This tremendous sweep of reading included school texts, knitting patterns, and games, as well as hundreds of books. The result is not a memoir but rather a deftly theorized exploration of how a reader is constructed. This is an essential book for librarians, classroom teachers, those involved in literacy development, and all serious readers.

Margaret Mackey is Professor in the School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Alberta. She has published widely on the subject of young people’s reading and their multimedia and digital literacies. A voracious reader, she lives in Edmonton.

One Child Reading, in which a professor becomes a geographer of her own literacy, is hyper-local, yet there's something about the way Margaret Mackey describes the forces that affected her early reading as a white, middle-class girl in 1950s and 60s St. John's that will speak to readers across identity lines.... [T]his book marks an expert in her field bringing a career's worth of knowledge to material she knows best. A thorough and lucid examination of the self, aided by prolific illustrations and great page design.

– Jade Colbert, The Globe and Mail