Hameray Classroom Literacy Blog

A Call for Contemporary Books

We all have our favorite chapter books from childhood. As we fondly remember   Charlotte’s Web, The Secret Garden,   and   Mr. Popper’s Penguins,   we encourage our students to read them, too. Although it’s wonderful to recommend books that we genuinely enjoy, classics are not always the best option for reluctant readers. For students who are unconvinced about the pleasures of reading, classics actually have the danger of prompting students to ask, “Why should I even care?”

As much as we’d like to think that childhood is timeless, we can’t deny that technology, social, and other modern inventions are fundamentally changing the way children grow up . The “classics” I’ve mentioned above are called classics for a reason— Charlotte’s Web,   the newest out of the three books, was published in 1952. Colored television didn’t even exist in 1952!

Reluctant readers may find it difficult to become invested in books that seem "old"—they’re much less likely to be compelled by a 19th-century girl that practices needlework than an urban teenager that wants to become a pop star.   Relevancy is crucial in order for students to learn that books are meaningful resources.

Hameray’s   Download   series is committed to providing high-interest books about contemporary topics such as skateboarding, motorcycles, and PlayStation.   Behind the Scenes: Fashion   features famous fashion brands such as H&M and ZARA. With style pictures of celebrities like Pharrell Williams and Justin Timberlake, your students will be eager to make their way through the book!

Fashion is a constantly evolving industry, where styles can change drastically within months. The best part of   Behind the Scenes: Fashion   is that it focuses on the fundamental aspects of fashion, such as fashion shows, jeans, and fashion advertising. Even though this book was published in 2008, its contents are still exciting and relevant for children today! 

Childhood classics will always remain dear to our hearts, and there’s nothing wrong with passing them onto the next generation. However, especially for reluctant readers, contemporary books are a great tool for boosting reader enthusiasm!


Click the  image below to learn more about the Download series.