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Children Reading for Pleasure in the Digital Age

Children Reading for Pleasure in the Digital Age
Mapping Reader Engagement

October 2020 | 208 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

What does it mean to become a reader? What are the challenges and opportunities of engaging children in reading for pleasure in the 21st century? This book explores the ways in which reading for pleasure is changing in the era of globalisation, multiculturalism and datafication. Raising the next generation of engaged readers requires knowledge of the enduring characteristics of engagement and markers of quality in books and e-books. In addition, in order to develop new insights into children’s experience of reading on and off screen, nuanced understandings of psychological and socio-cultural research are offered. The cross-disciplinary examination integrates key research from educational psychology, new literacies, multimodality and socio-cultural perspectives and explores consequences for practice. An authoritative guide - it invites graduates, researchers and teachers to participate in the authors’ interdisciplinary dialogue about reading for pleasure.

List of Figures

Chapter One: Mapping the terrain
Chapter Two: Reading for pleasure in the digital era
Chapter Three: The personal and the affective
Chapter Four: The personal entangled
Chapter Five: Reading for pleasure pedagogy
Chapter Six: Reciprocal reading communities
Chapter Seven: Readers’ identities
Chapter Eight: Documenting volitional reading
Chapter Nine: Revisiting the journey


‘ … the authors deftly avoid presenting the text as a print versus digital books divide, and instead present a multitude of ways of reading, showing how they can be complementary and further engage and motivate children to read. This book is a timely reminder that we no longer face the issue of how much children should read, as it is all too easy to widen one’s repertoire of books in this age of digital libraries. The more imperative matter at hand is the need to consider how digital texts should be considered alongside print texts as resources for cultivating RfP.’

Sujia Gan
National Institute of Education, Singapore

 What an insightful book! Teachers, researchers, parents, and anyone who cares about children and reading will deepen their understanding of the crucial role that pleasure reading plays in young people’s lives. The authors deftly blend scholarly analysis with practical advice for nurturing children’s engagement with the written word.

Naomi S. Baron
Author of Words Onscreen: The Fate of Reading in a Digital World

 This book makes a compelling case for reading as a situated, embodied experience and embraces positively the possibilities and opportunities of reading online and on screen. It will be read widely by all those committed to expanding and enriching reading for pleasure in the new media age.  

Cathy Burnett
Professor of Literacy and Education, Sheffield Hallam University

Whether on tablet, phone, book, or wearable, reading remains a mainstay as a pleasure for many – especially children. With more routes into reading than ever, not to mention new reading repertoires involving tapping, scrolling, swiping, and curating, children must be nimble and fluid as they navigate reading worlds. In Children Reading for Pleasure in the Digital Age, Kucirkova and Cremin elegantly map out children’s reading practices across digital and non-digital domains.

Jennifer Rowsell
Professor in Education, University of Bristol

Kucirkova’s and Cremin’s book is a timely and nuanced look at how digital technologies can play a positive role in children’s joy of reading. Written in a style which is at once eloquent, engaging, in-depth, and accessible, the authors present a wealth of research on children’s pleasure reading and digitisation, and provide recommendations for teachers, librarians, parents and scholars alike.

Anne Mangen
Professor at the Norwegian Reading Centre, University of Stavanger