The given informative summary will focus primarily on the textbook titled Charlotte Hucks Children’s Literature: A Brief Guide by Barbara Kiefer and Cynthia Tyson (McGraw-Hill Education, 2019). Chapter two of the book begins with the reading interests and preferences of the target group. It is stated that “teachers and librarians need to be sensitive to children’s individual tastes, which often are unique and very particular” (Kiefer and Tyson 31). The next important point is focused on age and gender differences in regards to reading interests. Although there is no clear data in such distinctions, it is stated that “in schools and home settings where traditional sexual stereotypes are downplayed, boys and girls share enthusiasm for many common favorites” (Kiefer and Tyson 31). Therefore, ensuring the minimization of the impact of stereotypes is critical for equalizing reading interests. In addition, other factors, such as age, social influence, and book features, such as length, format, color, and illustrations, affect children’s interest in reading. Other children’s influence on a child’s interest is significant, which is why educators need to allow children to voice their choices and preferences.
It is important to note that various developmental characteristics determine a child’s interest in books and response to the reading activity. It is stated that “children are not miniature adults but individuals with their own needs, interests, and capabilities, all of which change over time at varying rates” (Kiefer and Tyson 32). In the case of physical development, it affects the attention span and interest since childhood is a phase of quick growth. It is stated that “the age of onset of puberty figures prominently in an early adolescents’ self-concept and influences book choices” (Kiefer and Tyson 34). For cognitive development, Jean Piaget proposed a framework, which links intelligence development with child maturation and environment. For example, kindergarten and preschool children’s perception is direct, which is why drawing, play, and language are critical (Kiefer and Tyson 34). Moral development influences by the ideas of justice and fairness, where children view issues in a “black and white” perspective with an emphasis on an act itself irrespective of intent (Kiefer and Tyson 37). Language development begins with infant babbling, and through active listening, improvisation, and trial and error, children master the language, and thus, texts with appropriate language format are crucial.
Personality development is also important for managing the reading interest of children. For example, “psychologist Erik Erikson sees human emotional and social development as a passage through a series of stages” (Kiefer and Tyson 38). Children’s age and developmental stage are integral in determining their interest in the reading activity. For instance, kindergarten and preschoolers are highly active with a short attention span, curious, have little sense of time, perceive themselves as the center of the world, and make absolute judgments (Kiefer and Tyson 41). For early primary stages, the previous factors are enhanced, and they also develop empathy for others as well as humor (Kiefer and Tyson 43). Middle elementary children are more independent, less egocentric, peer-group dependent (Kiefer and Tyson 44). For middle school children, peer-group is highly influential, egocentrism is focused on perceived problems, sensitivity is elevated for relationships, and they can appreciate complex topics. In the case of response, younger children are motor-oriented, where they act out the reading, and older children prefer personal reading, where they exhibit devotion to authors or genre as part of their identity and personality.
Kiefer, Barbara, and Cynthia Tyson. Charlotte Huck’s Children’s Literature: A Brief Guide. McGraw-Hill Education, 2019.