Students have the right to read good books. Exposure to high quality writing will help children become critical readers, and help them learn how to select books that are good enough for them. Literary standards are not lower for books for children; young people deserve the same high quality books that everyone wants to read.
Students have the right to gain something from the books they read, to take something away from their experience. Books give children an opportunity to explore new worlds and learn new ideas. Provide them with a wide range of books that allows them to travel places they’ve never been, and see things they’ve never seen.
Students have the right to choose their own books to read. Children need an opportunity to learn to select good books for themselves. By selecting both books that they like and don’t like, they will develop the criteria for books they enjoy reading.
Students have the right to read books on topics of interest to them. While it is important to expose children to a wide variety of books, young readers need to be allowed to identify their own reading interests. Not everyone likes to read the same books, and children need to be able to select books of the genre and topic of interest to them.
Students have the right to read both challenging and easier books. Children do not always have to read at their reading level. Everyone likes to “relax” and not always be challenged when reading; children, too, need to experience relaxing reading.
Students have the right to read for fun. Children should have the opportunity to read a book for the pure pleasure of reading, and not always be expected to take a test, write a book report, participate in a discussion, or follow-up on the book in any other way.
Students have the right to have stories read to them. Everyone loves to hear a good story. Children of all ages need an opportunity to relax, hear the language of a well-written book, and be entertained by listening to a story.
Students have the right to dislike some books. There are a few, if any, books that everyone likes. Similarly, there is no rule that says everyone needs to finish a book once it’s started. Give children an opportunity to stop reading a book they are not enjoying.
Students have a right to read all kinds of books. There is no one kind of book that is better than others. Give children an opportunity to read light and silly stories along with serious, thought-provoking books to broaden the appeal of reading.