Family Literacy Experiences: Creating Reading and Writing Opportunities That Support Classroom Learning


160 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations, Bibliography, Index
ISBN 1-55138-207-5
DDC 372.6'044




Reviewed by Susan Kemp

Susan Kemp is an instructor at the Queen’s School of English,
Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario.


Just as Harold Bloom led us to consider the notion of a diversity of
intelligences, Jennifer Rowsell invites us to consider the idea and
potential of multiple literacies in the quest for successful, literate
children. In the past, teachers have attempted to bridge the
home–school divide by working to change what happens in the home
setting. Rowsell takes the opposite direction by exploring how schools
can learn from and complement the home and other out-of-school
experiences. Packed full of ideas and practicalities, the book will warm
the heart of any educator. Working from the premise that literacy takes
place everywhere, Rowsell examines a variety of ways for children to
learn, from online chatting and text messaging to comics, rap music, and
collector cards. These activities, which are primarily done at home,
become instrumental in the planning, teaching, and assessing of

Interspersed throughout the various genres—with the skills they offer
and related activities—are the words of theorists, literacy memories,
and practical and school-wide applications presented by teachers,
researchers, scholars, and administrators highly regarded in the field
of education.

Family Literacy Experiences is an excellent educational resource on
many levels. Teachers will appreciate the practical as well as
theoretical aspects, students the chance to use what excites them in the


Rowsell, Jennifer., “Family Literacy Experiences: Creating Reading and Writing Opportunities That Support Classroom Learning,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 13, 2024,