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National Youth Literacy Day

26th August 2010

August 26th is National Youth Literacy Day, a day focused on bringing awareness to the fundamental issue of youth education and literacy. Fordham University Press takes is passionate about literacy, and would like to spotlight the following four titles today:

Noted humanitarian and activist Dr. Kevin Cahill’s latest, Even in Chaos: Education in Times of Emergency, is a collection of essays written by world leaders and aid workers focusing on the vast importance of education and schools following destruction, natural disasters, war, and other catastrophes. (Now available in both paperback and hardcover)

The Dark Side of Literacy: Literature and Learning Not to Read is literary scholar Benjamin Bennett’s argument against the classical culture of reading. Since reading has long been thought to aid readers in understanding experiences they have not personally had, Bennett questions this association, calling attention to the fact that such an assumption can, in fact, be politically and morally dangerous. It’s an interesting, and not oft explored, side of the literacy issue.

Around the Book: Systems and Literacy is publishing in November, 2010. In it, Henry Sussman examines the past, present, and future of the book as a medium of information in an age of rapidly changing media. Through complex analysis of the nature of the book, Sussman concludes that the book is still a vital part of our culture–read it to learn all of the ways in which books still impact the way we live today.

The Pleasures of Memory: Learning to Read with Charles Dickens , publishing in February 2011, is Sarah Winter’s examination of just how Charles Dickens came to lodge himself into the global collective reading culture. She elucidates his methods, spotlighting his publishing process of serialization, his establishment of his authority as an author, and the ways in which his serialized fiction made use of memory and other senses, thus establishing his work as the very foundation of what think of as “reading” and “fiction” today.