David Boulton’s “Children of the Code” is a wonderful, general resource for educating yourself, a class, a teaching staff, your professional assistants — or any other group with a need to know — about the miracle of reading. A second, very enlightened focus of Boulton’s opus is on the origins of, and the great personal and societal costs, of impairments in reading.
David’s basic strategy was 1) to record beautifully guided conversations with more than a hundred scholars, scientists and educators who have something useful to say about reading and reading failure; 2) to collect a large series of straight-from-the-heart interviews with less-than-proficient and busted readers; then, as a skilled documentarian, 3) to summarize the wisdom represented by our leading experts and by kids struggling to master the incredibly complex skill of proficient reading in a series of beautifully crafted DVDs summarizing different aspects of the science and sociology of reading (the ‘code’), and of reading failure. These DVDs are GREAT teaching tools. I have personally especially enjoyed Boulton’s treatment of the origins and expressions of dyslexia, the emotional dangers of reading failure, and its enormous societal costs. When David Boulton’s treatment extends into my own scientific subdiscipline, his treatment passes muster, for accuracy, and for balance.
I have also enjoyed reading transcripts of Boulton’s interviews, which can be accessed (free of charge) at www.childrenofthecode.org. They are special because this large group of world-class experts are all adroitly guided by David to express their overall perspective about how their science or professional experience relates to the ‘great issues’ of reading science and of the individual and collective impacts of reading success and reading failure on American society. This is great stuff, full of wisdom, rich in insight, the whole a LOT greater than the sum of its parts! I’ve read more than sixty of these interviews over the past months, and each time I take another bite at this feast, I learn a little more about reading and dyslexia. I’m readin’ ’em all! If language or reading is within your range of interest, check it out.
“Children of the Code” is a unique achievement, and a special gift for all of us! Thanks, David, for this OUTSTANDING contribution to this VERY important subject. Nothing quite like it, under the sun!