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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Classics: Why We Should Encourage Children to Read Them is a non-fiction educational work written by Fiza Pathan. Pathan is an educator and author who attributes much of her career success to a broad base of classics reading, both as a child and an adult. She discusses the books that made the biggest impact on her personally and includes suggested reading lists for boys and girls. She argues that classics exercise the imagination and build a firm base for learning and living. Pathan bases much of her work as a teacher of English on the classics, but she shows how reading the classics can impact a child's performance in other academic disciplines. She shares with the reader her strategies for getting kids interested in classics, which include reading selected chapters aloud to her class, playing movies based on classic works, and having her students perform dramatic vignettes from their favorite stories.
Fiza Pathan's non-fiction educational work, Classics: Why We Should Encourage Children to Read Them, reveals the author's enthusiasm and love of her subject in every page. That enthusiasm is quite contagious, and I found myself seriously reconsidering a long-delayed intention to read more of Robert Louis Stevenson's adventure tales. Pathan's writing style is conversational and ebullient, and her ideas seem solid and eminently workable both for kids and anyone else who might be finding a diet of social media, internet gossip, and television to be getting a bit tired and dull. She made me remember the intensity of my experience reading The Black Arrow in high school and listening to my English teacher discuss the historical and cultural background of the text. Classics: Why We Should Encourage Children to Read Them does what it sets out to do, and it will probably get a goodly percentage of its readers to consider diving into a classic novel themselves. It's highly recommended.