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Extended Audio Sample Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain, by Maryanne Wolf Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,593 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Maryanne Wolf Narrator: Kirsten Potter Publisher: Highbridge Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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“Human beings were never born to read,” writes Tufts University cognitive neuroscientist and child development expert Maryanne Wolf. Reading is a human invention that reflects how the brain rearranges itself to learn something new. In this ambitious, provocative book, Wolf chronicles the remarkable journey of the reading brain not only over the past five thousand years, since writing began, but also over the course of a single child’s life, showing in the process why children with dyslexia have reading difficulties and singular gifts.

Lively, erudite, and rich with examples, Proust and the Squid asserts that the brain that examined the tiny clay tablets of the Sumerians was a very different brain from the one that is immersed in today’s technology-driven literacy. The potential transformations in this changed reading brain, Wolf argues, have profound implications for every child and for the intellectual development of our species.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by James Wayne Proctor | 2/16/2014

    " A Logos by any other name: I loved this book. Development of alphabets and the written word is the subject, and the neuroscience conjectured behind it. Since all books these days have to be told from the author's explicit perspective ("My parents read me my rights, but I teach my children a love of reading self-help...."), Professor Wolf compares her fear of the digital transition (word to image) to Socrates' condemnation of written culture replacing the oral tradition. It works and makes for a highly-readable and informative text. To my mind, she perpetuates the Socratic notion. Understanding words is virtuous, and virtue, as the old Greek was recorded as saying, makes us friends of the divine. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Marian Hood | 2/8/2014

    " I love books on brain theory and this one provides information on how the the brains of kids who have difficulty reading are wired differently from those who learn to read easily. The fascinating thing is the ways they are able to use different mechanisms. The point of the squid is to ground the information in the idea of adaptation. I hope that with more information like this we may be able to help these kids who so often fall through the cracks in school. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Julie | 1/27/2014

    " This was an amazing, eye-opening read! I would never have guessed there was so much going on while I read. The books gets heavy at times with scientific facts, but overall is very readable. And the information on dyslexia is really fascinating. I would strongly recommend this to teachers, parents and anyone interested in the success of all children. We need to do a better job of reaching kids where they are and encouraging them that whatever their skills and abilities they are invaluable to our future! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Eli | 1/26/2014

    " I was really excited about this book. And then I started reading it. It is so bogged down in technical terminology and repetition that exciting parts get lost. And, frankly, I got bored. That almost never happens when it comes to books. But I did. I got bored. "

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About the Author

Maryanne Wolf is a professor of child development at Tufts University, where she is also the director of the Center for Reading and Language Research. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.