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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 this 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.
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.
336 pages. 2008