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How to Raise a Reader

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An indispensable guide to welcoming children—from babies to teens—to a lifelong love of reading, written by Pamela Paul and Maria Russo, editors of The New York Times Book Review.   Do you remember your first visit to where the wild things are? How about curling up for hours on end to discover the secret of the Sorcerer’s Stone? Combining clear, practical advice with ins An indispensable guide to welcoming children—from babies to teens—to a lifelong love of reading, written by Pamela Paul and Maria Russo, editors of The New York Times Book Review.   Do you remember your first visit to where the wild things are? How about curling up for hours on end to discover the secret of the Sorcerer’s Stone? Combining clear, practical advice with inspiration, wisdom, tips, and curated reading lists, How to Raise a Reader shows you how to instill the joy and time-stopping pleasure of reading.   Divided into four sections, from baby through teen, and each illustrated by a different artist, this book offers something useful on every page, whether it’s how to develop rituals around reading or build a family library, or ways to engage a reluctant reader. A fifth section, “More Books to Love: By Theme and Reading Level,” is chockful of expert recommendations. Throughout, the authors debunk common myths, assuage parental fears, and deliver invaluable lessons in a positive and easy-to-act-on way.  


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An indispensable guide to welcoming children—from babies to teens—to a lifelong love of reading, written by Pamela Paul and Maria Russo, editors of The New York Times Book Review.   Do you remember your first visit to where the wild things are? How about curling up for hours on end to discover the secret of the Sorcerer’s Stone? Combining clear, practical advice with ins An indispensable guide to welcoming children—from babies to teens—to a lifelong love of reading, written by Pamela Paul and Maria Russo, editors of The New York Times Book Review.   Do you remember your first visit to where the wild things are? How about curling up for hours on end to discover the secret of the Sorcerer’s Stone? Combining clear, practical advice with inspiration, wisdom, tips, and curated reading lists, How to Raise a Reader shows you how to instill the joy and time-stopping pleasure of reading.   Divided into four sections, from baby through teen, and each illustrated by a different artist, this book offers something useful on every page, whether it’s how to develop rituals around reading or build a family library, or ways to engage a reluctant reader. A fifth section, “More Books to Love: By Theme and Reading Level,” is chockful of expert recommendations. Throughout, the authors debunk common myths, assuage parental fears, and deliver invaluable lessons in a positive and easy-to-act-on way.  

30 review for How to Raise a Reader

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly Dawn

    How to Raise a Reader is written by two noted writers and experts on children’s books, Pamela Paul and Maria Russo. How to Raise a Reader could make all the difference in a child’s life and in family life. This book includes some unique tips and clever strategies to include the sharing of books in family life....and tips to encourage children to read for enjoyment and continue reading throughout their teen years. Plenty of book recommendations for all ages, babies through young adult, How to Raise a Reader is written by two noted writers and experts on children’s books, Pamela Paul and Maria Russo. How to Raise a Reader could make all the difference in a child’s life and in family life. This book includes some unique tips and clever strategies to include the sharing of books in family life....and tips to encourage children to read for enjoyment and continue reading throughout their teen years. Plenty of book recommendations for all ages, babies through young adult, and also book recommendations by subject matter or theme. I received a digital ARC from Workman Publishing Company through NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion. #HowToRaiseAreader #WorkmanPublishingCompany #NetGalley

  2. 4 out of 5

    Bam cooks the books ;-)

    Want to ensure your child or grandchild is a reader? This book is for you! Lots of tips, advice and lists of recommended books for children of all ages--and I love lists! From the editors of the New York Times Book Review, this is a reference book you might want to have on the shelf for help picking books for children's gifts. I think it would make a wonderful shower gift, tucked in with a few fun board books.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Anne Marie

    Ignore this book and go for Jim Trelease's classic Read-Aloud Handbook instead. Beyond the basics of taking your kids to the libraries and to bookstores, filling your house with books, and serving as reading models yourselves, this book has little to offer. The authors refer to research studies without citing their sources, subscribe to the weird premise that parents should keep e-readers and iPads away from their children if they want them to read (it shouldn't be either/or) and believe that it's perfe Ignore this book and go for Jim Trelease's classic Read-Aloud Handbook instead. Beyond the basics of taking your kids to the libraries and to bookstores, filling your house with books, and serving as reading models yourselves, this book has little to offer. The authors refer to research studies without citing their sources, subscribe to the weird premise that parents should keep e-readers and iPads away from their children if they want them to read (it shouldn't be either/or) and believe that it's perfectly natural for reading at school to suck because teachers have so little time to impart so much knowledge. Nevertheless, the authors seemingly backtrack by saying that although it's not ok for kids to have e-readers or iPads to read books, kids should be encouraged to record book podcasts and to post them such places like YouTube ....and that if your kids are struggling, one way to motivate them may be to follow an author’s Twitter page. All in all, it seems like a hodge-podge of advice with very little unifying vision behind it ... again, Trelease's book is much more satisfying with respect to all this.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Tesha Ham

    I love this book not only for the content, but the purpose of encouraging reading into the newer generations. It is packed full of great tips and ideas, good book recommendations, useful information and things that won't only benefit the child, but the family as whole. I voluntarily read and received a free ARC copy of this title through NetGalley in exchange for a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    Little known fact: I have a master's in education, and I have helped create and implement literacy programs for people of all ages. I have read lots of books about how to get kids interested in books, and How to Raise a Reader is among the best. I love the authors' approachable style, and I appreciate the inclusive nature of their recommendations. We'll be using this at Avid Bookshop as a resource to find books for various challenges and rites of passage in young readers' lives.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Marzie

    One of the most common challenges I hear from my blog's readers is their struggle to get their children to keep reading. With so many distractions of an electronic nature, children may seem to have too many alternatives to a good book. What's a parent to do? New York Times Book Review editors Pamela Paul and Maria Russo are full of good ideas and suggestions about common reading pitfalls to avoid. This book is structured according to developmental stages, from reading to babies, toddlers, p One of the most common challenges I hear from my blog's readers is their struggle to get their children to keep reading. With so many distractions of an electronic nature, children may seem to have too many alternatives to a good book. What's a parent to do? New York Times Book Review editors Pamela Paul and Maria Russo are full of good ideas and suggestions about common reading pitfalls to avoid. This book is structured according to developmental stages, from reading to babies, toddlers, primary grades, middle grades to YA suggestions for your teens. One of the things I love about their advice is that they point out how quickly children will notice that their parents aren't reading, are on the phone or otherwise distracted. They encourage family reading time, family audiobooks, and in general, modeling the behavior that you wish to achieve. They also point out that you need to know your child's nature- what engages them, what they fear, and even just making sure you know why your child resists some aspect of reading. One of the author's children was resisting reading alternate pages out loud with their parent and the concerned parent was surprised when the child sighed heavily and said "I hate reading out loud. I have to go so slow." Not what you'd expect unless you know your child is an excited reader who is looking forward to getting to the next page! I found this book has some good advice, some great booklists, and in general I think it would be either a solid purchase for parents of young children or a book you could check out of the library for strategizing about flagging interest in your middle grader or high schooler. I received an Advanced Review Copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Andee

    Thank you, NetGalley, for the ARC. To me, How To Raise a Reader is common sense. After all, I'm a reader, I'm surrounded by readers, I have kids, and I'm a librarian. However, I know that doesn't apply to most people, and for them, this book would be beneficial. Paul and Russo cover the ages when it comes to reading. I, too, believe the importance of reading words to the tiniest of infants. My go-to baby shower gifts are a selection of my favorite board books. I can see including this Thank you, NetGalley, for the ARC. To me, How To Raise a Reader is common sense. After all, I'm a reader, I'm surrounded by readers, I have kids, and I'm a librarian. However, I know that doesn't apply to most people, and for them, this book would be beneficial. Paul and Russo cover the ages when it comes to reading. I, too, believe the importance of reading words to the tiniest of infants. My go-to baby shower gifts are a selection of my favorite board books. I can see including this book with my future gift baskets. What made me give this three stars is the specific audience to which the book is directed. This is for middle class, educated parents/guardians. My school demographic is low income and high English Language Learning. I would love a book to be written for the parents who aren't home at night because they each work multiple jobs to pay the rent. I'd love advice on the importance of reading for the parents who never became readers themselves. I'd love a bigger focus on library visits as most of our families cannot afford to buy luxuries like books. I don't feel How to Raise a Reader applies to this population. I do appreciate the suggestions listed in the book. Of course, these will be come dated fairly quickly. Maybe a link to a website where continuous suggestions posted would be helpful.

  8. 4 out of 5

    vanessa

    A great resource primarily for parents who want to raise readers, but also a great resource for librarians, teachers, and other professionals that come in contact with children. It is divided into four main parts: raising a baby and toddler reader (board books & picture books) then an emerging/independent reader (early readers & chapter books), then the middle grade reader, and finally the YA reader. The final section has book lists based on appeal and genre for the different age groups. A great resource primarily for parents who want to raise readers, but also a great resource for librarians, teachers, and other professionals that come in contact with children. It is divided into four main parts: raising a baby and toddler reader (board books & picture books) then an emerging/independent reader (early readers & chapter books), then the middle grade reader, and finally the YA reader. The final section has book lists based on appeal and genre for the different age groups. Great book lists - many I wholeheartedly agreed with and of course I have lots of new books I want to try out now too. It's breezy and has a bullet point feel so you can skim and return to the sections later. Best of all: the writers know kids books.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Genevieve Trono

    Wow, what a treasure! How to Raise A Reader stood out to me as the parent of a middle-grade reader and a new reader in Kindergarten. This book is divided into sections from babies to teenagers. The advice is approachable and relatable and I loved that it was coupled with specific book suggestions and also some types you might want to avoid. How to Raise A Reader would be a great refresher for someone who has been a lifelong reader or really helpful advice for someone who is hoping to incorporate Wow, what a treasure! How to Raise A Reader stood out to me as the parent of a middle-grade reader and a new reader in Kindergarten. This book is divided into sections from babies to teenagers. The advice is approachable and relatable and I loved that it was coupled with specific book suggestions and also some types you might want to avoid. How to Raise A Reader would be a great refresher for someone who has been a lifelong reader or really helpful advice for someone who is hoping to incorporate regular reading into their families lives for the first time. The directory at the end of the book gave wonderful suggestions by not only genre and age groups but also by important messages such as kindness and empathy. Sometimes the number of books that are available to us as parents can feel overwhelming so having a list of suggestions about different topics was a wonderful addition to this book. Thank you to NetGalley and Workman Publishing Company for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Michele Karpinske

    Full of good suggestions & book recommendations!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Darla

    I am a Children's Librarian and I found this to be full of practical tips on turning children into lifetime readers. Tips are organized by age and the book has an almost conversational style -- like chatting at a playgroup. Includes colorful illustrations and well-organized recommendations. They mentioned many of my favorites and gave me some ideas for my next school visit. The librarian in me was cheering as they mentioned the many benefits of having a library card and visiting your local libra I am a Children's Librarian and I found this to be full of practical tips on turning children into lifetime readers. Tips are organized by age and the book has an almost conversational style -- like chatting at a playgroup. Includes colorful illustrations and well-organized recommendations. They mentioned many of my favorites and gave me some ideas for my next school visit. The librarian in me was cheering as they mentioned the many benefits of having a library card and visiting your local library. The mom in me looked back on raising my own children and saw some strategies that had worked as the book promised. Finally, the reader in me has a whole list of books to add to my TBR list. Joy! Thank you to Workman Publishing and NetGalley for a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jenna Iden

    I received an ARC from NetGalley (thanks, NetGalley!) and was tickled to find I liked this book as much as I did. This feels like the parent companion to voices in education like Donalyn Miller and Penny Kittle. It talks more about prolonging readaloud snuggle time into elementary school than an aggressive dream of high test scores in teenagedom. I agree with other reviews that it would make a darn perfect baby shower present. The book is divided into parts, tackling babyhood, toddler I received an ARC from NetGalley (thanks, NetGalley!) and was tickled to find I liked this book as much as I did. This feels like the parent companion to voices in education like Donalyn Miller and Penny Kittle. It talks more about prolonging readaloud snuggle time into elementary school than an aggressive dream of high test scores in teenagedom. I agree with other reviews that it would make a darn perfect baby shower present. The book is divided into parts, tackling babyhood, toddlerdom, early readers, middle grade childhood, and teenage years separately. Each part has a summary of what reading looks like at that age, some tips and caveats, and then a list of recommended books. I was charmed to see the books included were a mix of current and classic, and always kept representation in mind. The authors are clearly writing for a bookish audience, with ever-so-occasional nods to classic literature ("It is a truth universally acknowledged that a child in possession of the ability to read must be in want of a series") that prompt delight more often than eye-rolls. As a middle school teacher, this is a book I know I'll recommend to parents when they bemoan their child is not the reader they had hoped. It is not a fix-it plan, but it does provide guidance. Make time. Strive for intrinsic motivation. Show your reading. Let books be available, without being forced. Accept topics and genres you don't think are "good enough." I plan to buy a copy to put outside my door during parent conferences.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    I highly recommend this book that is both a how-to guide to ensure a lifetime love of reading and a compilation of age-appropriate recommendations. I worried that with a nine- and 12-year-old, I found this too late, yet, while I would’ve liked to read it 12 years ago, it is timely for parents of kids of all ages through high school.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Reading is magic. Raising readers is DOUBLE MAGIC. I loved this book. It’s so important to read to and with your children. I’m all for another wonderful resource to spread this notion. This book is jam-packed with tips, reading resources, and empowering literacy based knowledge for the entire family. There are even book suggestions for each age group. If you are looking for a book to foster and cultivate your love of reading, this book is for you. Thanks to NetGalley for an advance readers copy Reading is magic. Raising readers is DOUBLE MAGIC. I loved this book. It’s so important to read to and with your children. I’m all for another wonderful resource to spread this notion. This book is jam-packed with tips, reading resources, and empowering literacy based knowledge for the entire family. There are even book suggestions for each age group. If you are looking for a book to foster and cultivate your love of reading, this book is for you. Thanks to NetGalley for an advance readers copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    This is a great book full of practical tips to foster reading and love of books in children. It includes lists of suggested books for different age groups. The clean layout is accented with lovely color illustrations, which show readers of many skin tones. I received an ARC. The book will be released on September 3, 2019.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ann Singer-Clark

    I hope to raise my boys to love to devour and read books as I do. The book recommendations were my favorite part. Recommendations are divided by age and genre.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Arpita Shrivastava

    This is an inspiring and motivating book written by Pamela Paul and Maria Russo. They both are mothers of three kids and experts about children's books. I think this book is a must-have for all parents who want to raise readers. In fact, as an adult, even I felt so motivated after reading this book. Both the authors have done a great job in writing this book. They have talked about each stage (from a newborn to a teenager) and have mentioned so many tips and tricks so that we can encourage our k This is an inspiring and motivating book written by Pamela Paul and Maria Russo. They both are mothers of three kids and experts about children's books. I think this book is a must-have for all parents who want to raise readers. In fact, as an adult, even I felt so motivated after reading this book. Both the authors have done a great job in writing this book. They have talked about each stage (from a newborn to a teenager) and have mentioned so many tips and tricks so that we can encourage our kids at every stage. I think some of the tips and tricks can also be used by us adults for the matter of fact. They have also given the book recommendation for every stage. This book is a gem and with all this information, the most important thing suggested by them is to have patience at a stage when your child is struggling to become a reader or is having some other issues just support him or her. This is all they need. The writing is quite promising and reading this book is a delight. For instance, at the beginning of this book, the author writes about how reading a wonderful book is like a therapy. Even if you are stressed or the day is challenging for you, a good book can make you feel lifted up. On days when we are fully exhausted, we can just sit with our kids and start reading a book and the world is a different place altogether. All in all a great book to read. Thank you netgalley and Workman Publishing Company for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    Wonderful literacy resource for parents addressing the various reading stages in a child’s life with book lists that are balanced with new and old favorites. It’s also a useful book for librarians as it offers a perspective regarding growing readers from birth to adulthood and offers considerations on topics books address that parents may be fearful about. I’m definitely purchasing this book!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Andrienne

    For those who need a little push on why reading is a great idea, this book has it all! It offers reading lists, eye-catching book covers and again, lots of compelling reasons why reading is important in life. Thanks to the publisher for the advance copy.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Paige Dan

    As a new mom and as a librarian this book is full of practical advice for raising readers. Paul and Russo are current and conversational. I’d recommend this book to anyone invested in leading the children in their lives- from infancy to teens- to love the magic of books.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kacie

    As a mom of 3 kids and someone who enjoys books about books, I knew I wanted to request to review "How to Raise a Reader" by Pamela Paul and Maria Russo on Netgalley. Paul and Russo are editors of The New York Times Book Review. This book has good ideas for encouraging exactly what the title says and is organized by general age range from baby through young adult. Each section has a discussion on developmental stages with regard to reading and a short selection (30 or so) of book idea As a mom of 3 kids and someone who enjoys books about books, I knew I wanted to request to review "How to Raise a Reader" by Pamela Paul and Maria Russo on Netgalley. Paul and Russo are editors of The New York Times Book Review. This book has good ideas for encouraging exactly what the title says and is organized by general age range from baby through young adult. Each section has a discussion on developmental stages with regard to reading and a short selection (30 or so) of book ideas. At the end of the book, we have even more recommendations: something like 50 pages, grouped by broad theme: Tear-jerkers, funny books, heart warmers, kindness and empathy, self-acceptance and identity, history and biography, science and nature, historical fiction, etc. Titles are some enduring classics in children's lit and current titles. We get title, author, and a few lines of summary. At the beginning of part five, the authors state the following book lists are highly personal to them. The authors emphasize the importance of readers seeing themselves in books, and also reading books about people very different from them. We get a few titles in that vein, but I would have appreciated many more. If you read it, don't skip the sections for ages younger than your children are now. There's timeless advice within regarding book ownership and library, etc. I was bummed that there wasn't a bibliography at the back of my review copy. It appears everything is from the author's experience. They DO have good experience, but adding cited research could have taken this book to the next level. Jim Trelease's The Read-Aloud handbook continues to be my favorite go-to for the how and why. But where Trelease's book falls short (basically, middle grade and early YA is where his book stops), How to Raise a Reader offers more discussion for young adult books and teen readers. When I was an older teen in the late 1990s and early 2000s, I lost my way when it came to books. There weren't many good resources out there at the time for finding books, and the genre itself was much smaller. I would have appreciated a book such as this to help me find titles I'd enjoy (or, I'd appreciate my parents having this book so to help me). Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me a digital review copy. Book published on Sept. 3, 2019.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Brittany

    There wasn’t anything earth-shattering here, but I think that is kind of the point. You want to raise a reader? Provide your kids with access to books starting at a young age and let them choose what they want to read. It’s that simple, folks. I liked how the authors divided this into sections by age and provided tips for each stage. I’m always weary, though, of books that provide so many book lists because in a year’s time it will already be dated. This would make a great baby shower gift.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Roy Kenagy

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. FRANKLIN 649.58 P :: EXAMINED 10/22/2019 READ1 for ideas about Lille Great parenting advice, lots of book recommendations. Not scholarly.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kelsey Maloof

    Absolutely loved the vision and philosophy behind raising readers and creating a literacy-loving environment for children! Practical tips throughout for every age. Didn’t love some of the book recommendations - feel like they could’ve chosen SO many other great books, but still helpful to have!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Stacy Wittenberg

    Some good nuggets of info here, but very similar to other read aloud books (Jim Trelease's, Sara Mackenzie's).... Nothing too new. A nice resource section at the end with recommendations.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Melody Riggs

    I liked this book, but I wouldn’t say much about it was new information for me (but I’m also an elementary media specialist/librarian). However, I think this is a good “keep on the shelf” book to refer fro when your kiddos are stuck. It’s also going to be my new go-to book for new parents.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Tarr

    I love this book! This is a wonderful, concise, easy-to-read guide for any parent or caregiver interested in fostering a life-long love of reading in a child. I liked the format - chapters based on age/reading level with a few suggested titles/authors/series. Each chapter offered easy to understand basics about the role reading plays at different developmental levels, how a caregiver can support and encourage reading, and even suggested language changes or behaviors that will send positive signa I love this book! This is a wonderful, concise, easy-to-read guide for any parent or caregiver interested in fostering a life-long love of reading in a child. I liked the format - chapters based on age/reading level with a few suggested titles/authors/series. Each chapter offered easy to understand basics about the role reading plays at different developmental levels, how a caregiver can support and encourage reading, and even suggested language changes or behaviors that will send positive signals to a child. The book is also strongly in favor of child-led development and choice; from not worrying too much about a child who isn't ready to read yet, to encouraging free choice in reading materials (while, of course, also "happening" to leave a few favorites around the house that a child might "find"). This book is a wonderful resource for anyone who wants to...well, raise a reader, but isn't sure exactly how to start. A great baby shower gift - with a few books, of course!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lucy

    The tips are mostly obvious, but the recommended reading lists are fun to check out & brought some new titles to my attention.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Alycia Canfield

    It states nothing that a good parent doesn't do anyways. So to me it was pointless and waste of paper.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lynndell

    Spread the joy of reading! Thanks to NetGalley and Workman Publishing for the opportunity to read and review How to Raise a Reader by Pamela Paul and Maria Russo! The book opens with explanations of reading’s importance and the reading experiences of both authors. I appreciate this statement from this section of the book: “School is where children learn that they have to read. Home is where kids learn to read because they want to.” That quote sums it all up perfectly! As a parent and a Spread the joy of reading! Thanks to NetGalley and Workman Publishing for the opportunity to read and review How to Raise a Reader by Pamela Paul and Maria Russo! The book opens with explanations of reading’s importance and the reading experiences of both authors. I appreciate this statement from this section of the book: “School is where children learn that they have to read. Home is where kids learn to read because they want to.” That quote sums it all up perfectly! As a parent and a teacher, I have personally experienced both school and home influences on reading. The book is broken up into parts. Part One: Born to Read includes book suggestions to the years of babyhood through toddlerhood and breaks down what babies can handle by stages and ages. Developing rituals around reading is a great way to guarantee reading takes place every day, like reading at bedtime. It’s a wonderful step when a toddler becomes a reader as he or she looks through books independently and starts telling the story on their own. A reminder of what libraries are great for for when our kids are little and not so little. Here’s an eye-opening statement that will be important to remember: ...the statistic most highly correlated to literacy is the number of books present in the home. Part Two: Growing a Reader discusses the emerging reader and independent reader. Part Three: Your Middle-Grade Reader discusses “novels for children”. The following statement is a reminder of why we read, “...to escape, to uncover, to challenge ourselves, to be swept away by a compelling voice, to find companionship with characters we connect with, to travel the world from the safe distance of a living room armchair.” Thanks to J. K. Rowling for ushering us into communal reading by building excitement, anticipation and all the aspects of her Harry Potter stories that give readers topics of discussion. Part Four: A Reader for Life: Teenagers states the fact that young adult literature is a category that didn’t even exist a few decades ago. When I was a teenager, reading choices were much more limited than they are now. Reading options can be overwhelming now because we have so much choice and variety in genres. Part Five: More Books to Love by theme and reading level explores books that are humorous, tear inducing, heartwarming, family stories, full of courage, kind and empathetic, good for identifying and accepting yourself, have awesome male characters and great female characters, are historical and biographical, dealing with science and nature, and historical fiction. Fantastic book for adults wanting to foster a love of reading in their younger counterparts, 5 stars!

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