WXXI AM News

Connections: Can American High School Students Learn To Fall In Love With Great Books?

Sep 19, 2016

David Denby is a writer and a lover of classic literature who wanted to know if modern students could be taught to love and value great books. Maybe it's a question that's been around for centuries: How can we make kids love books? But it's more challenging, seemingly intractable now. Kids read texts. They rarely read books.

Denby set out to know whether it's possible to bring the classics into the hearts and minds of students in Manhattan, and Westchester, and an impoverished district in Connecticut. He found inspiring teachers, and he found students slowly unlocking the mysteries in books like The Scarlet Letter. He's our guest for the hour, discussing his book, Lit Up, with a focus on how to preserve literature in the digital age.