The authors reveal children as growing, effective, sensitive users of language. Before any formal schooling, they have already had much experience with language—opportunities to compare, contrast, and use it in a wide variety of settings. Children are adaptive, and are aware of the contextual subtleties of language; the written and spoken evidence of children's encounters with language is the basis of the research. This evidence tells stories—language stories, from which lessons about the nature of literacy may be drawn.
While this is not a methods text in a traditional sense, it is essential reading for those wishing to update their understanding of what is known about written language and written language learning. (Teachers and graduate students in reading, writing, and language arts may wish to use this book in conjunction with The Authoring Cycle videotape series.)