Recreational Reading Class A Success At Los Alamos Middle School

LAMS librarian and teacher Angie Manfredi is helping students maintain and rediscover pleasure in reading. Photo Courtesy LAPS


Recreational reading is an elective at Los  Alamos Middle School focused on helping middle school students maintain and rediscover pleasure in reading. There are no quizzes, reports, or “levels” in the class, which is focused entirely on student choice.  

“Research tells us that if we want to make students lifelong readers, we need to give them reading choice,” says LAMS librarian Angie Manfredi, who also teaches recreational reading this year. “Recreational reading centers on empowering students to take control of their reading lives.”  

When one of her students was looking for a new series full of action, adventure, and dragons Manfredi knew just what to recommend. Seventh grader Alexander Sandborgh couldn’t  stop reading Alex London’s Battle Dragons series once he got hooked on the series in the very  first week in recreational reading. He loved it so much he started telling all his classmates about  it. To encourage Alex, and thank him for being an outstanding model of the benefits of class, Ms.  Manfredi reached out to author Alex London. She thanked him for his books and told him about  Alex’s passion. Mr. London was thrilled to hear from a new fan and sent Alex a special surprise  thank you gift: a set of the entire series signed (and a little extra snack to eat while reading.)  London also included a signed copy of the third book to be added to the school library and  bookmarks for the whole class. 

It was a day of celebration for not just Sandborgh but the entire class — and for the work of  building a culture of reading joy at the middle school. 

Find out more info about Battle Dragons at 

Find out more about the benefits of independent reading choice: key-to-turning-students-into-readers