Essayist & Children's Book Critic






The Enchanted Hour

Imagine an elixir so strong that a daily dose makes your family smarter, happier, healthier, more successful, and more closely attached.  Now imagine that you can have it without spending a dime. 

It all starts with a story, a voice, and a place to sit . . .

From a beloved Wall Street Journal columnist comes a book that will transform your understanding of reading aloud. Grounded in the latest brain science and behavioral research, and drawing widely from life and literature, The Enchanted Hour reveals the stunning advantages that await people of every age and background when they partake of this ancient practice.

Meghan Cox Gurdon shows how reading out loud offers a refreshing, fast-working antidote to the fractured attention spans, atomized families, and unfulfilling distractions of the tech era. From a thrilling look at what happens in a toddler’s brain when a grownup reads a story, to the way shared books are keeping far-flung military families connected; from the imaginative transport of classic novels, to the rejuvenating late-life consolations of the spoken word: the evidence is clear and the benefits irrefutable.

Taking us into hospitals, homes, bookstores, and schools, Gurdon blends cutting-edge science with funny, touching stories of real families -- including her own -- in a compelling testament to the power of what Charles Dickens called the “spoken syllable.” 

Lively and authoritative, with practical tips and reading recommendations, The Enchanted Hour will inspire readers to share this invaluable, life-altering tradition with the people they love most—and perhaps rediscover an enchanted slice of their own childhoods in the process.




Heed this delightful book’s wise advice..
— James Patterson, International Bestselling Author
— Mem Fox, author of Reading Magic
Much needed wisdom…
— Rosemary Wells, author of the Max & Ruby series
Enthralled and devastated me in equal measure…
— Sara Ivens, author of Forest Therapy



Photo: Michael Kress

Photo: Michael Kress

MEGHAN COX GURDON is an essayist, book critic, and former foreign correspondent who has been the Wall Street Journal’s children’s book reviewer since  2005. Her work has appeared widely, in publications such as the Washington Examiner, the Daily Telegraph, the Christian Science Monitor, the Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, and National Review. A graduate of Bowdoin College, she lives in Bethesda, Maryland, with her husband, Hugo Gurdon, and their five children.



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Speaking Agent:
Lauren Carnali
HarperCollins Speakers Bureau

Kate D’Esmond

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