- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (March 16, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0470372273
- ISBN-13: 978-0470372272
- Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 0.7 x 9.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 486 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,447 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child 1st Edition
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Because she couldn’t find a book that showed her how to use her own love of books to imbue her elementary students with the same love, Miller, Teacher Magazine blogger, decided to write her own. She recalls her personal journey as a teacher and the surprise and disappointment of learning that book loving cannot be automatically passed on to students. No more having the whole class read the same novel. She gave her students questionnaires to determine their interests and personally selected stacks of books of possible interest to them, then allowed them to read independently—at least 40 books a school year. She recounts the experience of some students struggling and others exhilarated by the freedom to read. Miller’s tactics resulted in improvement in her students’ vocabulary, comprehension, and writing. She also saw students respect book suggestions that came from a reader’s passion rather than a teacher’s agenda. Miller includes reading lists, activities, questionnaires, and other resources. Although aimed at teachers, this book will also definitely appeal to parents interested in encouraging their children to read. --Vanessa Bush
[Starred review] Miller, a sixth-grade language arts and social studies teacher and blogger, has enabled students of many different backgrounds to enjoy reading and to be good at it; her students regularly score high on the Texas standardized tests. Her approach is simple yet provocative: affirm the reader in every student, allow students to choose their own books, carve out extra reading time, model authentic reading behaviors, discard timeworn reading assignments such as book reports and comprehension worksheets, and develop a classroom library filled with high-interest books. Her students regularly read more than 40 books in a school year and leave her classroom with an appreciation and love of books and reading. Miller provides many tips for teachers and parents and includes a useful list of ultimate reading suggestions picked by her students. This outstanding contribution to the literature is highly recommended for teachers, parents, and others serving young students.—Mark Bay, Univ. of the Cumberlands Lib., Williamsburg, KY (Library Journal, March 15, 2009)
Top customer reviews
Miller's book inspired me to create a library in my computer lab. So from now on, my photography will spend 20+ minutes twice a day for DEAR time. I am confident that their photography will still improve with those reduced minutes, but developing a love for reading will yield a lifetime of adventures and discoveries.
Thank you, Donalyn and my students will thank you.
This book was everything I was hoping for and more. This is the book I wish I was around when I first started teaching. It is no secret that I love reading and have loved reading for as far back as I can remember. One of the reasons I became a teacher was because I wanted to share my love reading with kids and instill that same love of reading within them. Even though I think I've done a decent job of sharing that with my students over the years with various things that I've implemented in my classroom, I loved that this book gave me practical ideas that would be easy to introduce in my classroom right away.
The hardest thing about being a teacher nowadays is the pressure to perform on tests. It's all about the test scores and subsequently, what we know to be "good teaching" goes by the wayside because there really isn't any time to do it. About a year ago, I was almost at the end of the year and realized that I just did not like teaching reading anymore. I dreaded that part of the day because it was so dull to me. It was all about reading passages and answering test questions. No wonder they were bored, I WAS BORED! My grade-level and I had a deep discussion about it and we decided we need to do read-alouds again, not because we wanted to teach some standard or whatever, but just to enjoy the act of reading and sharing a story together. Go figure.
I devoured this book in one evening and then promptly raved all about it on my facebook to share with my fellow colleagues and teacher friends. I feel like it started a little "Book Whisperer" revolution amongst my closest teacher friends and several of them bought, read and also implemented ideas from the book as well. My grade-level team also read the book and we started off this school year with a mutual enthusiasm to create lifelong readers in our students.
My students plowed through the book tubs full of books from my classroom library on the first day of school. We all read together and it started my year on the right foot with reading at the core of my mornings. They are currently deeply into their 40 book challenge this year (and beating my measly 8 books) and on fire with the number of books they are reading. We have book commercials on Fridays and I love seeing how many of them are reading books that their peers have recommended. Even though sometimes I curse myself for doing them because they take up a lot of time each evening, my students and I converse once a week with letters that we write back and forth to each other in their reader's notebooks. I really know my students as readers. They come to me asking for recommendations and it delights my heart when they dig through my classroom library each day looking for their next favorite book.
Thank you, Donalyn Miller, for helping me to create the classroom of readers that I always dreamed of.
It was an fantastic read and I highly recommend it to teachers who love reading and want to create a classroom of lifelong readers. While it shared some theory and education philosophies, it definitely provided a lot of practical tips and ideas that were easy to implement into my classroom. The way Miller writes makes you feel like you're having coffee with an old friend. Her love of reading pours out of this book and it is so contagious, you can help but catch it and want to pass it on. Get this book now, you won't be disappointed!
Now, after finishing the book in two days, I'm reminded of all the successes and failures of my previous English teachers and lamenting the day that reading became a chore for me. How many times have I said, "I wish I read more, but I just don't have time to read for fun"? What happened to the girl in seventh grade who, along with her posse of bookworms, almost received detention for reading library books on the playground instead of exercising or socializing (we fought back by bringing our own books and walking the playground perimeter as we read in our "book club"). I miss that girl. "The Book Whisperer" made me want to find her again.