The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child
March 2009, Jossey-Bass
Foreword, by Jeff Anderson, author and literacy staff developer ix
CHAPTER 1 There and Back Again 7
CHAPTER 2 Everybody Is a Reader 19
Whisper STUDENT SURVEYS 39
CHAPTER 3 There’s a Time and a Place 47
CHAPTER 4 Reading Freedom 69
Whisper READER’S NOTEBOOKS 99
CHAPTER 5 Walking the Walk 103
CHAPTER 6 Cutting the Teacher Strings 119
Whisper END-OF-YEAR EVALUATIONS 153
CHAPTER 7 Letting Go 159
Afterword, by Ron D. Myers, principal 179
Appendix A: The Care and Feeding of a Classroom Library 183
Appendix B: Ultimate Library List 193
Appendix C: Student Forms 201
About the Author 228
About the Sponsor 228
- High Profile Author: Donalyn Miller’s ongoing blog for teachermagazine.org is among the most visited and talked about internet teacher sites in the country. Her wisdom and advice are valued by teachers everywhere.
Market Demand: Teachers and preservice students are in acute need of guidance on how best to prepare students for high-stakes reading exams without resorting to ‘drill and kill’ instructional approaches.
Inspirational and Practical: Author offers renewed hope for both teachers and parents about the turnaround potential of failing readers. Author’s unconventional instructional approach lets students read books of their own choice. Book is packed with practical suggestions and includes list of recommended ‘kid lit’ that will help parents as well as teachers find books that students really like to read.
"Mrs. Miller's message was powerful, yet simple. She reminded educators of the simplest way to foster a love for reading: let students read for fun without asking for a book report when they are done." (The Examiner, November 4, 2009)
"Miller's new book, The Book Whisperer, is a breath of fresh air in this era of teacher-dominated reading test preparation lessons. She sets forth both an argument and evidence for immersing kids in reading as the alternative to the often mindless reading lessons offered in hopes of improving test scores. She writes about her own 6th grade classroom where students are expected to read at least 40 books each year, and her stories will convince you that it is time to focus on teaching children rather than teaching books or stories. She will convince you that it is time to stop assigning book reports, whole class novels, vocabulary lists, quizzes, and worksheets and, instead, give students the opportunity to choose what they will read (within limits). She will also persuade you to allocate the school time actually needed to read 40 books in a given year. This is a powerful and practical book, one that will support you as you change your classroom for the better while helping you understand how to overcome current classroom cultures where some children learn and many learn to hate reading." --Richard L Allington, Ph.D., University of Tennessee
"Donalyn Miller’s practical ideas about children and books are sound. In an age of test-driven curriculum, reading this book will remind teachers, administrators and parents why giving reading back to the students is the right thing to do.”--Dr. Carol D. Wickstrom, Associate Professor of Reading, University of North Texas
“This book reminds anyone--who is lucky enough to have loved a book--what classrooms and kids have lost in our frenzy to 'cover'content and standardize student performance in the name of reading. This is a primer of the heart on how to make reading magical again.”--Carol Ann Tomlinson, William Clay Parrish, Jr. Professor of Education, University of Virginia
"In The Book Whisperer, Donalyn Miller deftly describes the inherent need children have to engage with books, intellectually and emotionally. The book is a timely and rare gift for teachers."--Ellin Oliver Keene, Author/Consultant
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