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The Book Whisperer
Cover of The Book Whisperer
The Book Whisperer
Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child

Donalyn Miller says she has yet to meet a child she couldn't turn into a reader. No matter how far behind Miller's students might be when they reach her 6th grade classroom, they end up reading an average of 40 to 50 books a year. Miller's unconventional approach dispenses with drills and worksheets that make reading a chore. Instead, she helps students navigate the world of literature and gives them time to read books they pick out themselves. Her love of books and teaching is both infectious and inspiring. The book includes a dynamite list of recommended "kid lit" that helps parents and teachers find the books that students really like to read.

Donalyn Miller says she has yet to meet a child she couldn't turn into a reader. No matter how far behind Miller's students might be when they reach her 6th grade classroom, they end up reading an average of 40 to 50 books a year. Miller's unconventional approach dispenses with drills and worksheets that make reading a chore. Instead, she helps students navigate the world of literature and gives them time to read books they pick out themselves. Her love of books and teaching is both infectious and inspiring. The book includes a dynamite list of recommended "kid lit" that helps parents and teachers find the books that students really like to read.

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About the Author-
  • Donalyn Miller teaches 6th grade language arts and social studies at Trinity Meadows Intermediate School in Keller, Texas. She also writes an ongoing blog for teachermagazine.org. The book is published in partnership with Education Week Press (www.edweek.org).
Table of Contents-
  • Foreword, by Jeff Anderson, author and literacy staff developer ix

    Introduction 1

    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

    References 213

    Index 217

    Acknowledgments 225

    About the Author 228

    About the Sponsor 228

Reviews-
  • Library Journal

    Starred review from March 15, 2009
    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

    Copyright 2009 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Library Journal, March 15, 2009 [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
  • The Examiner, November 4, 2009 "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."
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The Book Whisperer
Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child
Donalyn Miller
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