Posted in The 12 Books of Christmas Break

12 Books of Christmas Break: The Book Whisperer

“Now, I accept that I may never arrive at teaching paradise, but as long as I hold on to my love of books and show my students what it really means to live as a reader, I’ll be a lot closer than I was.” – The Book Whisperer, pg. 18

I’ve read this book before, at least a couple times (I believe I’ve been saying 4 recently, but I have no real data to back that up). However, all this talk of new curriculum had me very quickly re-reading it, looking to remind myself of the keys she teaches.


Title: The Book Whisperer
Author: Donalyn Miller
Genre: Nonfiction (it’s a teacher book)
Erin’s teaser synopsis: While many teachers will say that students have changed drastically over the past few years, I’ll say that the biggest change that I’ve noticed in K-12 is the reluctance to read. Donalyn Miller wrote a book about her uncanny ability to turn any of her students into a reader with choice, high-interest novels, and independence.
Why I relate to it: I’m a teacher who loves to read and write, teaching kids who love me – but not necessarily my subject. Obviously, this is a book that speaks to me.
Judgement call:  While there are valuable insights to it…I feel that many people rave about it like it’s the end-all-be-all of getting kiddos to read. It’s not. It’s a great way to help you rethink teaching a whole class novel or make you feel like literature circles are possible (and maybe they are!) but it’s not some miracle that’s going to help your suspiciously-absent-from-her-list category of “Refusing Readers” suddenly race each other to the library. So yes, read it, but don’t expect miracles – and don’t be surprised if you already do 90% of what’s mentioned if you’re truly a good teacher.

I personally have never purchased it, preferring to check it out from the public library. However, you can also find it at Amazon (of course) if I already have it checked out.



We seek to learn, and when academics do not present the answers, we look inside our own beautiful imaginations for the key.

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