The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child / Edition 1

Overview

Donalyn Miller is a dedicated teacher who says she has yet to meet a child she couldn't turn into a reader. In The Book Whisperer, Miller takes us inside her 6th grade classroom to reveal the secrets of her powerful but unusual instructional approach. Rejecting book reports, comprehension worksheets, and other aspects of conventional instruction, Miller embraces giving students an individual choice in what they read combined with a program for independent reading. She also focuses on building a classroom library of high-interest books, and above all in modeling appropriate and authentic reading behaviors. Her zeal for reading is infectious and inspiring, and the results speak for themselves. No matter how far behind Miller's students may be when they start out, they end up reading an average of 40 books per year, achieve high scores on standardized tests, and internalize a love for reading that lasts long after they've left her class.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

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

From the Publisher
"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." —-Library Journal Starred Review
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2580470372275
  • Manufacturer: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/16/2009
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.60 (d)
  • These items ship to U.S. address only. No APO/FPO.

Meet 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).

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Table of Contents

Foreword 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 216

Acknowledgments 225

About the Author 228

About the Sponsor 228

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 46 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(30)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(0)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 46 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 11, 2009

    Great insights on building readers!

    I love the strategy this teacher created. She rejects the traditional rote way of teaching reading/writing and inspires readers who will build self-esteem and be successful academically. She describes how she arrived at this strategy and offers practical examples to help teachers build a classroom to reach students in this way.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 26, 2011

    A Must Read for Every Reading/ELAR Teacher

    I am usually frustrated with most books pertaining to my profession because they are not realistic. The authors seem to write books for a "Leave it to Beaver" classroom. In today's classroom we encounter children from very diverse households which mean we have to be diverse in our method of delivering information. This book is an inspiration to educators to open their minds and allow children to become active participants in their quest to become lifelong learners and readers. I love this book. It is a must read!!!!!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 27, 2010

    Teach kids to love reading

    This is the best book I have ever read about teaching reading to kids. I have followed many of the suggestions in the book and my students are learning so much!
    I have been teaching for24 years and because of this book, I am the best reading teacher I have ever been!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2010

    A Must Read

    This book is a must read for everyone that has anything to do with education. The points that are brought up are right on - kids need to have the time and freedom to read what they would like to choose. While A.R. is a good program, I get frustrated by the limitations it puts on students and the books that they are "allowed" to read. If students and teachers stick to these guidelines, then they are missing out on some wonderful stories. There are creative ways, and Ms. Miller shares some, to ensure that students are able to comprehend what they are reading. I have shared this book and the ideas with many educators at our school, and at the district level. I thank you so much for sharing your love of reading with your students and all of us.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    The best book about reading instruction I've read!

    I picked up this book as part of my summer reading...you know, that list of books you want to read but never have the time to during the school year?! Once I started reading it I had a hard time putting it down! After many years of teaching elementary special education I was transferred to a primary regular education classroom this past year. I had inhereited what at best could be considered a "pitiful" classroom library. I offered those books to students but just couldn't bring myself to mandating that they choose books for a required "book in a bag" book each night. However, as the year progressed I found that my students seemed to get the most interested in their classroom activities during read alouds and their independent reading time each day despoite our classroom library. They brought books from home or actually read the books they got each week from our school library. They wouldn't complain if we missed a math lesson, a science lesson or a social studies lessons but I always heard about it if we missed independent reading. In some ways I felt guilty about not following the curriculum expectations. However, I always felt better when parents would let me know how much more reading their student was reading at home as a result of what we were doing in the classroom or when I saw them start to trade books amongst themselves.

    My only rservsation about recommending this book is the fact that it references upper elementary/middle school books and readers. I wish there had been some references in the back of the book for suggestions how to implement a similiar philosophy/style in a primary setting.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 3, 2012

    Great book. I wish Ms. Miller could teach my kids. She has fig

    Great book. I wish Ms. Miller could teach my kids. She has figured out how to differentiate and accommodate every kid in her class, something administrators in our district claim is impossible. Only complaint: I bought this as a Nook book and wasn't able to read the student's handwritten papers that are included as exhibits.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 15, 2011

    Promote daily reading in school! The Book Whisperer is a must for all teachers!

    Donalyn Miller is an advocate for middle schoolers so that they get reading time everyday. I loved the example of her class taking their books with them when they waited on line for school pictures to be taken. Why not! This book has refreshed my new year in our Montessori Library. We already were reading for fun, but now I'm going to track the increase in test scores that I bet has been happening in our school, because kids are over the moon excited about choosing a book each week in our library.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2014

    I'm Allison, an OSU Comp Student in my spring semester of 2014.

    I'm Allison, an OSU Comp Student in my spring semester of 2014. The Book Whisperer is a must read for any teacher whether elementary, high school, or even college professor. In this book Donalyn Miller expresses the importance of reading and the effects it has on children. It shows how just by letting children spend more time reading in class, they can and most likely will improve in all areas of academics. Donalyn Miller experiments with this new method of teaching and finds that children learn to love reading and also score just as high on standardized testing as other students without the stressful prep work that other teachers force onto their students. In this book Miller describes how she arrived at this strategy and offers examples and proof to help teachers construct their classrooms to reach students in this way. While I am not yet a teacher, by reading this book I got all the insight I needed to know the way I will teach my classroom. This book is by far the easiest to understand and most helpful book I have found that pertains to my profession. I recommend this book to all teachers or even parents interested in their children’s academics.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2014

    Wished she had provided more concrete examples of "how to.&

    Wished she had provided more concrete examples of "how to." I understand the why. I need more specifics on the "how to." Wished it was written more like Nancy Atwell.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    After an interim teaching reading from the textbook, this book h

    After an interim teaching reading from the textbook, this book has shown me the type of reading teacher I want to be. Practical and encouraging.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2012

    Excellent

    I loved this book. It gave me a lot of great ideams and a whole new way of thinking.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2012

    Truly inspiring and definitely a MUST read for teachers!

    Awesome book for anyone who believes in the importance of reading!

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  • Posted August 9, 2011

    Highly recommended - It changed my perspective on teaching reading.

    I really enjoy reading this book. I teach 4th grade and implemented many of the ideas in this book in my class. I want to foster reading for pure enjoyment.

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  • Posted July 14, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2011

    Great book

    I teach 6-8th grade English. This is a must read! She has terrific ideas that are practical and easily implemented in the classroom.

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  • Posted December 9, 2010

    Incredible!

    This reassures me that what I have been doing for so many years is exactly what is best to create lifelong readers!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 24, 2010

    Book Whisperer

    Wow! This is a must read for all teachers, especially those teaching English and Communication Arts at the secondary level. It reads easily and quickly, but has so many wonderful ideas for helping students enjoy reading. It reaffirms my beliefs in students having choice in what they read, and that they have time to read independently. The focus is on real life reading, not just reading for school, developing life long readers. It is a tremendous book that would be a great book study for communities of learners.

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  • Posted April 10, 2010

    I'm onboard

    Another parent recommended this book to me. I didn't expect too much of it, but I was hooked almost immediately. As a former fifth grade teacher and a mother of four, I found the author's experiences all too familiar. I wish every teacher would read this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2009

    Great Insight on Independent Reading Instruction

    I simply loved every word of this book! I can't wait to restructure my reading curriculum to support independent reading because it truly is the most beneficial form of reading.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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