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The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child

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4.51  ·  Rating Details ·  10,408 Ratings  ·  2,032 Reviews

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 sixth 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 s
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Published February 20th 2012 by Tantor Media (first published January 1st 2009)
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Amy A few on my teaching team have tried the free choice with students whom we know have a support system at home to help them navigate. For those with…moreA few on my teaching team have tried the free choice with students whom we know have a support system at home to help them navigate. For those with less support, we encourage choosing from a range. We have wheeled book racks in the hallway outside of every class that are labeled by Running Record level. We point out where they can choose from & we teach how to choose good fit books, and the three ways to read a book.(less)
Letizia If you look at the cover in the back it says "education". Overall, after reading the book I came to the conclusion it was more like "autobiographical…moreIf you look at the cover in the back it says "education". Overall, after reading the book I came to the conclusion it was more like "autobiographical teacher's diary book." I mean, what I liked about this book compared to other educational books was the way she was communicating her experiencies. I was able to get hooked in the book, her words of wisdom, something I find had from many educational books. Sometimes, tending to be boring or too redundat, unrealistic expectations in the classroom.(less)
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Community Reviews

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Donalyn
Sep 20, 2008 Donalyn rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: out of the box reading teachers
OK, I only added this one to my list, so all of my GoodReads friends could see it!I could not believe that the book was already added to the GoodReads site...

The book will be published in March of 2009. I am currently doing the copy edits and the final tweaks on the production design. Still surreal to think that I wrote an entire book.

I think it is pretty good, but I am a bit biased. My husband teased me saying that it only deserved four stars out of five because he prefers books with action in
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Jody
Mar 02, 2010 Jody rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Almost gave it a five...this woman is my kindred spirit. I love how she talks about how pointless book reports are. Every year, sometime in mid to late September, my students start wondering if we're going to do book reports. Then, we have our parent teacher conferences in early October and the parents ask me about book reports. I'm a little less dramatic with the parents (who are SO relieved to hear the news), but this is what I do for the students. I become silent. I stare at the whole class a ...more
Kate
Mar 01, 2009 Kate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Donalyn Miller gets it. She understands perfectly why many of our kids don't like reading any more, and she has the answer. You'd think Congress would be knocking down her door by now. Let's hope it happens soon.

In the mean time, anyone who considers himself or herself a teacher needs to read THE BOOK WHISPERER. It's a book that gets right to the heart of what makes us readers and how to instill that love of words and stories in our kids. Miller goes right after so-called "tried and true" method
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Andrew
Jul 07, 2010 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book I wish I could rate a couple of different ways. Because in some ways it is a 5 star book, and others it deserves a 2. Let me explain.

First why is it so great? I would highly suggest this for any reading/English teacher in America. There is nothing really complex about this book, but it certainly proposes a culture shift in reading education. The basic premise is that the way we are teaching reading is actually what is destroying the love of reading in America. Americans are readin
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Allison
More than 20 years ago I began reading Lucy Calkins. I think the first book of hers I read was Living Between the Lines. From that moment I knew what I wanted my classroom to look like, to sound like, to be like. I knew I wanted to have a reading workshop & a writing workshop and have great conversations with kids around reading and writing. I didn't know, though, how to actually start this. Then I read Ralph Fletcher's very user-friendly Writing Workshop. That got me started, and Lucy's Uni ...more
مَرْيــــمَةٌ
بسم الله
ينصح به لمن هو مشرف على تدريس تلاميذ الثالثة إلى ما فوق
يرسم طريق القراءة للطلبة او التلاميذ وكيفية إيجاد وقت مستقطع للقراءة حتى تُجعل القراءة هواء كل طالب
كذلك يقدم أساليب التدريس القرائية وكيفية التعامل مع التلاميذ الكارهين للقراءة
والحمد لله رب العالمين
Kate
Oct 05, 2009 Kate rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nf, education
Akin to Nancie Atwell's In the Middle about reading workshop, Miller's book talks about creating a community of readers and encouraging students to read by giving them time in school to read. She points out that her students score well on their standardized tests, and she attributes this to her expectation that each student will read 40 books during their school year. I think she's right.

My only irritation with this book is that, as a school librarian, I find classroom libraries to be a connundr
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Joy
Mar 14, 2010 Joy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: professional
Many years ago, I took a graduate class with the author, Donalyn Miller. The first day, our professor let everyone in the class know we had a reading celebrity in our midst. Many times, this professor would refer to Donalyn for her opinion. At that time, I decided I should probably read her book at some point. I purchased the book and stuck it on my to-read bookshelf. Like Donalyn, I have a mountain for my to-read list. During the school year, I read two things: professional pedagogy and researc ...more
محمود أغيورلي
مقتطفات من كتاب الهامسون بالكتب للكاتبة دونالين ميلر
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ما الذي يجعل الحاجة لتحفيز القرَّاء الصغار وإلهامهم مسألة بهذا القدر من الأهمية؟ لماذا يحتاج المعلمون وأولياء الأمور بشدة إلى معلومات حول كيفية دفع الأطفال إلى القراءة؟ يقع هذا الموضوع في بؤرة الضوء لأن كثيرًا من الأطفال لا يقرءون؛ فهم لا قرءون بالإتقان الكافي، ولا يقرءون بالقدر الكافي، وإذا تحدثت مع الأطفال، فسيخبرونك بأنهم لا يعتبرون القراءة ذات مغزًى في حياتهم
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يجب أن تبدأ تنشئة قرَّاء يواظبون على القرا
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Jennifer Mangler
Sep 10, 2011 Jennifer Mangler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: profdev
The thing I love most about the book is its focus: how to nurture our students to be enthusiastic readers. The stories of the struggles she had to help turn kids onto reading and the examples of things she's tried are incredibly helpful. This book is so practical and so helpful and, most importantly, so HOPEFUL. I really needed that.

I have to say that while I've always known part of my responsibility as a social studies teacher is to help my students learn to read text & images I'd never re
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Colby Sharp
If you a teacher of reading, The Book Whisperer is the most important book you will ever read.
Tatiana
Apr 19, 2012 Tatiana rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: education
“It has been said that teachers teach how they were taught.” ~ P. 13

I think this statement is the crux of my bafflement and let down over The Book Whisperer. I would have been what Donalyn Miller calls an “Underground Reader” had it not been for the fact that I was homeschooled. I read and read growing up, and the line between books for school and for pleasure blurred. Every book was a “whole-class novel study” because I constituted the entire class! I guess I never doubted that I would allow my
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Mary Pettit
Aug 20, 2015 Mary Pettit rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't wait to start my school year because of this book
Shannon Clark
Jul 13, 2011 Shannon Clark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: not-reviewed-yet
I read it for the 2nd time-I am taking part in a book study about it. I LOVE THIS BOOK!!! Thank you Donalyn!!!!! Every reading teacher needs to read this book, and read it again, and read it again!! :)

It's now 2013 and I have read this a third time!! It's cemented in my mind- Let them choose!
Sally
DEFINITELY BEYOND 5 STARS...WOW. So Donalyn Miller did for me what no other professional development book ever has - it has made me want to leave administration and actually become a reading/language arts teacher. I have been in education for 25 years and have cringed at teaching language arts, not because I don't adore reading (which I do), but because I hate group reads, anthologies, and worksheets that students spend more time on than actual reading!

Immediately after finishing this book, I s
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Sirpa Grierson
Loved this book. Donalyn Miller is practical and honest in her recounting of the struggles she had in getting her class to read a book. Then with a little "tweak" her students now read dozens of books each year. Her method reminds me of my 6th and 7th grade teacher, Mr. Gibson, a once-in-a-lifetime model of great teaching who somehow came from Glasgow, Scotland to our little provincial Elementary school in White Rock, British Columbia, Canada. Like the author, he allowed us to spend hours readin ...more
Fatema
Sep 24, 2016 Fatema rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
اسم الكتاب: الهامسون بالكتب
للكاتبة: دونالين ميلر
عدد صفحات الكتاب: 216 صفحة
التقييم: 5 نجوم

"إذا كان هناك كتاب ترغب بقراءته بشدة، لكنه لم يُكتب بعد، فعليك إذًا بكتابته"
توني موريسون

بهذا الاقتباس عبّرت السيدة ميلر عن الحاجة الملحّة التي دفعتها لكتابة هذا الكتاب، رغبةً منها في إحداث فارقٍ في عالم القراءة للأطفال تحديدًا.

و كان لها أن تتبعت العادات القرائية الشائعة التي يتم تنميط القراءة وفقها و ذلك من قِبل الهيئات التعليمية و الكوادر، كذلك الممارسات الأكثر شياعاً بين الأطفال التي تؤثر على قراءاتهم كما
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Terry
I love Donalyn Miller. Her blog is absolutely fantastic. I really love her approach to teaching "language arts"--to me, it seems completely common sense. Clearly what we're doing now isn't working; the whole worksheet/book report/booklog thing is spiritually/intellectually killing all kids, whether they're the strongest or weakest readers. So her philosophy makes sense (and obviously works). H o w e v e r, I have to say I was a tiny bit disappointed in this book by itself. It's more a sustained ...more
Todd
I borrowed this book because I am an avid reader trying to inspire the same passion within my nephew. The beginning of the book offered some useful information about reader types, etc. Overall, I found the book to be more beneficial for teachers than a parent, guardian, etc. I felt the book was a tad idealistic and didn't really address those young readers who are adamant about not reading, especially if it means getting in the way of other games or activities. I feel that forcing a child to rea ...more
Sarah Shahid
Feb 18, 2017 Sarah Shahid rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
قبل تقييمي لمحتوى الكتاب، لابد أن أشير للتشابه بيني (أو بين القراء المشابهين) والكاتبة من ناحية شغفها بالكتب والمكتبات والقراءة ومحاولتها لنقل عدوى القراءة إلى طلابها.
أما من ناحية الكتاب ومحتواه، عليّ أن أعترف بأنه أول كتاب قيم ويحترم عقل القارئ فيما يخص المواضيع التربوية وتحديداً موضوع القراءة.
أهم ما يلفت النظر في هذا الكتاب ذلك القسم الذي قامت به الكاتبة بمناقشة مساوئ الأساليب التقليدية مع اقتراح بديل لها، بالإضافة إلى تجربة الكاتبة خلال عدة سنوات من التدريس.
بالنسبة للقارئ العربي سيجد بعض الاخ
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Deborah Bobo
This is the best professional book that I have read in quite some time. It is so important to help children find the book that will turn them into lifelong readers. I reflected heavily on my own education and upbringing and came to the conclusion that I am an avid reader because of my mom and a few teachers that really kept me excited about reading. I was able to recall a high school math teacher (I really had a rough time in math) that approached me in the library (that’s what they called it in ...more
Claudia
I am green with envy...this is the book I wanted to WRITE, but instead, I'm reading it. Miller gets it! She trusts kids to read, to choose their own books, and to become the best readers they can be. I understand the leap of faith it takes to start a program like this, and to endure the raised eyebrows of colleagues who think we're wasting time reading. We're creating readers...life-long readers. I think my favorite part of the book was the chapter called "Cutting the Teacher Strings," where she ...more
French
Jan 05, 2009 French marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
My teacher wrote that!!!!
Carrie
Jul 26, 2012 Carrie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“The Book Whisperer” by Donalyn Miller was amazing! It is not a teen fiction book, but one of the many “teacher books” I hope to read this summer. Throughout the book I felt affirmed, validated, and (on more than one occasion) guilty. But, as a reading teacher and bibliophile, it was wonderful to find a book that spoke my language!

In “The Book Whisperer” Donalyn Miller, a 6th grade teacher from Texas, shares her experiences and insights related to independent reading-based reading instruction. M
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Tenille Shade
This book will probably be the one professional development resource I hang onto for a lifetime. Donalyn Miller wasn’t preaching a new message, but it sure fell fresh on ears that needed to hear it! As I read this book, images of my 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Barnes, flashed through my head continually. She lived and breathed authentic reading in her classroom, and she is the reason I am a voracious reader today. The author explains that teachers should always have a book in their hand and a recomm ...more
Corey Landon Wozniak
Donalyn Miller is a soldier in the fight to make reading pleasurable again. Schools have hijacked reading, but "Reading ultimately belongs to readers, not schools, and not schoolteachers." Miller argues that thoughtful teachers should tear down the walls erected between students and books (book reports, worksheets, whole-class novels, incentive programs, Accelerated Reader, book logs, comprehension tests, and other miscellaneous drudgery) and instead reacquaint students with the joys of reading ...more
Lbsantini
May 24, 2010 Lbsantini rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
True story. I woke up one morning and said to my husband, "I had a dream where I found a book that answered all my questions about teaching reading. Of course, it was only a dream. No such book exists." Flash forward several weeks to a layover between two parties. For me and my husband, the obvious place to kill time was Barnes and Nobles. That is when I found Miller's book. I started by scribbling ideas from the text on an ATM receipt. When it was filled, I decided to spring for the book. Today ...more
Deb
This is how I want to teach reading, and in fact, was well on my way to accomplishing this. But AYP concerns stepped in, and our school has been a "school in need of improvement" for too long. Never mind that I had a higher percentage of proficient kids than others, I had to change how I taught reading. We are now a "skills-based" school, and this coming year, we are now all going to be using a pre-packaged commercial curriculum. Miller's way of teaching works. I have seen this with my own eyes. ...more
Tracey
Oct 03, 2011 Tracey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is meant as a call to teachers to join the revolution of freedom of choice reading for our children, allowing them to awaken their inner reader. As a parent of a 3rd grader who is only reading because he has to, this caught my interest of how i can perhaps help to awaken his desire for reading, if it can't be done at school. I truly feel reading opens up a whole new world to us in all genres. I'm not a college educated parent, and I want more for my son, that I know you can only get from ha ...more
Carmyn
Before I'd even finished my library copy of this book I'd ordered my own. As a reading teacher I am always trying to find ways to ignite a love of reading in the hearts of the students I teach. Donalyn Miller describes her practice of requiring her 6th graders to read 40 books a year in her classroom. In her book Miller describes her classroom library, how she came to this approach to teaching reading, how it impacts state tests, how she shapes her teaching around the independent books, how she ...more
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Kendall- Children...: Types of Readers 24 24 Jan 24, 2017 10:07AM  
Kendall- Children...: What about you? 24 24 Jan 24, 2017 09:57AM  
Kendall- Children...: Key Ideas 24 25 Jan 24, 2017 09:36AM  
Kendall Children'...: Three Types of Readers 22 74 Jan 30, 2015 09:04PM  
Kendall Children'...: Key Ideas to Remember 22 25 Jan 30, 2015 08:29PM  
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Donalyn Miller has worked with a variety of upper elementary and middle school students and currently teaches fifth grade at O.A. Peterson Elementary in Forth Worth, Texas. In her popular book, The Book Whisperer, Donalyn reflects on her journey to become a reading teacher and describes how she inspires and motivates her middle school students to read 40 or more books a year. In her latest book, R ...more
More about Donalyn Miller...

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“Reading changes your life. Reading unlocks worlds unknown or forgotten, taking travelers around the world and through time. Reading helps you escape the confines of school and pursue your own education. Through characters – the saints and the sinners, real or imagined – reading shows you how to be a better human being.” 332 likes
“Books are love letters (or apologies) passed between us, adding a layer of conversation beyond our spoken words.” 82 likes
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