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Book Love: Developing Depth, Stamina, and Passion in Adolescent Readers

4.58  ·  Rating details ·  2,598 ratings  ·  427 reviews
"I believe each of my students must craft an individual reading life of challenge, whim, curiosity, and hunger, and I've discovered that it is not too late in high school to lead a non-reader to reading. It's never too late."-Penny Kittle

Penny Kittle wants us to face the hard truths every English teacher fears: too many kids don't read the assigned texts, and some even ma
Paperback, 174 pages
Published October 26th 2012 by Heinemann Educational Books
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Average rating 4.58  · 
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 ·  2,598 ratings  ·  427 reviews

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Start your review of Book Love: Developing Depth, Stamina, and Passion in Adolescent Readers
Sometimes books find you at an opportune time in your life. This book found me too late...only 46 days left in my career, I find a professional soul-mate I would love to visit with for hours. We share a vision for what schools and teachers should be doing, and yet we came at it from different directions. We had amazing mentors early on: she worked with Don Graves and Don Murray. My teachers at Indiana University included Roger Farr and Carolyn Burke--and her mentor Kenneth Goodman called me his ...more
Nov 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a five out of five for me. I have read quite a few professional books--almost everyone dry as overcooked turkey. This one was practical, it was written well, and it carried a philosophy I could completely stand behind because it put students before content. I absolutely recommend every teacher read this.
Dec 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Great resource for English Language Arts teachers at the high school level. Although I set aside time in our weekly class schedule for my students to choose their own books in our classroom, I know that I still need to go the extra mile and support my struggling readers.

Penny Kittle writes in a respectful and down to earth tone. This was important to me because I resent preachy professional development books. Having read her book "Write Beside Them," I feel safe in saying that Kittle speaks dire
Oct 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Originally reviewed here.

High school teacher and literacy coach Penny Kittle knows something that many English teachers don't: kids don't actually read the books they're assigned in class. And far too many kids are graduating from high school not having experienced the joy and pleasure of living inside the pages of a book, let alone many books. And that's just the problem. Administrators, curriculum writers, and law makers assume that in order for students to become better readers they must only
Aug 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: teacher-books
Great teacher book about developing middle school and high school kids who love reading. I found it to be very similar in philosophy to 'The Book Whisperer' and 'Reading in the Wild'. And very similar to my own reading philosophy: In order to get better at reading, kids need to read freely and joyfully the books that they choose. My job as a teacher is to encourage that joyful reading. While there wasn't much new to me in this book, it's still affirming to know that what I'm trying to do in my c ...more
Beth Honeycutt
Nov 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I can honestly say that I've never had tears in my eyes at the end of a professional read before. Until now.

This book is full of ideas for making sure that students (all students - not just high school kids) are reading. I can't wait to share with friends, colleagues and my students!
Emily Philbin
Oct 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A great read -- absolutely helped me revision my outside reading requirements for my students and reaffirm my pedagogical stance on outside reading. I have always believed students should have choice in what they want to read, but I will admit I don't believe what I have done for over a decade has worked for the majority of them. I just want them to learn to love it and realize they CAN read no matter if it goes a little slowly at times. Now, I am excited to help them learn to love reading again ...more
Joyce Yattoni
Jul 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So many take aways for teachers in implementing independent reading time during the balanced literacy model. Volume, matters. Daily book talks matter. Daily conferencing matters. Building life long readers, one reader at a time.
This book is an inspiration. A lot of English teachers have a gut feeling that allowing time for independent reading during class time--even when you have so many other things to get though!--is a good thing. Penny Kittle tells you why.
Jan 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Book Love is a book I love. The message is one I passionately believe: every kid must learn to love reading by picking up whatever book piques their interest. English teachers who think they know what's best clearly don't know what it's like to try and read Tale of Two Cities as a young teenager (as you'll find out in the book, I didn't much appreciate that one bit). ...more
Nicole Perry
Jun 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Loved it! Not only is it a great reminder of the philosophies and passion that drove me to teach English, but it also provides practical ideas and titles to help implement those philosophies in the contemporary classroom. I would highly recommend this book to any middle school or high school teacher!
Melissa Espiritu
Jun 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pd
Kittle's main argument is that getting students to increase the volume of pages they read a year, through choice reading and independent reading, creates students with reading stamina. When a high volume reader has to read the books that are typically assigned in English classes, these students have the stamina to troubleshoot through the reading and finish the book, as opposed to doing that pretend reading that many students do. She also argues that reading at high volumes prepares students for ...more
Rachel D.
Jul 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love Penny Kittle, and I am embarrassed that it took me so long to finish this one. During the past school year, I was very concerned about reading and how much my students read. I feel that I didn’t do enough. Now that I have finished this and 180 Days, I am thinking of not teaching whole class novels at all. Students need choice, and I worry that the whole class novels drive them away from reading. So, I have a month to rethink and redesign my plans. I have to be the one who helps them, so i ...more
TJ Wilson
Jul 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Inspiring and validating.

Read this in a big gulp of reading. But not without a bunch of notes.

This is a book that will reignite the idealism of a seasoned teacher. More books like this please.
Apr 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent resource for creating lifelong readers
Joy Kirr
Nov 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, professional
I have 7th graders, but the students described in this book fit some of my students to a "T." Those "fake readers" or the kids who don't like to read... YET. I will be reading many of the books she book talks with her seniors, and I will try to get my colleagues reading this book - for many of them DON'T READ. How can you sell a book you haven't read?! I am more determined than ever to get all of my kids hooked on reading...

This book was the most relevant to my profession so far this summer. I c
Nov 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A great guide for how to implement independent reading in the classroom. It could almost be titled How to Do Independent Reading in the Classroom for Dummies because Kittle fills in all the gaps and has examples and models of everything from book talks to notebook entries and questions. A really useful, helpful guide. I know what my department is reading this summer! Seriously, though, Kittle makes you feel like you can do this, you owe it to the students, and you can be successful. I particular ...more
Sarah M.
Mar 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teaching, 2013
Why: My own professional development!

When: Start 1/20/13 End 1/27/13

Thoughts: This teacher shows me the path toward achieving with my students what I hope and envision for their reading.

How: I'm reading the hard copy of this one, loaned to me by a colleague. I'm taking notes on my ipad as I read so I don't forget all the things I hope to do in my classroom that I'm learning about in this book!

review hiaku:

books books books books books
read read read read read read read
teach to craft readers
Edward Sullivan
Passionate, completely sensible, and full of good advice and examples. I'll give Kittle credit for at least acknowledging the existence of school libraries and librarians, which are often completely ignored (e.g., Kelly Gallagher's Readicide)in books like these, but she could have spent a chapter or at least a few pages discussing how librarians and teachers can collaborate. ...more
Kara Belden
Apr 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
My 5-star rating hasn't budged one bit. If any other PD book comes even close to comparing to my love for this one, I'll be utterly shocked. I'm so excited to begin this second year of celebrating independent reading with a second reading of Book Love under my belt... or should I say in my tool belt? :) I think I'll just go ahead and make a habit of reading this every single summer of my career. ...more
Jan 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: education
Kittle's work stands on the shoulders of Donald Graves (composition theory), Nancie Atwell (middle school reading/writing workshop), and Louise Rosenblatt (reader response theory).

The writing is compelling and moving at times with the stories she tells about a few students. There are some game-changing arguments she makes in the book, especially when she debunks the idea of fixed abilities to show that people, young and old, can become deep readers even if they've never liked reading or didn't
Raini Bisson
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“Book Love,” by Penny Kittle, was an incredibly insightful text set that included teaching practices and words of inspiration for future and present English teachers. This book is intended to be used in older classrooms and geared towards practices used with teenagers. However, many of her ideas and lessons can be slightly changed to better suite younger students, if you do want to use this book in a younger setting. I like Kittle’s ideas of getting students in her class to read by finding out b ...more
Jared Pangier
Mar 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-2020
"It's all well and good to transform our classrooms. It's very good, in fact; it might just keep us there for many more years...But one classroom of readers in a school is not enough. It may be where we need to start, but when we're ready, we have to talk to our colleagues" (153).

Book love is starting to happen at my school now. But just like this quote from Kittle states, one classroom is not enough. I want to combine the ideas and passion and structures I got from this with Malcolm Gladwell's
May 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is the book I wish every middle and high school English teacher could read. There was a YES!!! or an Ah-ha! on every page. Kittle has gotten to the heart of what we need from our English teachers and librarians, that we do our students a disservice when we don’t meet them where they are! Choice matters! Choice is a motivator! I’m grateful that this book came from one of the English teachers in my school who is making change happen in her classroom. Our students need more from us; we need to ...more
Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book changed how I view my students and how I view myself as a teacher and a reader. If you are looking for a way to challenge and inspire yourself, looking for a way to move past the excuses we make in education for not reaching every student, the excuses for why so many of our students are not reading, this is your clarion call!

Penny Kittle is vulnerable and understanding about the challenges of teaching, yet firm in her conviction that WE must be the teachers who inspire our students to
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Penny Kittle has an amazing vision for a shift in the teaching of reading.
"Those who cram the classics down students' throats long before they are ready are careless of the fate of the great works of the past."
"...defeats the long-term goal of educating people to a personal love of literature."
"The few things they tell us about the book are not coming from discovery and thinking...What do they remember...?' Yeah, [To Kill a Mockingbird] not a good book. Boring.'"
Lindsay Coppens
Jul 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book gave me concrete ideas on how to do a better job with what I already strongly believe in: giving students time in class to read independent books of their choice while setting standards they read a lot to build stamina and fluency. Penny Kittle has clear examples from her practice, tons of passion for reading and helping students become better readers, and book recommendations woven in, too.
Aug 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book. It has left me inspired & full of ideas to implement with my new group of students this year. Penny Kittle is a true expert & I found myself shaking my head in agreement with so much of what she had to say. While she teaches high school, the ideas in this book are still applicable to middle school language arts teachers. Highly recommend.
Lindsay Ercanbrack
Jul 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great resource for fostering a love for independent reading. Planning to implement “big idea” journals in my room this year. Penny Kittle is in fact the bomb, just like everyone says. It’s a dream of mine to help every single student start and finish a book they enjoy! This book gives hope that it can be done!
Debra Hines
Sep 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
I loved this book, even better than some of her most recent ones. If you are an ELA or reading teacher or simply interested in promoting reading in your classrooms and among students, I highly recommend. The last few pages remind us all why we teach and why good teachers matter. So much to talk and think about in this book among fellow educators. Inspiring!
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Recommendations 1 2 Sep 05, 2018 10:43AM  

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Penny Kittle teaches teenagers at Kennett High School in North Conway, New Hampshire. She is also the K-12 literacy coach for the Conway schools. She is the author of 180 Days (with Kelly Gallagher, 2018), Book Love (2013), Write Beside Them (2008), The Greatest Catch: a life in teaching (2005), and Public Teaching: one kid at a time (2003); she co-authored Inside Writing (2005) with Donald Graves ...more

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