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

4.58  ·  Rating details ·  2,198 ratings  ·  380 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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4.58  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,198 ratings  ·  380 reviews

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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!
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.
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
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).
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!
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
Sarah Zerwin
Mar 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013, teaching
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
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.
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
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
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.
The Reading Countess
Penny Kittle has a knack for writing in a conversational tone, admitting her teaching errors (gasp) so that we ALL can learn from them, and inspiring her colleagues along the way. Much of Book Love was one gigantic affirmation, as I found myself nodding while I turned page after page. While I don't teach high school, the main concepts she explores are ALL applicable to teachers of all grade levels. Good teaching is good teaching, irregardless of the grade you teach.

Allowing kids time to read bo
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a must-read for any English teacher, but also any educator, reader, or parent wanting to inspire the next generation of readers! I will be going back through my highlights to help plan my upcoming semester!
Paisley Green
Aug 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a game-changer for how I want to start teaching reading to my students, especially the ones who aren’t in honors or AP. I’m so grateful that I read this before school starts so I can implement some of it.
Mar 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Reviewed at:

If you are like me, there are times when I question what I am doing and how I am doing it. Sometimes when I am working harder than others around me or if I do things a bit differently or I stand up for my belief in certain things, I wonder if I am really doing all of this right. Book Love is one of those books that will remind you that you are in the right and what I am doing is what is best for my students and will make a difference in the en
Nov 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Penny Kittle walks the walk. Not only does she spread a love of reading in her classrooms, she lets books invade her life outside the classroom as well. Whether it's on a family trip to the British Isles or in an airport, waiting for a flight, Penny can be found reading. She knows that good reading teachers--even at the high school level--must read lots of books if they are to recommend them to their students. Let that sink in. If you are a HS English teacher like me, think: how many of your col ...more
Mar 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
"A book isn't vigorous if students aren't reading it." Ah, Penny Kittle, you had me from the very start when I read this line in your introduction. I was an English teacher for 18 years before I became a librarian, and I have always believed students needed more choice and empowerment when it comes to what they read. We English teachers spent more time in our department meetings arguing over summer reading and classics vs contemporary book choices than we did discussing test scores, common units ...more
Amanda Guilbault
Mar 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Book Love by Penny Kittle focuses on helping students develop a passion for reading by first building stamina, then fluency, and next complexity. All this is developed by the help of the teacher using a variety of teaching strategies that will help their students reach this passion. An important factor in creating life long readers is creating relationships with the students. Book Love shows how important this factor is in the students’ learning. “The magic formula is the relationship we form an ...more
Tammy Ward
Oct 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: professional
In 2009, Penny Kittle brought us the video documenting high school students proudly admitting how few, if any books they actually read in high school. Now, she has written a book on how she has turned high school students into readers. Kittle spends the first few chapters explaining the need to develop our students into life long readers, and the importance of building stamina and reading text complexity to meet the demands that students will experience in college. She also devotes chapters to i ...more
Amy Grondin
Jun 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: professional
This is an excellent book and well worth the read for any language arts teacher (as well as administrators and teachers in other content areas who understand how important literacy is for the study of their subject and for success and fulfillment in life). Penny Kittle starts from her own reading--the truths she knows from experience about how books change us and what readers need to nurture their own reading lives--and then discusses how classroom teachers can build systems and, more importantl ...more
Jul 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I heard Penny Kittle speak at the 2012 NCTE Conference, and she was one of the most engaging presenters I saw that weekend, which says a lot because there were so many outstanding presenters there. Her demo focused on informational texts, but she briefly mentioned her belief in fostering "independent reading lives" among her students. Intrigued, I picked up this book to get some more info, and I'm certainly glad I did. She makes a compelling case for "meeting students where they are" as readers, ...more
Dec 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I am not sure I have ever ended a professional book in tears, but that is what happened with Penny Kittle's Book Love: Developing Depth, Stamina, and Passion in Adolescent Readers. Kittle writes with passion, hope, and a deep sense of right for her students. I know I can't summarize what she has to say in a short paragraph and make it sound possible.

We talk about preparing students for college and career, but many students are not doing the assigned reading. For some it is too hard, for some it
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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
“Teenagers want to read - if we let them.” 12 likes
“A book isn’t rigorous if students aren’t reading it.” 3 likes
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