Sharing your reading life

“Books are love letters (or apologies) passed between us, adding a layer of conversation beyond our spoken words.”
Donalyn Miller, The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child

I truly enjoyed a book that I thought my sister was crazy to give me.  She sent me The End of Your Life Book Club for my birthday of all things.  I was appalled and called her to ask what it was about.  She had heard it was good and bought it for me, as she knew I was a reader.  The book’s premise is a story of a son, who spends time with his mother who was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer, in chemotherapy.  During the chemo, they share books and in turn their lives.  It was such a powerful book that made me think about how many books have impacted my life, as a reader, wife, mom, teacher and friend.  As a teacher, I have had these conversations on a much lighter level in my classroom.

Sharing your reading life is an idea that I learned about while reading The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller, then it was reinforced when I read Still Learning to Read by Franki Sibberson and it came back again in Steven Layne’s book Igniting a Passion for Reading.  This summer while reading Donalyn Miller’s new book Reading in the Wild, she again shared the importance of sharing our reading lives with children.  As a classroom teacher, I took this advice to heart and shared what I was reading, what I liked to read and what I abandoned and why.  My students were passionate readers who often groaned when I announced “Please close your books.”.  I didn’t make the clear connection to what I was sharing with their passion for reading.  But, Scholastic has created a tool for teachers that will help you do just that.

They currently have a free E-Book entitled The World of Possible.  In this book, children and teachers share their reading life.  There are stories from published authors, famous education researchers, many who have had an immeasurable impact on education.  There is also a video link with an assortment of videos of both children and adults sharing their reading life.  THis would be an amazing resource to share with students, especially if you’re not comfortable sharing your reading life, or if you’re like me sometimes feel like you don’t have time for a reading life.  There is an educator’s guide available which is FILLED with ideas and philosophical underpinnings that will impact how you operate your classroom.  I am excited about this new resource and am looking forward to inspiring the children in the schools I work.  What a gift…Thanks, Scholastic!


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