The Book Whisperer

The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child by Donalyn Miller

Published by Jossey-Bass, March 16, 2009 (240 pages)

Reviewed by: Lori Smith

When there is a discussion with librarians, reading specialists, or teachers, on inspiring students to read, one of the first names to get mentioned is award winning teacher, author and blogger, Donalyn Miller.  In her first book, The Book Whisperer, her passion for creating lifelong readers is apparent.  She describes the different types of readers and her methods to inspire and motivate her middle school students to read 40 or more books per school year across a range of genres.  This is accomplished by creating a classroom library full of high interest books so the students can select what they want to read and creating more reading time in the classroom.  She also eliminates the traditional methods of writing book reports, test and worksheets that makes reading for students more of an assignment rather than reading for enjoyment.   The success of her reading strategy is apparent with the increase in test scores in her classroom.

This is a great book for librarians, teachers, reading specialists, parents and anyone else interested in helping to raise readers.  There is even an “Ultimate Library List” appendix, compiled by her students!