Author Archives: donalynm

velveteen rabbit November 15

The House That Reading Built by Donalyn Miller

I grew up clinging to the lowest middle class rung. My younger brother, Wendell, was born with cerebral palsy. His medical needs drained my family emotionally and financially. My parents struggled to pay our bills, but we scraped by most of the time. For my two sisters, my brother, and me, we celebrated three kid […]

jim bailey and holly November 02

I Am a Reader by Jim Bailey

I am a reader.  My friends, colleagues, and both the students and parents at the elementary school in which I am principal all know about my love for reading.  I am a person they come to when they need a book recommendation.  If I do a book commercial in the classroom, it is instantly the […]

separate is never equal October 29

Hope and Tears on a Shelf by Michael M. Guevara

Perhaps this will sound a bit maudlin—on the verge of bathos—but it’s none the less true. Standing in the middle of the library at an elementary school campus, I scanned the myriad choices offered by the Scholastic Book Fair. And there tucked between books about curious fishes and hippos that can’t swim, three little faces, […]

Radioactive Conkling October 20

Small Stories, Big Impact by Loree Griffin Burns

When I was in my mid-twenties, working on a PhD in biochemistry and completely immersed in the world of scientific research, I read an article about women in science and “the hole in the pipeline.” I clearly remember saying to myself what hole? what pipeline? I was, at the time, in the pipeline.  I was also […]

HouseArrest_CVR_final copy October 18

Whirlwinds and Riptides by K.A. Holt

Sometimes, bad things happen. It’s not your fault, and it’s not something you can control. These whirlwinds and riptides grab hold of you and so you grab hold back, trying to keep air in your lungs as you are whipped along. Bad things happen when you’re young and old. They happen when you’re rich and […]

legion of superheroes October 15

The Miller Clan Chimes in on Comics by Don, Sarah, and Donalyn Miller

Growing up, the Piggly Wiggly in our neighborhood kept comics on a spinning rack near the magazines and newspapers. My sister, Abbie, and I would scrounge for pop bottles in the vacant lot nearby, turn them in for the deposit, and use the money to buy candy and Dr. Pepper’s. If we had any change […]

wolf wilder October 11

Beautiful Books That Are Beautifully Made by Donalyn Miller

We own a lot of books. I know you’re not surprised. For unexplained reasons, my mother acts surprised by our books every time she visits. Waving toward our new (and already full) bookcases, she sighs, “What are you going to do with all of this?” Embarrassed by her teasing, I sigh just like her, “Mom, […]

books are in here August 16

Welcome Home by Donalyn Miller

We moved into our new house the first week of June, but I haven’t spent much time here. Educators attend a lot of professional development during the summer months and I have traveled from conference to conference–speaking with colleagues around the country about fostering children’s reading lives. Returning home for a day or two here […]

edward tulane July 12

Patron of the Arts by Donalyn Miller

During our recent move, we gave away almost 500 books. At one point, Don and I joked that our books were reproducing because we couldn’t see a measurable difference after giving away so many. I know that we are a little over-the-top in this regard, but we love buying and owning physical books. As Anna […]

show your work June 14

The Pleasure of Reading Fast and Short by Donalyn Miller

We are moving and most of our books are packed. Spending every waking moment cleaning and packing limits my reading time, and influences my reading habits. I have rediscovered a new appreciation for the short texts that I subscribe to and regularly read. Whether it’s a news article about the American Southwest’s water shortage or […]