Category Archives: Reading Lives

December 02

Our Eleventh Nerdversary: Where Have All the Nerdy Readers Gone? by Donalyn Miller

I don’t ask people, “How’s it going?” anymore. The pre-pandemic response, a reflexive, “It’s fine,” doesn’t really cut it these days. People have something to say about how it’s really going. No one is fine.  The challenges of the past three years have carved us down. Parts are sharper. Parts are missing. Some parts are […]

June 13

Teachers Make Readers (and Writers) by Danielle Davis

I arrived in Mr. P’s kindergarten classroom not knowing how to read and not knowing that by patiently sitting with me, he would be the key to unlock my ability to parse words and sentences and the worlds they contain. But he was. I arrived in Mrs. A’s fourth grade classroom not knowing that by […]

February 13

Cover Reveal: The Joy of Reading by Donalyn Miller and Teri S. Lesesne

In my December Nerdversary post, I wrote about my dear friend, Teri Lesesne, and mentioned the two of us had been working on a book for seven years. I am heartbroken that Teri passed away last August and will not see the published book, but I am thrilled that The Joy of Reading is now […]

December 01

Our Tenth Nerdversary: One Nerd Can Make a Difference by Donalyn Miller

How are you? I miss you. I miss the pre-pandemic days when I ran into other book-loving teachers and librarians on my travels. I miss travels. I miss Nerd Camps. I miss conferences and school visits. I miss talking about books in banquet lines and elevators. I miss walking out of a classroom with thirty […]

November 10

Post-Hero YA?  Reading Meg Rosoff by Terry Farish

Meg Rosoff is Boston born, London based, of Ashkenazi heritage. My path to her is wild and rangy by way of Ursula Le Guin who suggested in her writing that the novel is much more than a hero’s journey.  She suggests that the stories of heroes and human triumphs that are the core of the […]

August 30

How I Made Peace With Dogman by Susan Hansen

I confess I was always a little disappointed when my students would choose a Dogman book over one from my carefully curated and painstakingly displayed classroom library. But I would bite my tongue and never let on my true feelings about their choice. From avid readers to emerging ones, everyone loves Dogman. They are graphic […]

August 16

The Magic of a “Real Book”: How a Blank Hardback Book First Inspired One Author by Kim Howard

When I was young, I folded pieces of printer paper in half to make my books. Three staples up the side bound them together. I wrote stories about everything. Dinosaurs, Corduroy the bear, the adventures of my stuffed pig, Popcorn. I loved making these books, but to me, this was always just a part of […]

April 26

Letting Go of Labels and Trusting Reading Identity by Dr. Jennifer Scoggin and Hannah Schneewind

My son pours over illustrations and devours graphic novels, especially those with sophisticated potty humor.  Dav Pilkey has mythical status in our house. Garfield comics abound.  Chris Van Dusen’s illustrations merit hours of close study.    Yet despite his love of reading at home, my son did not see himself as a successful reader at school.  […]

April 19

Why I Will Always Read Aloud to my Middle School Students by Beth Jarzabek

On a given day this fall, someone who passed my classroom may have heard my heartwrenching recitation of Johnny’s famous “Stay Gold” letter from the timeless novel, The Outsiders.  This spring, passerbys might be relegated to my epic Effie Trinket impression, singing out the wish that the “Odds be ever in your favor!”  While my […]

March 27

We Need True Stories: How Reading Memoirs Will Change You by Jen Kleinknecht

  Life is unbearably hard sometimes.   It has always annoyed me when someone tells me to “Buck up” by pointing out people who have it worse than I do. Telling someone to stop being sad, afraid, or angry is futile. It’s insulting, tactless, and a roadblock to understanding another human being. But it’s true. […]