Category Archives: Reading Lives

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. […]

March 13

Dear March 13th, 2020 by Renee Bowman

Dear March 13th, 2020, Given how much I’ve thought about you in the last year, I wanted to write you a letter in the hopes that it would be helpful to me. We have some serious catching up to do. When we were last together, it was the final day that I was an in-person […]

December 20

Do You Want to Join a Book Club? by Donalyn Miller

I’ve been open about my inability to read much during the initial pandemic shutdown last spring. My anxiety was out of control and I couldn’t focus. Working in my flowerbeds and writing helped me find some joy and calm, but my reading life consisted of news articles and planting guides. Sometimes, readers don’t read much. […]

December 18

What Are Your Winter Break Reading Plans? – by Colby Sharp

I always love reading, but there is something special about reading during winter break. More than ever, educators need to take time to read whatever they want for a couple of weeks. Teaching in 2020 has been quite the adventure, so please take some time to read: romance novels, magazines, the latest book in your […]

December 01

Our Ninth Nerdversary: Social Readers in Pandemic Times by Donalyn Miller

Self-isolating and working from home for the past eight months, my reading life has been challenging to maintain. It takes more effort to settle into a book and stick with it. The six half-finished books sitting on my coffee table ooze judgement. Reading seems self-indulgent and I cannot sit still for long before I feel […]

October 19

The Magic of the ABCs by Michelle Blanchard Ardillo

Can you actually remember learning to read? Can you remember the sheer magic of decoding the strange marks on a piece of paper or a page of a book? I don’t exactly remember it either, but I have been fortunate enough to experience it through the eyes of others. As a former middle school English […]