Saturday, July 6, 2013

Reading in the Wild - A Preview

For the past several weeks, I've had the pleasure of prereading the final manuscript of Donalyn Miller's new book Reading in the Wild: The Book Whisperer's Keys to Cultivating Lifelong Reading Habits which will be published in November (it's kind of fun, turning over page after page of 8 1/2 x 11 paper).  
The cover... beautiful!
Having a friend like Donalyn is one of the blessings we have as teachers, isn't it?  Whether you've spent time with her at dinner, listened to her speak at a conference, or heard her whisper her beliefs to you as you read The Book Whisperer:  Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child you have, indeed, met Donalyn.  

Donalyn is a teacher's teacher.  She's passionate about her work with readers and in helping us become better at our craft.  What impresses me most about Donalyn is her sincerity.  She believes so strongly in "cultivating" and "awakening" the reading lives of young readers.  I imagine the blood that flows through her veins likely contains "read" blood cells. 

In her new book, she, along with Susan Kelley, share five important lifelong habits that they believe readers need in order to prosper.  They share ways to nudge children to be "readers in the wild."  It's sprinkled with the rituals and routines that Donalyn, and Susan, know from experience will cultivate the types of readers we want children to be and to become, both in the classroom and out of the classroom.

I'll write more about this book as it gets closer to the publication date, but I have a strong inkling you'll want to preorder it!  

I was reading the other day and ran across this marvelous quote by Terry W. Glaspey, "Books provide the most helpful of road maps for (an) inner journey.  They show us the tracks of fellow travelers, footprints left by earlier pilgrims who have trod the path that stretches before us.  Their luminosity helps to light our way.  As we read we realize we are not alone."  

And, that's how I feel about this new book by Donalyn.  She, along with her friend Susan, are luminaries for teachers, no matter our experience.  There's a reasonableness to their work.  It causes us to focus, reflect, and make meaningful decisions about the learners in our care.  Grounded in thoughtfulness, this book will nudge us as teachers... and, in turn, stretch the readers with whom we work.

What are the five habits?  I'll mention those in a future post.  But, for now, know that you're in for a treat from Donalyn (and Susan).  In the meantime, read wildly... think deeply... and discover the habits YOU have as a reader.  After all, aren't the very habits we possess the ones we want our students to emulate?  Then ask yourself, "How am I teaching my students to do the same thing?"  Donalyn has.  As fellow travelers, we should too!


  1. Thanks, Patrick. It’s on my TBB (to be bought) list.
    Pat Johnson

  2. I eagerly look forward to reading this over our Christmas break! Thanks for the alert.