“I believe each of my students must craft an individual reading life of challenge, whim, curiosity, and hunger, and I’ve discovered that it is not too late in high school to lead a non-reader to reading. It’s never too late.”-Penny Kittle
Penny Kittle wants us to face the hard truths every English teacher fears: too many kids don’t read the assigned texts, and some even manage to slip by without having ever read a single book by the time they graduate. As middle and high school reading declines, college professors lament students’ inability to comprehend and analyze complex texts, while the rest of us wonder: what do we lose as a society when so many of our high school graduates have no interest in reading anything?
In Book Love Penny takes student apathy head on, first by recognizing why students don’t read and then showing us that when we give kids books that are right for them, along with time to read and regular response to their thinking, we can create a pathway to satisfying reading that leads to more challenging literature and ultimately, a love of reading.
With a clear eye on the reality of today’s classrooms, Penny provides practical strategies and advice on:
- increasing volume, capacity, and complexity over time
- creating a balance of independent reading, text study, and novel study
- helping students deepen their thinking through writing about reading
- building a classroom library with themes that matter to 21st century kids.
Book Love is a call to arms for putting every single kid, no exceptions allowed, on a personal reading journey. But much more than that, it’s a powerful reminder of why we became English teachers in the first place: our passion for books. Books matter. Stories heal. The right book in the hands of a kid can change a life forever. We can’t wait for anyone else to teach our students a love of books-it’s up to us and the time is now. If not you, who?
For information about the Book Love Foundation, which provides classroom libraries to deserving teachers and schools, visit booklovefoundation.org.