I am working with a student population that does not enjoy reading. Whether the joy has been destroyed by school or was never cultivated in the first place, I do not know. Though most are 14-16 years old, the books they speak of with the most fondness are the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. There remains some interest in The Outsiders and The Giver. We also don’t have a library beyond what I’ve brought in from home and scrounged with my own money from various sales. Occasionally, if a student asks for a particular book that I can’t find used, I will buy a new copy of something, especially if I think the student will read it and spread the word to others. But that becomes an expensive habit. So that’s why the description I read of The Book Whisperer intrigued me.

Though I do think there’s use to some whole class novel work, I can see Miller’s argument. Independent reading, independent reading, independent reading and time for independent reading. And the teacher has to read what interests or might interest the student. The classroom should be a community of readers.

There are a few useful ideas here, but not enough for a book. If you are against the notion of independent reading, you will not find enough research in here to convince you.