The Book Whisperer Visits Elwood

The Book Whisperer Visits Elwood photo
The Book Whisperer Visits Elwood photo 2
On May 9, author and staff development leader Donalyn Miller visited educators within the district. Mrs. Miller, also known as the “Book Whisperer,” is passionate about the importance of “free-choice reading,” and travels all over the country sharing guidance and resources with educators to help foster the love of reading in children.

During her presentation, Mrs. Miller traveled through different genres such as short non-fiction, young adult and graphic novels, recommending new books from each wheelhouse. She emphasized the importance of teaching stories that promote inclusivity, and exposing students to stories from diverse people groups that they may not have heard otherwise — stories about important historical figures like Harriet Tubman, Harvey Milk and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Mrs. Miller recommended different approaches to teaching these books in the classroom, helping students to develop their own reading identities. One such approach was an unconventional way of study — focusing on the text itself, then the historical context, and finally, the illustrations; each as a separate entity.

“As lovers of literature, we know the books we read can truly change and shape us,” Mrs. Miller said, “and we should do everything in our power to help our students recognize that same truth for themselves.”