Thursday, July 7, 2011

My "To-Read" List

So, I posted last week that I want to match my students' requirements for reading and writing, week by week, book by book. Here, I'm going to outline my reading plan to you, dear readers, so you can help to...
a) hold me accountable, and
b) make suggestions for me to read.

My team and I use Donalyn Miller's book, The Book Whisperer, to guide our reading instruction. She gives her students a 40-book goal for the year. Thus, I am going to give myself a 40-book goal for the coming school year, which I will start August 8th.

I need to create a plan for reading. I will also ask my students to make goals and plans for their reading. This is a huge goal, and it's something we will all have to work hard to accomplish.

Donalyn has laid out an outline for the 40-book goal. Here's how she breaks down the 40 books by genre:

Poetry Anthologies: 4
Traditional Literature: 3
Realistic Fiction: 5
Historical Fiction: 4
Fantasy: 4
Science Fiction: 2
Informational: 4
Biographies, Autobiographies, Memoirs: 2
Graphic Novels: 1
Chapter Book Free Choice: 11

I still want to read some kids' lit (so I can continue to make quality recommendations for my students), and I think that will cover the majority of my list. However, I want to focus right now on what I should read from authors targeting the grown-up folks.

Frankly, I haven't paid much attention to any "grown-up" books except for professional development. Don't get me wrong, I love me some good PD books! But I think it's time I branched out.

I already know what I want to read for my Biographies, Autobiographies, and Memoirs selections. I'd like to read Jaycee Dugard's memoir, A Stolen Life. I also want to read Tina Fey's book, Bossy Pants.

I also have a good informational book, a historical account of the shark attacks of 1916. It's called Close to Shore by Michael Capuzzo. Another information book I'd like to read is The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. Both are sitting on my side table in the living room.

In the fantasy genre, I'd like to read one or two of the Percy Jackson books again. I love to reread some of my favorite books, and I want to model that this is okay for the kids as well. My absolute favorite books to reread are the Harry Potter books, and I am currently reading through the series for the fourth time.

For historical fiction? I definitely want to read The Help by Kathryn Stockett. I feel a little guilty reading a book because it's becoming a movie, but that's a very legitimate way to hear about a book, especially in this era. I feel sort of like I'm jumping on the bandwagon, but that's okay, right, as long as I'm reading more?

The rest? I just don't know where to start. There are so many great authors out there, and I haven't read many fiction books targeted to my demographic in a long time. In my defense, I've read a lot of children's lit so I could be more useful to my students. I want to model for them, though, reading books that are appropriate. So, this is an area in which I can start to grow!

Where do you find book reviews? Who do you look to for advice on what to read? Who is your favorite author? Do you have a title you can recommend?


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