Powerful post from Donalyn Miller. Having students discuss meaningful books would be a great activity to build a community of readers.
This weekend, I attended the Michigan Reading Association Conference and presented three sessions—one session about early 2016 book recommendations and two sessions about reading response. During the reading response sessions, I shared a few books from my reading autobiography, invited attendees to reflect on their own reading experiences and list books that have been meaningful to them at different points in their lives.
Robert Carlsen and Anne Sherrill collected reading autobiographies from their college students for decades and presented their findings in Voices of Readers: How We Come to Love Books (1988). My friend and regular collaborator, Teri Lesesne, collects reading autobiographies from her grad students. Reading autobiographies have been around awhile, but I think their longevity lies in their value to both readers and the larger reading community.
More than listing favorites, creating a reading autobiography encourages readers to revisit their reading experiences and identify books signifying turning points…
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