#LSC 531 Top 10 List for Book Love by Penny Kittle

When I first started reading this book, I realized that she was talking about me.  I read in HS, but not a ton.  And I now realize how vital reading is to our lives, wellbeing, and our culture.  I had a hard time bringing this list to 10 items.  I also dogeared many pages, which I do not typically do, but so much of it spoke to me.  Here are my top 10 for Penny Kittle’s Book Love:

10.  Reading hurdles – “once a student is tangled in a text, however, frustration impedes understanding and cripples the will to read” p.12

9.  Reading stamina-  I never realized this and was very impressed with her calculation of pages read, etc.

8.  “Creating realistic and challenging reading goals” – I loved this and want to try it with myself and my kids.

7.  All of the stories of success – Keith, Taylor, Nick, Jacob, Dalton, and of course Crystal, whose story made me cry.

6.  Loved her analogies with the castle doors and gates.  What a wonderful visual for all of us!

5.  Book talks – These can be done by anyone in any venue.  Public, school, and academic libraries.  Not just English teachers.

4.  “Test scores are being used to condemn an entire school based on a few students – people believe these tests actually measure who can read.  What are we comparing?” p. 39

3.  “Students read differently because they are reading what is personally  meaningful” p.88

2.  “Most books have questions at the center of them, when we step back and think about them, we often understand more” p.99

And the number one choice for my top ten list……

1. “Because you aren’t testing me.  If I don’t understand something, I just go back and re-read it.  I don’t worry about knowing what is going to be on the test, so I’m actually able to read to just understand it” p. 103

I had so many other pages dogeared with quotes and ideas.  It was difficult coming up with 10 items only!  What I loved about this book the most, was the true dedication Penny Kittle has to her students.  She is a gem.  The support she gets from her principal is also very key to many of the successes she has had.  What I loved most of all was the conversion of the non-reading teachers who stood up and “poo-poo’ed” her school wide reading time.   This was a true testament to her commitment to reading and helping raise awareness of the issue of reading in schools in this country.


Kittle, P. (2013). Book Love: Developing Depth, Stamina, and Passion in Adolescent Readers. Heinemann: Portsmouth, N.H.


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