Saturday, January 27, 2007

Books About Books and Reading

A while back, I mentioned my collection of books about books and reading. I think it's really important to talk to kids about their identities as readers--experiences, tastes, behaviors, etc. I find that books are often a great jumpstart for kids--a way to help them begin to think about themselves as readers. So, over the years, I've collected mostly picture books to help me start these conversations in the classroom. I've also found poetry, excerpts from other books, etc. I also have some novels that are about literacy but I find that short text works best to start lots of great conversations. Below is a list of my current favorites. If you have any to add, let us know in the comments and we'll try to compile the list. We could try for "100 GREAT CHILDREN'S BOOKS ABOUT BOOKS AND READING"! (I also have books that start conversations with kids about writing, but I don't have that list as organized! I'll try to share that sometime soon too!) 

One of my favorites to use with kids is excerpts from Anna Quindlen's book HOW READING CHANGED MY LIFE. So many great experiences around books and reading! Here are others: Picture Books SOUPER CHICKEN by Mary Jane and Herm Auch WOLF by Becky Bloom BOOK by George Ella Lyon TOMAS AND THE LIBRARY LADY by Pat Mora THE GIRL WHO HATED BOOKS by Manjusha Pawagi AUNT CHIP AND THE GREAT TRIPLE CREEK DAM AFFAIR by Patricia Polacco THANK YOU, MR. FALKER by Patricia Polacco READING GROWS by Ellen Senisi LIBRARY LIL by Suzanne Williams THE LIBRARY by Sarah Stewart THE DAY EDDIE MET THE AUTHOR by Louise Borden THE LIBRARIAN OF BASRA by Jeanette Winter THE OLD WOMAN WHO LOVED TO READ by John Winch JAKE'S 100TH DAY OF SCHOOL by Lester Laminack Poetry GOOD BOOKS, GOOD TIMES by Lee Bennett Hopkins THE BOOKWORM'S FEAST by J. Patrick Lewis PLEASE BURY ME IN THE LIBRARY by J. Patrick Lewis Books From Which I Use Excerpts HOW READING CHANGED MY LIFE by Anna Quindlen LIFE IS SO GOOD by George Dawson LOOKING BACK: A BOOK OF MEMORIES by Lois Lowry AMELIA HITS THE ROAD by Marissa Moss QUOTATIONS FOR KIDS by J.A. Senns * * * * * * Here's a link too good to keep in the comments: A Notes from the Windowsill annotated bibliography of book-books by Wendy E. Betts. THANKS!


  1. I like these kind of books too; I have a bibliography at

  2. Anonymous12:11 AM

    Ooh, good question. I feel like I must have answers that are on the tip of my tongue, but I have to pull them up from my subconscience. You know that feeling? I'll think on this and see if I can remember/contribute anything worthwhile.

    Interesting post.

  3. Anonymous5:59 AM

    One favorite of mine is Daniel Pennac's Better Than Life. Stenhouse publishes it in the US and there is a new edition in the UK. (I wrote a post about it here:

    And more for teachers than kids is one of my old favorites, Eeds and Peterson's GRADE CONVERSATIONS edition of one of my favorites --- Eeds and Peterson's GRAND CONVERSATIONS which I just noticed has been updated for a new edition. How exciting!

    And one more for writing --- I highly recommend Gail Carson Levine's new WRITING MAGIC.


  4. Anonymous6:00 AM

    Um...that's GRAND CONVERSATIONS. (Grade conversations... that is very very different!)


  5. Anonymous6:03 AM

    Jeez...just saw that the comment is totally muddled. In my defense, I wrote it, had to sign in with google, pasted it in, posted, and something got messed up I gather. Lesson --- recheck everything before posting! (A lesson I will be telling my class on Monday as we talk about commenting.)

  6. Anonymous8:58 AM

    Thanks for all of the great titles! Monica, I heard that there would be a new edition to Grand Conversations but I haven't seen anything on it. Where did you find it? Very exciting news!

    Jules, I know exactly what you mean! Just jump in whenever they come to you!

    I had no idea Nick Hornby had a column like this. How fun!
    And, web, I LOVE the list on your site! Thanks!


  7. Here are a few chapter books featuring the power of reading that come to my mind:

    Inheart by Cornelia Funke
    The Book of Story Beginnings by Kristin Kladstrup
    At the Sign of the Star by Katherine Sturtevant
    The Great Good Thing by Townley
    Magic by the Book by Nina Berenstein

    And a couple for the power of writing:

    Inkspell by Cornelia Funke
    A True and Faithful Narrative by Katherine Sturtevant

  8. How about Jon Scieszka's Time Warp Trio book Summer Reading is Killing Me?

  9. Anonymous9:35 AM

    Here I am in front of my class showing them (they already got me on one mistake:), how to write a comment in response to others. And how to carefully proof all comments before posting (as I did not do yesterday here).

    I saw the new Grand Conversation edition in a Scholastic Professional Books catalog. Why don't you check out their website for more information?

  10. Anonymous12:18 PM

    I just finished reading The Year of the Dog by Grace Lin. The teacher in you will love this part of the book: Pacy's class writes and illustrates their own books. All the books are entered a writing contest.

  11. Anonymous3:53 PM

    Two picture books about books that I love are
    The Hard Times Jar by Ethel Footman Smothers and Wild About Books by Judy Sierra.

  12. Anonymous4:32 PM

    Perhaps one day I'll actually finish a thought in one comment. Alas, today is not that day. The final book I'll add to the list is a nonfiction piece by Gail Gibbons.
    Check it Out! The Book About Libraries

  13. Anonymous1:29 AM

    Don't forget Matilda, by Roald Dahl. She is basically saved by books. (Hmm, I think I suggested her for the cool teachers list, too. I really have to find some new material). Love the list!

  14. Thanks for the link! I will have to check out some of your titles for the bibliography. You know, in my copious spare time. :-)

  15. Anonymous12:12 PM

    Two books about books:

    FROM PICTURES TO WORDS: A BOOK ABOUT MAKING A BOOK, which was written and illustrated by Janet Stevens

    ACROSS A DARK AND WILD SEA, a picture book biography about Columcille, who was born in Ireland in the 6th century. It was written and illustrated by Don Brown. Columcille was a monk and a scribe. He copied a book of psalms without permission from the book's owner. When he refused to relinquish the copy to the lord who owned the original, a battle ensued. Brown includes illustrations of materials and tools used in bookmaking in those earlier times. I found the book a fascinating read.

  16. Anonymous12:45 PM

    Thanks for this great list. Do you know LIBRARY LION by Michelle Knudson?

  17. Anonymous1:06 PM

    Here's another! Last night my son and I read, How a Book is Made by Aliki.


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