A Division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Heinemann

Book Love

Developing Depth, Stamina, and Passion in Adolescent Readers

Penny Kittle, Conway Schools, New Hampshire

ISBN 978-0-325-04295-4 / 0-325-04295-0 / 2012 / 192pp / Paperback
Imprint: Heinemann
Availability: In Stock
Grade Level: 6th - 12th
*Price and availability subject to change without notice.

Star Special Offer: Save 30% off our list price automatically when you buy 15 or more.

StarMore Products From Penny Kittle


List Price: $27.50
Web/School: $22.00

Other Formats Available:
eBook + Print Bundle

 “I believe each of my students must craft an individual reading life of challenge, whim, curiosity, and hunger, and I’ve discovered that it is not too late in high school  to lead a non-reader to reading.  It’s never too late.”Penny Kittle

Penny Kittle wants us to face the hard truths every English teacher fears:  too many kids don’t read the assigned texts, and some even manage to slip by without having ever read a single book by the time they graduate.   As middle and high school reading declines, college professors lament students’ inability to comprehend and analyze complex texts, while the rest of us wonder: what do we lose as a society when so many of our high school graduates have no interest in reading anything?

In Book Love Penny takes student apathy head on, first by recognizing why students don’t read and then showing us that when we give kids books that are right for them, along with time to read and regular response to their thinking, we can create a pathway to satisfying reading that leads to more challenging literature and ultimately, a love of reading.

With a clear eye on the reality of today’s classrooms, Penny provides practical strategies and advice on:

  • increasing volume, capacity, and complexity over time
  • creating a balance of independent reading, text study, and novel study
  • helping students deepen their thinking through writing about reading
  • building a classroom library with themes that matter to 21st century kids.

Book Love is a call to arms for putting every single kid, no exceptions allowed, on a personal reading journey. But much more than that, it’s a powerful reminder of why we became English teachers in the first place:  our passion for books.  Books matter.  Stories heal.  The right book in the hands of a kid can change a life forever.  We can’t wait for anyone else to teach our students a love of books—it’s up to us and the time is now.  If not you, who?

For information about the Book Love Foundation, which provides classroom libraries to deserving teachers and schools, visit booklovefoundation.org.

In Depth

Label companion resources
Label support materials
Label product support

“The Beatles might have thought that all you need is love, but lucky for teachers, Penny Kittle knows better.  She knows that when you want to create lifetime readers, you not only need to fill the room with books, not only need to show your own passion about books, but need to help kids develop lifetime reading habits.  In this book, Penny shows all of us how to help kids develop those habits as she shares her masterful teaching strategies that turn aliterate students into kids who not only can read, but want to read.”  
—Kylene Beers, author of When Kids Can’t Read/What Teachers Can Do

Book Love is nothing short of miraculous.  Penny Kittle knows the developmental stage of adolescence like she invented it.  This book alone could make me a good teacher.  It's detailed, so incredibly readable and I swear, filled with simple miracles.” 
—Chris Crutcher, author of Period 8

Book Love focuses on a critical question all but forgotten in this age of standards and testing: What can we, as teachers, do to help our students develop a love for reading?  Book Love is a breath of fresh air. It challenges many damaging practices that have become norms in our nation’s classrooms, offering insightful, practical ways for teachers to begin instilling a love of reading in our students and showing teachers and administrators how to build reading lives that last. Kittle is right—we cannot wait for someone else to teach our students to love reading. It starts with us, and I am hopeful that for many teachers it will start with this book.”
—Kelly Gallagher, author of Readicide

 “Worried the teenagers you teach will never pick up a book on their own? Let Penny Kittle show you how to kindle a passion for reading with authentic texts and techniques aimed at students' most vulnerable spot—their hearts.”
—Carol Jago, author of With Rigor for All

 “Penny Kittle invites us into her high school classroom where many of her students fall in love with reading for the first time. Through reading research, her practical classroom rituals, and the powerful words of her students as they describe years spent not reading, Penny builds an undeniable case for pleasure reading in the high school English classroom as a path to reading competence, stamina, and engagement.”
—Donalyn Miller, author of The Book Whisperer

 "Penny Kittle’s descriptions of the readers in her classrooms, the ones who expertly pretend to read and then develop evasive strategies to fool the teacher into thinking they have been reading, were so spot-on in Book Love that I felt she may have been eavesdropping in my own sixth grade classroom.  Surely, I thought, she knows my collection of students who don’t seem to find joy in reading and therefore don’t read. That’s when I realized that Kittle is exploring a theme unfortunately common across so many of our classrooms. With that sense of shared purpose, I eagerly dove into her book to try to ferret out some solutions. Penny Kittle delivers, on many levels. Book Love is a both an ode to the power of reading to expand our interests and intellect, and a guide to encouraging even the most reluctant readers in our classrooms to read and enjoy more books."
—Kevin Hodgson, MiddleWeb

PD Resources From Penny Kittle



  • Invite Penny Kittle to speak at your school, district, or conference through Heinemann Speakers.


No sales resources available for this title