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Game Changer!: Book Access for All Kids

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Literacy advocates with a deep passion for books, bestselling author Donalyn Miller and 5th grade teacher Colby Sharp, showcase the power of children's access to books, providing teachers and administrators with the tools and information they need to increase children's meaningful interaction with books and to launch or sustain book access initiatives in their communities. Literacy advocates with a deep passion for books, bestselling author Donalyn Miller and 5th grade teacher Colby Sharp, showcase the power of children's access to books, providing teachers and administrators with the tools and information they need to increase children's meaningful interaction with books and to launch or sustain book access initiatives in their communities. Through research and testimonials from voices in the field and their own classroom experiences, Miller and Sharp provide practical and resourceful information on a range of topics and areas, (including successful school and classroom libraries, the power of book ownership, the importance of cultural and social access to books, and meaningful family-community reading engagement) designed to help dramatically increase children's access to and life-changing engagement with books.


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Literacy advocates with a deep passion for books, bestselling author Donalyn Miller and 5th grade teacher Colby Sharp, showcase the power of children's access to books, providing teachers and administrators with the tools and information they need to increase children's meaningful interaction with books and to launch or sustain book access initiatives in their communities. Literacy advocates with a deep passion for books, bestselling author Donalyn Miller and 5th grade teacher Colby Sharp, showcase the power of children's access to books, providing teachers and administrators with the tools and information they need to increase children's meaningful interaction with books and to launch or sustain book access initiatives in their communities. Through research and testimonials from voices in the field and their own classroom experiences, Miller and Sharp provide practical and resourceful information on a range of topics and areas, (including successful school and classroom libraries, the power of book ownership, the importance of cultural and social access to books, and meaningful family-community reading engagement) designed to help dramatically increase children's access to and life-changing engagement with books.

30 review for Game Changer!: Book Access for All Kids

  1. 5 out of 5

    Donalyn

    I’m adding this so my Goodreads’ friends can see it. Thrilled to share the voices of 27 educators and community activists who’ve worked to increase children’s book access and engagement with reading. Colby and I hope the book will be inspiring and validating to all of its readers!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Pernille Ripp

    Great collection of ideas, research as well as plans for how we can help all students have access to the literacy experiences they deserve. If all schools followed the ideas given here real change would happen for millions of kids.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Gary Anderson

    People get better at things they enjoy and do frequently. That’s only common sense. It’s no surprise that this applies to reading too. So, if we want young people to get better at reading, they need to enjoy reading and read a lot. As leading literacy researcher Stephen Krashen said in The Power of Reading, “The single greatest factor in reading achievement is volume” (qtd. in Miller and Sharp 98). Given those obvious parameters, there are a surprising number of obstacles to book access for stud People get better at things they enjoy and do frequently. That’s only common sense. It’s no surprise that this applies to reading too. So, if we want young people to get better at reading, they need to enjoy reading and read a lot. As leading literacy researcher Stephen Krashen said in The Power of Reading, “The single greatest factor in reading achievement is volume” (qtd. in Miller and Sharp 98). Given those obvious parameters, there are a surprising number of obstacles to book access for students. In Game Changer!: Book Access for All Kids, Donalyn Miller and Colby Sharp explain those obstacles and, more importantly, discuss how to finesse or plow through them. For me and many others, Miller and Sharp are preaching to the choir when it comes to the importance of providing book access and reading opportunities for all students, but it’s refreshing and energizing to read their articulations of why the obstacles must come down if we want young readers to develop lifelong habits. Game Changer! is philosophical and practical. For example, now is the time to think about summer reading, and Game Changer! provides specific rationales and solutions for making summer reading a successful experience for students. And how hard would it be to promote reading among teachers by setting up a book swap area in the teacher’s lounge of every school? Disclaimer: I consider both Donalyn Miller and Colby Sharp to be friends of mine. Even if I didn’t like them as much as I do, I would still be grateful for their book. Thank you, Donalyn, Colby, and other contributors.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Alicia

    As a school librarian, who wouldn't rate this one among their top professional reads as was Miller's inaugural The Book Whisperer? It again reinforces what we know to be best practice and then pushes us to work harder at thinking about the needs of developing readers. Having Colby Sharp and Donalyn Miller's expertise and then seeing that they shared the spotlight with other movers, shakers, and voices for classroom literacy and libraries (some of whom I know!) demonstrates that it's a collective As a school librarian, who wouldn't rate this one among their top professional reads as was Miller's inaugural The Book Whisperer? It again reinforces what we know to be best practice and then pushes us to work harder at thinking about the needs of developing readers. Having Colby Sharp and Donalyn Miller's expertise and then seeing that they shared the spotlight with other movers, shakers, and voices for classroom literacy and libraries (some of whom I know!) demonstrates that it's a collective issue. We all need to work hard to shine the light on the importance of reading and specifically providing and enriching access for books, having conversations with our students about their reading lives, modeling reading, advocating for book ownership, recognizing book deserts, including reading materials at all levels, sizes, vocabulary, formats (you name it). This book reinforces all that's right and sets the bar to continue to do better. We need a literate society. We need to continually practice reading. I've got Post-its everywhere!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Glatt

    Last book I finished in 2018 will shape my practice in 2019! Recommended reading for all literature/reading teachers, librarians who work with kids in any setting, and *especially* school administrators. If we know each other in real life, PLEASE borrow my copy.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Laurie

    Book #150/150! Couldn't have chosen a better book to meet my goal. All teachers of readers should read and apply this book! Book #150/150! Couldn't have chosen a better book to meet my goal. All teachers of readers should read and apply this book!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I pre-ordered this book the moment I found out about it, and it did not disappoint! I love the passion that Donalyn and Colby have for reading and for building a community of readers. I want to share this book with every teacher I know!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Melissapalmer404

    Book #98 Read in 2018 Game Changer! Book Access for All Kids by Donalyn Miller and Colby Sharp This book is a must read for English Teachers...of all levels. It details the importance of having books readily accessible for our students who may not have books at home, access to a public library or ever have visited a book store. It is a quick read (I finished in one day) but so meaningful.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kris Patrick

    I love Donalyn Miller and Colby Sharp for their work moving teachers and librarians forward with their practice. Big hugs and thanks to the two of them! Five stars to Game Changer, and ... a couple observations. Like Disrupting Thinking (Beers & Probst), it's a Scholastic publication. Expect lots of direction to the supplemental online resources to "learn more." Repeated mention of the book fairs. Ah, yes, book fair, or what I affectionately refer to time of year when I would surrender a week of m I love Donalyn Miller and Colby Sharp for their work moving teachers and librarians forward with their practice. Big hugs and thanks to the two of them! Five stars to Game Changer, and ... a couple observations. Like Disrupting Thinking (Beers & Probst), it's a Scholastic publication. Expect lots of direction to the supplemental online resources to "learn more." Repeated mention of the book fairs. Ah, yes, book fair, or what I affectionately refer to time of year when I would surrender a week of my life to Lego Ninjago, sprints to the bank for nickels and pennies, and crippling back pain from a constant state of picking up cellophane trash from the carpet floor. ;) In terms of equity, book fairs are fraught with issues related to the greater mission of connecting kids with books. If you don't know what I'm talking about, you've never lived one. And for the record, I have made peace with book fairs in an essay I wrote several years ago. I'll wrap up by kicking Scholastic back into a positive light. I congratulate that they honored the authors' request to keep the book at a low price point in the name of book access. Well played, Scholastic! Well done, Donalyn & Colby!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jon

    Affirming and filled with good ideas. I noticed how often Donalyn and Colby referenced research, which could make for some good follow-up or digging-deeper reading.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    If you ever find yourself in the position of having to defend independent reading time in our schools, you will want to have this book with you! Remember: Time, Access, Choice, Community.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jenn

    This should be required reading for any prospective or current educator, librarian, or parent. I have a few people and administrators in mind that I want to throw highlighted portions to. The most important point: in order to become and stay a reader, you need access to good books and lots of them. Everywhere (at home, in classrooms, in libraries). Let kids read and devour what interests them, regardless of level. Which just happens to be my personal and professional philosophy. It is an extremely This should be required reading for any prospective or current educator, librarian, or parent. I have a few people and administrators in mind that I want to throw highlighted portions to. The most important point: in order to become and stay a reader, you need access to good books and lots of them. Everywhere (at home, in classrooms, in libraries). Let kids read and devour what interests them, regardless of level. Which just happens to be my personal and professional philosophy. It is an extremely quick and easily accessible read. I started just flipping through and ended up starting and reading 50 pages in bed during my evening, unwind, read for fun time.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Aruna Kumar Gadepalli

    This book deals with reading, readers, and how to inculcate reading habits among school goers. Each chapter deals with certain issue that somewhere related to the reading, whether access to books, classroom library or school library organisation, teaching or diverse collection, giving choice to readers to select a book or evaluating readers based on certain matrices. Each chapter based on research data and collaborating with experienced personnel and various tips, measures that can help in promo This book deals with reading, readers, and how to inculcate reading habits among school goers. Each chapter deals with certain issue that somewhere related to the reading, whether access to books, classroom library or school library organisation, teaching or diverse collection, giving choice to readers to select a book or evaluating readers based on certain matrices. Each chapter based on research data and collaborating with experienced personnel and various tips, measures that can help in promoting reading with reading identity which will make them world citizens.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Molly Dettmann

    What an excellent professional development book that not only inspires, but validates many of the efforts being made in my own library to increase book access and a love of reading for the learners in my school. There were some interesting ideas I’m excited to try, and overall I feel absolutely pumped to be a school librarian after reading this.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Toni Rose Deanon

    I'm a huge fan of anything Donalyn Miller. This book provided research, lists, and strategies to ensure that all students have book access. It also made me feel good since I was doing a lot of what Miller and Sharp mention in this book. I especially loved the fact that there is a small section that talks about books about Filipino culture. I've been on a search for books with characters who look like me. Loved everything about this. I'm a huge fan of anything Donalyn Miller. This book provided research, lists, and strategies to ensure that all students have book access. It also made me feel good since I was doing a lot of what Miller and Sharp mention in this book. I especially loved the fact that there is a small section that talks about books about Filipino culture. I've been on a search for books with characters who look like me. Loved everything about this.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kristen Majkut

    Yes, yes and yes. The Book Whisperer is back with Colby Sharp and a litany of strategies to get books in the hands of kids. I am excited to try out a few suggested rituals such as the special #ReadingLamp and #flashlightfriday. #GameChanger is right!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I’m a big Donalyn Miller groupie and use her methods in my classroom. Great information and format, but it became repetitive for me since I’ve read her other books and attended her professional development sessions.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Niki

    Game Changer! affirms my thoughts and beliefs about reading, book access, and the importance of libraries. It is a passionate and necessary text. Being the teacher-librarian at a school in a low-income neighbourhood, I was particularly drawn in by the first chapter on "book deserts". Aside from a few celebratory pieces, I'm not sure I received new information from Game Changer!, but I would still highly recommend all educators, librarians, and administrators (and politicians!) read this book. -- Game Changer! affirms my thoughts and beliefs about reading, book access, and the importance of libraries. It is a passionate and necessary text. Being the teacher-librarian at a school in a low-income neighbourhood, I was particularly drawn in by the first chapter on "book deserts". Aside from a few celebratory pieces, I'm not sure I received new information from Game Changer!, but I would still highly recommend all educators, librarians, and administrators (and politicians!) read this book. -- You'll either come away feeling affirmation, like I did, or you will feel the need to reflect on your role in student's reading, which may be necessary. Donalyn Miller's The Book Whisperer remains one of my all-time favourite education texts and I feel the same passion and enthusiasm for reading in Game Changer! Her and Colby Sharp are a force to be reckoned with!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Tena Edlin

    This book is exactly what I needed for this year and for this time of year. It reminds me of my beliefs and philosophies that have been slightly clouded by a schedule of 7 preps, extra responsibilities, and the craziness of school at holiday time. I can’t begin to list all the sections I highlighted as I read, but there were MANY. I’m inspired and validated, and I want to do even more to get books in the hands of all of my students.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Brett

    This book has strengthened my resolve to resist testing-centric instructional practices in favor of building my students' reading identities. When you step back and examine it, the recommendations are often very intuitive and have often been espoused by my students. This book has allowed me to fully listen to that advice and implement the necessary changes in my classroom. I plan to share this with many of my colleagues! This book has strengthened my resolve to resist testing-centric instructional practices in favor of building my students' reading identities. When you step back and examine it, the recommendations are often very intuitive and have often been espoused by my students. This book has allowed me to fully listen to that advice and implement the necessary changes in my classroom. I plan to share this with many of my colleagues!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Gina Schaarschmidt

    Great resource for advocating the need for reading choice! I will use this to talk to teachers about how to freshen our all-school DEAR program. The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is that Some of it didn't relate to my current school environment. We aren't a "book desert" by any means. Still, there is a lot of good, meaty research to reference. Great resource for advocating the need for reading choice! I will use this to talk to teachers about how to freshen our all-school DEAR program. The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is that Some of it didn't relate to my current school environment. We aren't a "book desert" by any means. Still, there is a lot of good, meaty research to reference.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Shella

    This was wonderful to support some of the practices that I have be been doing. Lots of other great ideas and experiences explained in this book. Anyone that is interested in getting their students connected to authentic reading and becoming life- long readers- should read this book. I liked the format.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Stacey Bradley

    I thought this was a nice quick read that nicely reaffirms my beliefs about the importance of getting books into kids hands. I appreciated the connection to research and studies that help to prove the point that providing choice and time for reading can not be an extra, but must be attended to if we wish to provide the best education and opportunities for our kids. I came away with a number of ideas that I will definitely use going forward.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kendall Hunt

    This book is a must read for all teachers as well as school and division leaders! The authors provide a clear path for prioritizing reading as a school and community. The partnerships between teachers, librarians, school leaders, and parents will support students as they develop their reading identities. As I finished this book, I was even more inspired to cultivate classroom libraries and nurture independent reading.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    This book reaffirmed what I already knew, and put a fresh spin on it. As far as a professional development book goes, this was an easy read, highlighting a need so basic to grasp yet so difficult to solve. How can we encourage our students to become lifelong readers?

  26. 5 out of 5

    Denese Anderson

    Game Changer is filled with practical strategies for increasing book access and encouraging a love of reading with students. I wish all educators, administrators, and librarians would read this book because all of our students would benefit!!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Mckaye

    This is exactly why I do what I do. I believe in book access for all children.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Julianne

    True to its title....

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jenn

    I've learned so much.... and have a to list about 30 items long! I've learned so much.... and have a to list about 30 items long!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kary

    Every educator needs to read this!

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