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Book Love: Developing Depth, Stamina, and Passion in Adolescent Readers (6-12) with Penny Kittle

Jun 12, 2024
9:00 am - 3:00 pm

LeClaire Room
600 Troy Rd
Edwardsville, IL 62025

Explore ways to connect adolescent readers to books that will name their hearts. Study the practices that help all students develop a reading habit to increase stamina and joy in independent reading, leading to increased engagement in challenging, complex texts.


Independence is at the heart of the Common Core Standards. Adolescents must develop a reading habit that increases stamina and joy in reading, while increasing the complexity of the texts they can independently read. Our middle and high school teachers investigated widespread non-reading among our teenagers and transformed our culture through books, time to read, and conferring with readers. Come to listen to students, explore ways to measure growth in stamina, and the connections we can make between the most reluctant readers and books that will name their hearts. We will study the practices that help all students develop a reading habit to increase stamina and joy in reading. We’ll look at challenging readers through weekly goals and identifying rich books. Our whole school effort has more students challenging themselves as readers in English class and beyond. We can increase students’ ability to respond thoughtfully and analytically to their reading in conferences and in writing. This analytical reading leads students to deeper comprehension and vision for their own writing.

  • Increase volume, capacity, and complexity for all readers over time
  • Understand the wide range of books that appeal to teenagers
  • Create a balance of weekly goals in independent reading, text study, and novel study in English class
  • Use short text study to lead students to read rhetorically and broaden the genres they choose to read
  • Increase the effectiveness of reading conferences
  • Help students deepen their thinking through writing about independent reading
  • Build a school culture & summer reading focused on the love of books

Penny Kittle teaches first year writers at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire. She was a teacher and literacy coach in public schools for 34 years. She is the author of nine books including Book Love, Write Beside Them, and two books co-authored with Kelly Gallagher: 4 Essential Studies and 180 Days. She is the founder and president of the Book Love Foundation, which annually grants classroom libraries to teachers throughout North America. Penny works beside teachers and leaders across the world to empower young readers and writers. Penny Kittle was a teacher and literacy coach in public schools for 34 years, 21 of those spent at Kennett High School in North Conway. She is the co-author of 180 Days with Kelly Gallagher, and is the author of Book Love, and Write Beside Them, which won the James Britton award. She also co-authored two books with her mentor, Don Graves, and co-edited (with Tom Newkirk) a collection of Graves’ work, Children Want to Write. She is the president of the Book Love Foundation and was given the Exemplary Leader Award from NCTE’s Conference on English Leadership. In the summer Penny teaches graduate students at the University of New Hampshire Literacy Institutes.  Throughout the year, she travels across the U.S. and Canada (and once in a while quite a bit farther) speaking to teachers about empowering students through independence in literacy. She believes in curiosity, engagement, and deep thinking in schools for both students and their teachers. Penny stands on the shoulders of her mentors, the Dons (Murray & Graves), and the Toms (Newkirk & Romano), in her belief that intentional teaching in a reading and writing workshop brings the greatest student investment and learning in a classroom.


This training will be held on June 12, 2024 at the LeClaire Room, 600 Troy Rd,  Edwardsville, IL from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. The cost to attend this training is $200/person and lunch will be provided. Each participant will receive 5.5 PD hour upon completion of the training.