Monday, December 31, 2012

My Reading Life in 2012

I'm going to take this last day of 2012 to review my reading life this year.  This year I did the most reading I have ever done.  I was inspired by readers, writers, teachers, and librarians like Mr. Schu, Colby Sharp, Donalyn Miller, Jen and Kellee, Franki and Mary Lee, David Etkin,  Paul Hankins, The Styling Librarian, my colleagues, my Twitter and Facebook friends, and many more.  I was also inspired to start a blog during my participation in Teachers Write this past summer. I was also a guest blogger at Nerdy Book Club several times.  I started a Mock Newbery 2013 Club with the help of my former teaching partner and building media specialist in my former district and a Mock Caldecott 2013 Club in my currect district.  I took the dream job I've always wanted - to teach reading to gifted students in 4th grade, and I've participated in the reading life of my friends, colleagues, students, and family.  What a year! I have lots of goals to improve upon for 2013, but I'm very happy with what 2012 brought!  Here are some stats and year-end book favorites:

- I read 248 books (my goal was 150) - this isn't anywhere near the books some of the above-mentioned gurus read, but it's way more than I read last year! 

- 10% adult titles (24) - that's funny because that's what I mostly used to read - I still belong to one adult book club, and they keep me reading adult titles.  I need to increase that again, though.

- 22 % middle grade novels (54) - I love reading middle grade literature - especially because that's what I teach!

- 3% early reader chapter books  (7)- this is not the age group I teach, so I don't read many early readers, but I participated in a couple #SharpSchu Twitter book clubs, so I read them for those.

- 8% young adult titles (21)- I read more young adult books this year because I just really enjoy them, and my high school daughter reads this category, so I read them to recommend titles and join her reading life.

- 5% poetry (12) - a gap in my reading!  I need to increase that next year!

- 1% graphic novels (3)- Yikes!  Another glaring gap.

- 14% adult and children's nonfiction (35) - I did better this year than past years, but I still need to step this up.

- 35% fiction picture books (87) - yep, I love picture books!

- 2% teaching/professional books (5) - I obviously need to read more professional books this coming year!  However, my excuse is that I read lots of blogs by teachers, and I use those ideas frequently.

I started my blog in June, and since then, I have had 7,839 hits, 71 posts, 9 e-mail subscribers, and 21 followers (I would love to increase that number, so if you're reading this, and you haven't joined as a follower or an e-mail subscriber, please do!).

Cindy Minnich and Donalyn Miller talked recently about Book Gap Challenges, so I will make my declarations here:
1.  I will increase my graphic novel reading.  My goal is to quadruple my GN reading this year to at least 12-15 books - that's one a month.  That should be do-able.
2.  I will increase my nonfiction reading in both adult and children's titles, especially middle grade instead of picture books.  I will also increase my students' nonfiction reading.
3.  I will read more professional books.  I would like to read at least 8 professional teaching books this year.
4.  I will read more adult titles.  I would like to increase my adult titles to 30-36.

I'm going to increase my Goodreads goal to 300.  This is still way less than many of the professionals mentioned on this blog, but I'm getting there! 

To add to the hundreds of year-end lists out there, here is mine:


The Shoemaker's Wife




The One and Only Ivan One for the Murphys

I had so many Mock Newbery Club books that I love this year that it's extremely difficult to choose my favorites.  I also loved Same Sun Here, The Mighty Miss Malone, Glory Be, The False Prince, On the Road to Mr. Mineo's, and May B.

Wonder, Capture the Flag, and The One and Only Ivan were my favorite read alouds of the year.  One of the highlights of my year was the Wonder book club we had with my students, their parents, and a few administrators during an evening in the fall.


This is Not My Hat


Z Is for Moose Unspoken: A Story From the Underground Railroad Fifty Cents and a Dream: Young Booker T. Washington  The Fantastic Flying Books ... hello! hello!

Can you tell I can't really make up my mind?  There are SO many picture books I loved this year!  I chose these not only because I loved them, but because my students loved them.  They will vote on their favorites, though, in January.  I also loved Extra Yarn, Bear Has a Story to Tell, and and then it's spring.


The Fault in Our Stars


Code Name Verity Every Day

I didn't read near enough young adult titles this year, but of the ones I did read, these are ones I loved most.  I also loved See You at Harry's and Curveball:  The Year I Lost My Grip.

I can't wait to start hearing about 2013 books.  Happy New Year everyone, and here's a toast to reading!


  1. Holly, this is amazing!!!! I don't think I ever told you how much I loved Wonder! It was such a good, and at times emotionally exhausting read- so glad you recommended it! :-)

    1. So glad you loved it! I can't wait to see if it wins the Newbery!