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Monday, September 30, 2013

Book Log


Third graders in my friend's class have been learning about fake reading versus real reading, what distracts us when we read (and what we can do about it), how to choose the best books for ourselves, and what it looks like to work hard. Today I was privileged to talk about four titles (Dear Max by Sally Grindley, Dexter the Tough by Margaret Peterson Haddix, Summertime House by Eileen Spinelli, and Violet Mackerel's Brilliant Plot by Anna Branford). We discussed briefly what makes a good book talk in preparation for a more in-depth conversation we will have on Thursday.

Then I shared my book log. It is quite messy actually, but I have kept it for more than 15 years (and wish I had started before that). When writing about a book, I indicate it with a star in my journal. It will either say "Book Finished" or "Book Abandoned" (these readers have also been taught that is okay not to finish a book). Following that will be my notes about things I appreciated, quotes I enjoyed, brief plot snippets I might want to remember, and perhaps a sentence about why I chose not to finish a title. Their book logs this year will be more organized, but their enthusiasm about keeping notes was palpable.

The painting is entitled "Back From the Library" and was done by my friend Mike Wohnoutka. It just came back from the framer!


  1. Read Wonder? If not, get it on your list.

  2. I would love to see your book log published someday. I know it is a masterpiece. I don't usually record the books I've abandoned..hmm... My librarian friend recommended Wonder. I adore the painting.

  3. Your book log speaks volumes. Far more instructive than anything you might have told them. Think of all the seeds you are planting in their young minds!

  4. I agree. What a great role model you are. My book log is far simpler; all I do is record the books I've read along with the date on the last page of my current diary/journal. It doesn't indicate what I've thought about the book, but it's still a good reminder of what I've read that year.

    And what a great painting by Mike...and so appropriate for you!