'Books' photo (c) 2011, Moyan Brenn - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

I know the title of this “The Best…” list is quite grammatically correct, but I just couldn’t figure out a better headline that pretty much says it all about this post.

You might also be interested in The Best Sites To Teach ELL’s About Libraries , The Best Resources Documenting The Effectiveness of Free Voluntary Reading, The Best Resources On “Becoming What We Read” and
The Best Resources On Which Is Best – Reading Digitally Or Reading Paper?

I’ve divided this list into four categories. The first one is related to studies showing the importance of books in the home. The second relates to to helping students select books they want to read. Next, I list posts sharing examples of what students can do while reading them (and does not include book reports!). And the last category includes web applications that make it easy for students to share about the books they have read.

You might also be interested in The Best Resources On The Study Finding That Reading Books Makes You Live Longer.

Here are my choices for My Best Posts On Books: Why They’re Important & How To Help Students Select, Read, Write & Discuss Them:


“Home Libraries Provide Huge Educational Advantage”

More On The Importance Of Home Libraries

Very Accessible Report On The Importance Of Home Libraries

“Free books block ’summer slide’ in low-income students”

Update On Summer Reading Study

“Summer Must-Read for Kids? Any Book”

Study: Reading Books Is Only Out-Of-School Activity That Helps Students Get Better Job Later

A Book in Every Home, and Then Some is a useful article in the New York Times about efforts to get books to low-income families. It contains links to some useful studies.

Fighting The “Summer Slide”

LeBron James Is Reading A Lot

Image: “Reading Helps You See Further”

Books in the Home Are Strongly Linked to Academic Achievement is from Pacific Standard.

This Is A Great Article On The Benefits Of Reading Books & Here Is How I’m Going To Use It

Statistic Of The Day: It’s Good To Have Books At Home

“Book Deserts” In Many Of Our Students’ Neighborhoods

Why is reading good for me? is from the BBC.

Statistic Of The Day: Reading Helps You Live Longer

Video: “Reading books could help lengthen your life”

Great Article On The Benefits Of Reading – With An Accompanying Writing Prompt!


Here’s a new and good video from Newsy (an article accompanies it):


“Myths of Independent Reading”

How I Organize My Classroom Library

Concerns About Book “Leveling”

“When Reading Becomes Work: How Textbooks Ruin Reading”

Excellent Info On The Importance Of Reading For Pleasure

New Ongoing Project: Video Interviews With My Students’ Favorite Authors

Teenagers’ book choices ‘go for easier reads’ is a BBC story on a recent study.


Getting Students To Talk About What They’re Reading &”Book Talks”

What A Great Way To Write A Book Review!

Students Annotating Text

Students Annotating Text — Part Two

“Read A Children’s Book” Form For Students

Do You Require “Reading Logs” For Homework?

I like this reading log created by Ekuwah Moses.

Let’s Talk About Reading Logs Again is by Pernille Ripp.

Reading Logs — Part Two (or “How Students Can Grow Their Brains”)

Can Reading Logs Ruin Reading for Kids? is from The Atlantic and discusses important recent research.

Two Ways I’m Using Our School Library

“Book Discussion Group Guidelines”

“Low-Income Students Suffer Greater Summer-Learning Losses”

“Bloom’s Taxonomy According to Pirates of the Caribbean” is a fun video, and in the post I describe how I plan to use it as a model for a student assignment in their book discussion groups.

(Almost) Paperless Literature Circles appeared in Edutopia.

“Myths of Independent Reading”

“How to Create Nonreaders”

Reading Research

Talking To Students About Their Reading (& Their Data)

What Should Teachers Be Doing During Student “Free Voluntary Reading” Time?

Summarizing Books In One Picture

Considering the Future of Reading: Lessons, Links and Thought Experiments is from The New York Times Learning Network, as is Beyond the Book Report: Ways to Respond to Literature Using New York Times Models. They are obviously not my posts, but I think the best place to “curate” them is here.

Book Reviews – & Shakespeare – In Three Panels

Here’s A New Reading Activity I Tried Out Today That Went Pretty Well…

Fun Assessment for Silent Sustained Reading is by Catlin Tucker.

TEN WAYS TO DITCH THAT READING LOG is from Middle School Minds.

6 Alternatives to Reading Logs is by Shaelynn Farnsworth.

How to talk with a student about a book you haven’t read is the topic of this video and teacher hand-out.


Linklist Is A Winner

Book Trailers

“7 Books” Has Potential

Students Making Video “Book Trailers”

Making Book Trailers With Fotobabble

“Book Club It” Lets You Easily Create Online Book Discussion Groups

Book Trailers From My Class

Here’s My Teacher Model For Instagram Video “Book Trailers” My Students Will Be Making

Creating Instagram Video “Book Trailers” With English Language Learners

Using Technology to Inspire Independent Readers is from Edutopia. It joins other resources related to students creating book trailers here.

#BookSnaps – How-To-Videos and Examples is by Tara Martin.

#BookSnaps and Book Creator is from Book Creator.

This isn’t my post, but it relates to book trailers: Common Core, Book Trailers, and Three Good Tools for Creating Them is a helpful post from Richard Byrne that shares several web tools.

“Call Me Ishmael” Is A Neat Site & Model For Student Book Activity

Am I The Only Teacher Who Didn’t Know About “BookTubers”?



Book reviews are great writing opportunities. ELL teacher Jennifer Duartehad some challenges having her students write ones for Amazon (not least of which being you have to buy something before they let you publish a review).Shelfari, though, seems like a very reasonable alternative. Students can create their own virtual bookshelf and write reviews of them.

Library Thing is similar to Shelfari, and is another good place for writing book reviews.

Good Reads is another.

Suggestions are welcome…

The Best Places Where Students Can Post Book Reviews For Authentic Audiences


For Those Who Want to Lead, Read is from The Harvard Business Review.

Books: A Living History is from Brain Pickings.

The Power of Purposeful Reading is by Cris Tovani.

Leah Price on the History of Reading is from The Browser.

I’ll Take 90% Student Engagement Over 100% “Compliance” — Any Day

Statistic Of The Day: Books Are Important

Here’s a TED-Ed lesson and video (even though it’s not anywhere as interesting as it could have been):

15 Reasons Why You Should Read was created by Lauren Zucker’s students.

Guided Reading: How to Make Kids Hate (or Love) to Read is by Justin Minkel.

Four Steps to a Magnificent Classroom Library is by Justin Minkel.

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You might also want to explore the 450 other “The Best…” lists I’ve compiled.