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Igniting a Passion for Reading by Steven L. Layne

Wow! I curled up with my computer to read/browse a pageflip of the new professional book by Steven L. Layne today. Igniting a Passion for Reading ships December 14th, but I couldn’t wait so I browsed, zoomed in, searched, read, flipped back and forth, and re-read for hours this Saturday morning. I couldn’t get enough of Igniting a Passion for Readingwhat Dr. Layne was saying and found myself yelling out, "Yes! I’ve been telling people this." This is a must have title for school, classroom teacher, and library collections.  Be sure to share this with your Title1 coordinators to purchase for the professional collections and book rooms. 

Igniting a Passion for Reading: Successful Strategies for Building Lifetime Readers by Dr. Steven L. Layne. Stenhouse Publishers, ©2009. ISBN: 978-157110-385-7 Price: $19.00

Dr. Layne asks in Igniting a Passion for Reading "When was the last time you had an inservice on issues related to teaching the will of reading?" He has always advocated both the skill and the will needed in reading and provides concrete examples of what reading looks like in schools and in classrooms. 

This is not simply a text on the affective side of reading, but also a handy guide with practical tools like his Book Chat Rubric which he calls his "ultimate, best-ever, most-refined, I-finally-got-it-right rubric." The appendix includes reproducible tools teachers can immediately use.

Helping disengaged readers is important to me personally and I appreciated Dr. Layne’s discussion on aliteracy including his statement "A new question Why won’t Johnny read even when he can? needs some of our serious and undivided attention."

I’ll admit while I was reading the book through  page flip, zooming in and sliding around the pages, I wondered why he advocated schools have Reading Lounges not in library. I’ll leave that for you to read and form your opinion. Eventually I decided to search for the word "libraries" to see how many times he advocated the classroom teacher working with the school or public librarian. You’ll be happy to note that this is a very friendly-to-librarians text. 

From the publisher’s website, here is their description of Igniting a Passion for Reading by Steven L. Layne: 

When teaching reading, American classrooms often focus exclusively on skills instruction. But how can you teach the "how" without the "why?" In his new book, Igniting a Passion for Reading, Steve Layne shows teachers how to develop readers who are not only motivated to read great books, but also love reading in its own right. Packed with practical ways to engage and inspire readers from kindergarten through high school, this book is a "must have" on every teacher’s professional book shelf.

Well known for his children’s books, young adult novels, and keynote speeches across the nation and around the world, Steve, aka Dr. Read, offers teachers everywhere a plan for engaging even the most reluctant reader. From read-alouds to creating reading lounges to author visits and so much more, this book will help schools create a vibrant reading culture. The book also includes reminiscences from many of today’s well-known children’s and young adult authors—Mem Fox, Sharon Draper, Steven Kellogg, Candace Fleming, Eric Rohman, Neal Shusterman, and Joan Bauer—about the teacher who ignited their passion for reading. 

Some of my favorite chapter titles:

Don’t Bother Me, I’m Busy Changing Lives
Nothing’s More Dangerous Than a Teacher with a Good Idea
There’s a Party Goin’ on Right Here
Making the Intangible Tangible


  1. As a graduate of Dr. Layne’s Masters in Literacy program, I am eagerly awaiting the shipment of this book. He truly puts his heart into everything that he does and advocates for teachers and children. The inservices he provided in my school district in the past were among the very few in which I felt that I truly gleaned anything practical for my classroom. If this book is even half as good as his inservices and graduate courses, I anticipate that it will be dynamite!