Nonfiction Book Club: The Results and a Lesson

We haven’t yet officially begun our nonfiction book club and already I’m learning valuable lessons I plan to channel into my teaching.

Lesson one: It’s very likely that not every group member will get to read his or her first choice. There will be disappointment.

And in disappointment, there is often opportunity for learning. How will our students handle the disappointment that comes with not being able to read what they’d hoped with their club? How will we?

We have choices. We could mope, or refuse to participate, or approach the club with a closed heart. Or, we could embrace the club’s choice, seeing the alternate pick as a chance to broaden our own horizons and discover something we might not have about the world, or ourselves. As is often the case, lessons learned while learning to be a better reader become lessons for life. If we can help kids become more tolerant when things don’t go their way in a book club, perhaps we can teach them to be more tolerant when things don’t go their way in general.

And so, finally, the choice is revealed:

NF book club results 5:29

We are reading Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. I hope all of you who were hoping for a different book not only embrace this choice, but also read the book you most wanted to read, perhaps using this second read as an opportunity to try out some of the moves you pick up while reading alongside others in our club. That is, after all, what we’d want our students to do.

I so look forward to reading and chatting with you. You voted to begin toward the end of June. That will give us all time to get the book and to start thinking about our goals and plans as readers. You also voted that Mondays at 8pm EST would be the best time to chat. Why don’t we plan to join on Twitter Monday, June 23 at 8pm EST to get our book club started. No need to read before then – we can discuss reading assignments and goals at our meeting.

More soon!

Nonfiction Book Club: It’s a tie!

Future book club members, we have an exciting problem on our hands. Our survey revealed not only that we have a good-sized group planning to join us this summer, but we have a passionate group of readers with a wide variety of reading interests.

The results yielded a perfect three-way tie between:

  • Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
  • Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

So, let’s take another vote. Please help us choose the winner by Thursday, May 29 at 11:59pm EST. I’ll reveal the results on Friday the 30th.

I’m looking forward to the big reveal!

Summer Nonfiction Book Club: What would you like to read?

Hello Readers, 
We’ve had great response to the summer nonfiction book club idea proposed last week in the below post. I’ve compiled everyone’s suggestions and created a survey. I believe the survey will help us to be a bit more quantitative (and, I hope, fair) about our book selection. Your responses will also help me to set times for our virtual meet-ups. 

If you are planning on joining the book club, please weigh in. I’m looking forward to finding out what we choose!  

I will leave the survey live for a week, and then I will reveal our selection. 

Click here to access the survey. Thanks very much for participating. 


Join a Nonfiction Book Club this Summer

Here’s how it went down.

1. Jessie Miller came to an IRA session with Amanda Hartman and me titled Thinking, Talking and Writing about Nonfiction Reading in Read Aloud, Small Groups, and Book Clubs. 

2. I posted about the book clubs portion of the session on Two Writing Teachers. 

3. Jessie and I had a conversation on Twitter that started like this: 


4. Then, Jessie tweeted this: 


5. Which brought us to the idea: Let’s gather a few interested folks and hold a teacher nonfiction book club this summer.

We always talk about how important it is to DO the work we are aiming to teach. I preach this all the time. And yet I often need to be reminded to practice it. And when I am reminded, when I do the work, it is simply one of the best forms of professional development I receive. 

So let’s do it. Here’s how it could work. We can suggest our top picks for adult nonfiction and we can take a vote. We’ll choose the book by the end of the school year. Then, we can set up a few times over the summer to meet on Twitter to chat about our thinking, our writing, our learning, and, of course, ultimately, our implications for instruction. 

Who is with us? What would you like to read? Please leave suggestions in the comments below or tweet them to me at @AnnaGCockerille. 

Here are a few ideas: 
Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell
A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking
Lean In: Woman, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg with Nell Scovell

I am looking forward to reading and learning with you. Thank you Jessie for the inspiration!