This is how I show my students that I love them — by putting books in their hands, by noticing what they are about, and finding books that tell them, “I know. I know. I know how it is. I know who you are, and even though we may never speak of it, read this book and know that I understand you.”
We speak in this language of books passing back and forth, books that say,
“You are a dreamer; read this.”
“You are hurting inside; read this.”
“You need a good laugh; read this.”
The time students spend in my class is fleeting, over too soon or, perhaps, just in time, but the hours we have spent together reading will outlast a school year. Books are immortality for writers, and as the conduit through which books have flowed into the hands of so many children, I feel that books are my immortality, too.
If my students remember my class as the year they devoured scores of books, then that has to be enough for me. I cannot control what happens after they leave my class, but I do wonder, is it enough for them? Considering how many of my former students still email me for book recommendations or show up in my doorway years later to talk about books, I would say it’s not.
— Donalyn Miller, The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child