The reviews of Whole Novels for the Whole Class are starting to come in--here on Goodreads and here on Amazon. And now, a twitter friend and veteran 8th grade English teacher and curriculum coach in Massachusetts (whom I've never met) @RAMS_English has posted a review on his blog. Here are just a few quotes from the review, but click through to read the whole thing (it's a fun, quick, read).
"Some school districts have gone whole hog into independent reading to the point where students no longer share common books read as a class. Other districts, more of the old school variety, continue to teach whole-class novels and leave independent reading to the whims of students. Sacks walks a middle line. Like my school, her Brooklyn middle school does both. She is a devotee of the Bank Street College methodology, which, coincidentally, is in line with St. Nancie of Atwell’s belief: novels should be read in their entirety before they are discussed (see Atwell’s The Reading Zone)."
"As the book goes on, more and more questions may crop up in your head. Sacks anticipates many of these “what if’s” thanks to her talks with other teachers who have followed her path."
"And then the bonus — the best part of any PD book worth its educational salt — a rich appendix section filled with sample notes, worksheets, assignments, and activities. Soup, meet nuts. Thorough, meet job."
"And whether you adopt the system whole hog or in adapted form, you can’t help but learn something that will improve your practice — words I don’t offer lightly. For teachers interested in investing in their students as they teach whole novels to readers of varying abilities, I heartily recommend Sacks’ book."
Thank you @RAMS_English!!! It's a great feeling to know that other teachers are reading and appreciating the ideas in this book!