Eric Litwin’s & Gina Pepin’s The Power of Joyful Reading: A Good Place to Resume Dr Sam’s Blog

Eric Litwin’s & Gina Pepin’s The Power of Joyful Reading: A Good Place to Resume Dr Sam’s Blog


Dr. Sam Bommarito

Happy Labor Day weekend! It is a happy time in the Bommarito household. My wife Bonnie is home from her operation and on the mend. The doctors predict it will be 4-6 weeks for a full recovery. It is Bonnie’s birthday this weekend and she will be able to share it with our socially distanced children and grandchildren, a few a  time on different days. I’m ready to resume my regular blog entries.  I want to thank all of you for your thoughts, prayers and well wishes on social media. I also want to thank you for your patience during this hiatus. I couldn’t pick a better way to resume my blogging than to talk about a new book by Eric Litwin and Gina Pepin. The title of the book is The Power of Joyful Reading. It is published by Scholastic. My copy arrived yesterday. I found the fastest way to get a copy is by using Have a look:

The first part of the book contains a section about why young children need to enjoy reading and be immersed in print. That is a theme you have heard many times in this blog as I talked about how I am able to get lots of print into the hands of the students I tutor, even the very beginning readers. Creating a love of reading is a task that is sometime overlooked or ignored by some advocates code based approaches to reading. The path suggested by Litwin and Pepin is one that allows the child to learn to break the code while instilling the child a lifelong love of reading.  In terms of decoding and fluency Litwin and Pepin are influenced heavily by the work of Tim Rasinski. They specifically reference his  Megabook of Fluency and even cite my  December 19th  2019 blog about how I use Rasinski’s ideas around fluency.

The second part of the book focuses on how to optimize shared reading experiences and to teach like a reading superhero.  Taken together chapters 4-9 deliver a systematic  plan for teaching implementing a Joyful Reading Plan.  I first met Eric at the Write to Learn Conference in Missouri a couple of years back. Many of his books are also songs, with predictable lyrics.  During the day long workshop he had the teachers at the workshop engaged, singing and even dancing to his newest Groovey Joe book. His website became a go-to one for me and his use of song and music to help build reading and fluency has become a mainstay of my teaching.

Speaking of mainstays of teaching. Dr. Gina Pepin, an award winning classroom teacher, has include many of her favorite resources such as great read alouds, morning routines, marvelous mission statements and Ideas around positive classroom rules and community building.  As a teacher I always evaluate workshops and books around the criteria of does this book/workshop give me something I can take away and use on Monday. Dr. Pepin’s ideas will give teachers many such take aways.  Scholastic has created a website with resources from the book. To get into the website you need to use information from your copy of the book.  So,  if you don’t already have one, I’d highly recommend going to and order yours right now. 


Happy Labor Day and

Happy Reading and Writing!

See you next week

Dr. Sam Bommarito (aka the Joyful Reading Teacher)

Copyright 2020 by Dr. Sam Bommarito. Views/interpretations expressed here are solely the view of this author and do not necessarily reflect the views of any other person or organization.

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