Donalyn is the author or co-author of several books about creating engaging and inclusive reading communities for all children. In her first book, The Book Whisperer (Jossey-Bass, 2009), Donalyn reflects on her journey to become a reading teacher and describes how she inspires and motivates her middle school students to read 40 or more books a year.
Donalyn is an award-winning teacher, author, and staff development leader who has taught fourth, fifth, and sixth grade language arts and social studies in the Fort Worth, Texas area.
Library Journal said, “Her approach is simple yet provocative: affirm the reader in every student, allow students to choose their own books, carve out extra reading time, model authentic reading behaviors, discard timeworn reading assignments such as book reports and comprehension worksheets, and develop a classroom library filled with high-interest books.”
The Book Whisperer has been translated into several languages including French and Chinese.
Her teaching awards include TCTELA’s Elementary Language Arts Teacher of the Year (2011), Keller ISD Elementary Teacher of the Year (2010), ESC Region XI Teacher of the Year (2010), TEA State Finalist Texas Elementary Teacher of the Year (2010), Trinity Meadows Intermediate School Teacher of the Year (2010), and Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented Region XI Rising Star Teacher (2008). In 2018, Donalyn was awarded TCTELA’s Edmund J. Farrell Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to the language arts teaching profession.