Donalyn Miller, known for her book and blog titled The Book Whisperer, was chosen a Smart Blogger by the ASCD SmartBrief e-newsletter last week. In the highlighted post, Miller reflected on the favorite books read by her middle schoolers over the past school year. "Miller's free-choice reading environment," the editors wrote, "helped propel students' reading growth as they selected longer, more complex titles and found themselves exploring and preferring new and more diverse books." Student favorites included two by Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson & the Olympians series), an author who not too many years ago was (like Miller) a Texas middle school teacher. Other favorites among the sixth graders (who read an average of 57 books each) were The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness.