Recent Book Titles for Review

Thank you for your interest in reviewing books for Wisconsin English Journal! For ideas, see the following list of current publications. Of course, this list isn’t exhaustive, and reviewers will have to acquire titles independently from the publisher or a library.

See below this list for reviewing guidelines.


Ayers, W. (2019). About becoming a teacher. Teachers College Press.

Borsheim-Black, C., & Sarigianides, S. T. (2019). Letting go of literary whiteness: Antiracist literature instruction for white students. Teachers College Press.

Brandt, M., & Newkirk, T. (2020). Between the commas: Sentence instruction that builds confident writers (And writing teachers). Heinemann.

Burke, J. (2019). The six academic writing assignments: Designing the user’s journey. Heinemann.

Calkins, L. (2020). Teaching writing. Heinemann.

Dutro, E. (2019). The vulnerable heart of literacy: Centering trauma as powerful pedagogy. Teachers College Press.

Ehrenworth, M., Cherry-Paul, S., Burns, H., & Calkins, L. (2020). Critical literacy: Unlocking contemporary fiction. Heinemann.

Gear, A. (2020). Powerful writing structures: Brain pocket strategies for supporting a year-long writing program. Stenhouse.

Hurst, T. (2018). Addressing special educational needs and disability in the curriculum: English (2nd ed.). Routledge.

Kinloch, V., Burkhard, T., Penn, C. M., & Sealey-Ruiz, Y. (Eds.). (2020). Race, justice, and activism in literacy instruction. Teachers College Press.

Long, K., & Christel, M. T. (2019). Bring on the Bard: Active drama approaches for Shakespeare’s diverse student readers. NCTE.

Lysaker, J. T. (2019). Before words: Wordless picture books and the development of reading in young children. New York: Teachers College Press.

Macro, K. J., & Zoss, M. (Eds.). (2019). A symphony of possibilities: A handbook for arts integration in secondary English language arts. NCTE.

Morrow, L. M., & Gambrell, L. B. (Eds.). (2019). Best practices in literacy instruction (6th ed.). Guilford Press.

Swan Dagen, A., & Bean, R. M. (Eds.). (2020). Best practices of literacy leaders: Keys to school improvement (Second edition). Guilford Press.

Swartz, L. (2020). Teaching tough topics: How do I use children’s literature to build a deeper understanding of social justice, equity, and diversity? Stenhouse.

Wager, A. C., Clarke, L. W., & Enriquez, G. (2019). The reading turn-around with emergent bilinguals: A five-part framework for powerful teaching and learning (Grades K-6). Teachers College Press.

Wehmeyer, M. L. (2019). Strengths-based approaches to educating all learners with disabilities. New York: Teachers College Press.

Zerwin, S. M. (2020). Point-less: An English teacher’s guide to more meaningful grading. Heinemann.


General Guidelines
A critical book review examines and discusses issues the book itself raises or fails to raise. One writes a critical book review for the benefit of those who might not presently have time to read it but who nevertheless need to learn more about its basic approach. Reviewers should inform these readers concerning any merits and/or shortcomings the book may have. From information based on a well-written review, the reader may conclude that this book is either indispensable or inconsequential.

Introduction: As you begin, provide a complete bibliographical entry of the book in APA style at the top of the first page. Then, briefly introduce the book and the author, including biographical information about the author and the reason you chose the book. You may also mention other matters that you deem germane.

Brief Summary: This is a crucial step because the thesis contains the reason why the author wrote this particular book (there may be dozens on the market with similar subject matter). The thesis will state the author’s basic presuppositions and approach. The critical nature of the book review will then grow from the reviewer’s conclusion that the book does or does not achieve the author’s stated purpose.

Critical Evaluation: The main body will be concerned with thesis development. That is, did the author achieve the stated purpose? In this section the reviewer will inspect each of chapter or section to see how the thesis is (or is not) developed. If the author makes progress and develops the thesis convincingly, the reviewer says so by providing concrete examples and citing page numbers. If the thesis is poorly developed or if the examples are inadequate to support the assertions of the author, the reviewer will point this out as well. Most critical book reviews will contain both praise and criticism, carefully weighed and balanced against one another.

Conclusion: This section should include the major strengths and weaknesses of the book and evaluate its value for readers. Your primary purpose in this section is to respond both positively and negatively to the book’s contents and presentation. Central to this is the basic question of whether or not the author has achieved the book’s stated purpose.

Throughout your critique, be specific in your evaluations. Don’t just tell the reader about the book; tell and show the reader with concrete examples. As previously suggested, include page numbers when making specific reference to the book.

To submit a book review, follow WEJ‘s submission guidelines.