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.

Anderson, C. (2018). A teacher’s guide to writing conferences. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

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

Beck, S. W. (2018). A think-aloud approach to writing assessment: Analyzing process and product with adolescent writers. New York: Teachers College Press.

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

Chisholm, J. S., & Whitmore, K. F. (2018). Reading challenging texts: Layering literacies through the arts. New York: Routledge.

Franzen, J., & Peters, B. (2019). Say yes to pears: Food literacy in and beyond the English classroom. Urbana: NCTE.

Gelzheiser, L. M., Scanlon, D. M., Hallgren-Flynn, L., & Connors, P. (2018). Comprehensive reading intervention in grades 3-8: Fostering word learning, comprehension, and motivation. New York: Guilford Press.

Graham, S., MacArthur, C. A., & Hebert, M. (Eds.). (2018). Best practices in writing instruction (3rd ed.). New York: Guilford Press.

Holt, M. (2018). Collaborative learning as democratic practice: A history. Urbana: NCTE.

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

Johnson, A. M. (2018). A walk in their kicks: Literacy, identity, and the schooling of young black males. New York: Teachers College Press.

Kesler, T. (2018). The reader response notebook: Teaching toward agency, autonomy, and accountability. Urbana: NCTE.

Knight-Manuel, M. G., & Marciano, J. E. (2018). Classroom cultures: Equitable schooling for racially diverse youth. New York: Teachers College Press.

Lindblom, K. (2018). Continuing the journey 2: Becoming a better teacher of authentic writing. Urbana: NCTE.

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

McCann, T. M., Kahn, E. A., & Walter, C. C. (2018). Discussion pathways to literacy learning. Urbana: NCTE.

McCann, T. M., & Knapp, J. V. (2018). Teaching on solid ground: Knowledge foundations for the teacher of English. New York: Guilford.

McGregor, T. (2018). Ink & ideas: Sketchnotes for engagement, comprehension, and thinking. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

McKnight, K. S., & Allen, L. H. (2018). Strategies to support struggling adolescent readers, grades 6-12. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Miller, D. (2018). What’s the best that could happen? New possibilities for teachers & readers. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Minor, C. (2018). We got this: Equity, access, and the quest to be who our students need us to be. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Mirra, N. (2018). Educating for empathy: Literacy learning and civic engagement. New York: Teachers College Press.

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

Morrow, L. M., Kunz, K., & Hall, M. (2018). Breaking through the language arts block: Organizing and managing the exemplary literacy day. New York: Guilford Press.

Olson, C. B. (2018). Thinking tools for young readers and writers: Strategies to promote higher literacy in grades 2-8. New York: Teachers College Press.

Pasternak, D. L., Caughlan, S., Hallman, H. L., Renzi, L., & Rush, L. S. (2018). Secondary English teacher education in the United States. London: Bloomsbury.

Pryle, M. B. (2018). Reading with presence: Crafting mindful, evidence-based reading responses. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Ray, K. W., & Cleaveland, L. B. (2018). A teacher’s guide to getting started with beginning writers: Classroom essentials. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Rief, L. (2018). The quickwrite handbook: Mentor texts to jumpstart your students’ thinking and writing. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Rose, J. (2018). Readers’ liberation: The literary agenda. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Routman, R. (2018). Literacy essentials: Engagement, excellence, and equity for all learners. Portland: Stenhouse.

Rozema, R. (2018). Seeing the spectrum: Teaching English language arts to adolescents with autism. New York: Teachers College Press.

Rubenstein, S. (2018). Speak for yourself: Writing with voice. Urbana: NCTE.

Ryan, C. L., & Hermann-Wilmarth, J. M. (2018). Reading the rainbow: LGBTQ-inclusive literacy instruction in the elementary classroom. New York: Teachers College Press.

Schultz, B. D. (2018). Spectacular things happen along the way: Lessons from an urban classroom (2nd ed.). New York: Teachers College Press.

Serravallo, J. (2018). Understanding texts & readers: Responsive comprehension instruction with leveled texts. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Smagorinsky, P. (2018). Teaching English by design: How to create and carry out instructional units (2nd ed.). Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Tuck, J. (2018). Academics engaging with student writing: Working at the higher education textface. London: Routledge.

Vaughn, K. (2018). Lightning paths: 75 poetry writing exercises. Urbana: NCTE.

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

Wooten, D. A., Liang, L. A., & Cullinan, B. E. (Eds.). (2018). Children’s literature in the reading program: Engaging young readers in the 21st century (5th ed.). New York: Guilford.

Yates, K., & Nosek, C. (2018). To know and nurture a reader: Conferring with confidence and joy. Portland, ME: Stenhouse.

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.