What You Want:

Every Child a Super Reader: 7 Steps to Open a World of Possible

Author(s): Pam Allyn and Ernest Morrell
Publisher: Scholastic (2016)

Literacy experts Pam Allyn and Ernest Morrell maintain that when we build on children’s key strengths and immerse them in an intellectually invigorating, emotionally nurturing, literature-rich community, we grow “super readers” – avid readers who consume texts with passion, understanding, and a critical eye. Organized around the 7 Strengths inherent in super readers (belonging, curiosity, friendship, kindness, confidence, courage, and hope), this powerful resource helps children: Develop reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills; Learn comprehension strategies; Build a robust vocabulary; Deepen analytical prowess and an ability to talk and write about text; Develop empathy, a strong identity as a reader, and an expanded understanding of the world.

Featuring stirring reading and writing lessons, robust assessment tools, ready-to-share Family Guides, and embedded videos that illuminate the 7 strengths and more, Every Child a Super Reader shows teachers, parents, caregivers, and out-of-school providers why reading is the ultimate super power, opening a world of possible for every student.


Leadership in Changing Schools: 10 Keys to Successful Professional Development

Author(s): Katie Egan Cunningham, Diane W. Gómez, Courtney Kelly, Kristin N. Rainville, and Shelley B. Wepner

Publisher: Teacher’s College Press (11/20/2015)

Literacy Leadership in Changing Schools will help literacy leaders improve teachers’ professional development in grades K–6. The authors use literacy basics to suggest concrete approaches that leaders and coaches can use to help teachers improve their instruction with culturally and linguistically diverse students. Based on firsthand experiences, research, and a school-university-community collaborative (Changing Suburbs Institute® in New York), this practical book homes in on what literacy leaders need to do in today’s rapidly changing schools. With vignettes, strategies, and guidelines, each chapter is devoted to one essential component of serving as an effective literacy leader. Throughout, the book addresses typical issues leaders and teachers face, such as high-stakes testing, increasing failure rates, rigorous teacher and principal evaluations, family engagement, shrinking resources, and teachers’ inexperience with instructing diverse students.

Book Features:

  • A how-to framework for revamping literacy curriculum, programs, materials, and instructional techniques to meet the needs of diverse student populations.
  • A focus on the essential attributes needed to help teachers implement the Common Core State Standards and use data-driven instruction to help students achieve.
  • Literacy Leadership Toolkits with checklists, surveys, leadership activities, assessment charts, questions, and prompts for self-assessment.


Story: Still the Heart of Literacy Learning

Author(s): Katie Egan Cunningham
Publisher: Stenhouse (10/28/2015)

Stories surround us, support us, and sustain us. We see and hear them when walking down the street, on our digital newsfeeds, in our interactions with one another, in the ways our students play, and in literature, poetry, music, images, multimedia, and dramatic works.

While acknowledging the importance of teaching students strategies to read different kinds of text, to write across genres, and to speak and listen with purpose, Katie Egan Cunningham reminds us that when we bridge strategy with the power of story, we deepen literacy learning and foster authentic engagement. Story: Still the Heart of Literacy Learning compels us to ask crucial questions: Why do stories matter? Whose stories count? Where do stories live? How do stories come alive? How do we build stories? How do we talk about stories? And why does this work take courage?

Katie shares her story as a classroom teacher, literacy specialist, staff developer, and professor. She shows teachers how to create classrooms of caring and inquisitive readers, writers, and storytellers. Katie explains specific ways to build a classroom library that reflects our diverse society through rich, purposeful, and varied texts. She also provides numerous examples of multigenre and multimodal stories from children’s and young adult literature, poetry, songs, and multimedia. The practical toolkit at the end of each chapter demonstrates how to make stories come alive in any classroom.


The Core Ready Series

Author(s): Pam Allyn
Publisher: Pearson
Level: Grades K–8
Price: $111.60 per K-2, 3-5, and 6-8 book set (4 books/set); $141.93 includes Be Core Ready: Powerful, Effective Steps to Implementing and Achieving the Common Core State Standards

The Core Ready Series provides educators with invaluable help for preparing for the Common Core Standards, empowering literacy instruction, and creating a systematic vision for school or district literacy that everyone can understand. The series is organized around the author’s Four Doors to Core Ready:
The Journey to Meaning: Comprehension and Critique
The Shape of Story: Yesterday and Today
The Road to Knowledge: Information and Research
The Power to Persuade: Opinion and Argument.

Each book set (K-2, 3-5, and 6-8) contains ready-to-use lessons and invaluable resources written in clear, accessible language.

  • Reading lessons and writing lessons connect, creating a dynamic classroom experience
  • Richly engaging authentic literatureSpeaking and listening opportunities for college and career readiness
  • Specific strategies to support English learners
  • Integrated close reading opportunities to encourage students to confidently draw from texts
  • Powerful support for the teaching of writing
  • Milestone performance assessments and reading and writing rubrics
Powerful links to content-area reading and writing experiences
  • Graphic organizers, teaching tips, charts, homework, handouts, and more
  • Motivational high-tech and low-tech options for student engagement

Purchase Pam Allyn’s Core Ready Series by contacting Jim Allyn at jim.allyn@litlifepd.com or 914-266-0305.

corereadyBe Core Ready: Powerful, Effective Steps to Implementing and Achieving the Common Core State Standards [Paperback]

Price: $32.22
Author(s): Pam Allyn
Publisher: Pearson
Level: For use with Grades K–8

Be Core Ready: Powerful, Effective Steps to Implementing and Achieving the Common Core State Standards is a transformational book for teachers, administrative leaders, literacy coaches, ELL specialists, special educators, media specialists, reading teachers, content area teachers, and families. In a teacher-friendly, conversational style, this book, provides a clear understanding of the most compelling topics emerging from the Common Core State Standards and introduces the groundbreaking 4 Doors to Core Ready approach to solving the questions of what to teach and how to teach it in this new era. The book addresses curriculum, close reading, text complexity, care for ELL and special needs students, meaningful assessment, and the active and meaningful use of technology and literature to help all students meet and exceed the standards.

Purchase “Be Core Ready” by contacting Jim Allyn at jim.allyn@litlifepd.com or 914-266-0305.


YourChild'sWriting12-7-1Your Child’s Writing Life: How to Inspire Confidence, Creativity, and Skill at Every Age [Paperback]

Price: $14.40
Author(s): Pam Allyn
Publisher: Avery Trade
Level: For use with Grades K–8

An illuminating, first-of-its-kind resource to help parents foster a love of writing in their child’s life.

New educational research reveals that writing is as fundamental to a child’s development as reading. But though there are books that promote literacy, no book guides parents in helping their child cultivate a love of writing. In this book, Pam Allyn, a nationally recognized educator and literacy expert, reminds us that writing is not only a key skill but also an essential part of self-discovery and critical to success later in life. Allyn offers the “the five keys” to help kids WRITE-Word Power, Ritual, Independence, Time, and Environment-along with fun, imaginative prompts to inspire and empower children to put their thoughts on the page.

A groundbreaking blueprint for developing every child’s abilities, Your Child’s Writing Life teaches parents how to give a gift that will last a lifetime.

Purchase “Your Child’s Writing Life” here.


cover_09Best Books for Boys

Price: $14.83
Author(s): Pam Allyn
Publisher: Scholastic
Level: For use with Grades K–8

Get all boys reading with this extraordinary guide—chock-full of a wide range of must-read titles organized by interest, age, and development. With this resource in hand, you’ll never again struggle to find the right book for even your most reluctant readers. The carefully chosen book selections are accompanied by brief explanations of each book, and a recurring feature, Talk About It, will help you extend the book through conversation, supporting and enhancing the reading experience. In addition, ready-to-use lessons align with themes and topics of special interest to boys that will motivate and inspire them to read more. Finally, Pam answers your most pressing questions about the challenges for boys as readers and shows you how you can maximize environments, routines, and structures to ensure that boys are reading widely and passionately. For use with Grades K-8.

Purchase “Best Books for Boys” here.


greateightThe Great Eight: Management Strategies for the Reading and Writing Classroom

Price: $15.59
Author(s): Pam Allyn, Jaime Margolies, Karen McNally
Publisher: Scholastic Teaching Resources, June 2010
ISBN-13: 978-0545173537
Level: For use with Grades K–2

Maximize your classroom productivity with management techniques that enhance student learning and achievement. Full-color photographs from veteran teachers Pam Allyn, Jaime Margolies, and Karen McNally showcase eight easy-to-implement management strategies and dozens of innovative, practical ideas, each accompanied by the authors’ explicit, easy-to-follow instructions. From arranging furniture and creating kid-friendly storage space to designing flexible teaching areas and planning schedules, the authors show teachers how to create a highly productive classroom environment. They also describe classroom-tested routines for reading and writing instruction—whole class, small group, and independent practice—including the read-aloud, spelling and word work, and across-the-curriculum integration. Their beautiful photographs and practical solutions to everyday challenges will inform and inspire all year long!

Purchase “The Great Eight” here.


whattoreadwhenWhat to Read When: The Books and Stories to Read with Your Child—And All the Best Times to Read Them

Price: $15.98
Author(s): Pam Allyn
Publisher: Penguin Group, April 2009
ISBN-13: 978-1583333341
Level: 0 – 10 years

There is a book for every moment: the first day of school or the day your family moves, an eagerly awaited holiday or a rainy afternoon when it seems there’s nothing to do. In What to Read When, Pam reveals wonderful, field-tested books for every age and every moment. With years of experience in education, Pam argues a compelling case for reading aloud. She advises parents and caregivers on how to harness the elemental power of storytelling. Reading aloud can do so many things for a child: it can ease big transitions, nurture budding talents and passions, make chores more bearable, bring laughs after a hard day, inspire family rituals, and, of course, soothe a tired newborn to sleep.

The book is full of practical advice you’ll be excited to apply as soon as possible. Along with book titles and descriptions, What to Read When answers parents’ questions about reading. Allyn equips parents and caregivers with tools to tackle issues such as ideal level of difficulty, attention span concerns, lack of interest, and gender differences. Developmental insight gleaned from Allyn’s years of education experience will reassure and guide parents. What to Read When shows how to best invite your child into the wonderful world of literature. Check out What to Read When‘s bibliography.

Purchase “What to Read When” here.