We had planned to post this on 9/11 as a remembrance, but we keep hearing that teachers are looking for resources and Lesley has them here. We will repost on this Friday as well.
Examining the Events of September 11th through MG/YA Novels
by Lesley Roessing
No historical event may be as unique and complicated to discuss and teach as the events of September 11, 2001, the day terrorists crashed planes into, and destroyed, the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. At the time of this event no child in our present K-12 educational system was yet born, but, in most cases, their parents and educators would have been old enough to have some knowledge of, and even personal experience with, these events, making this a very difficult historic event for many to teach. However, with the devastation and impact of these events on our past, present, and future and as ingrained a part of history these events are, they need to be discussed and understood as much as possible.
This has been a challenging year; there have been countless complications from the COVID-19 pandemic, some more tragic than others, but all distressing and disappointing. For the last 18 years, the Tribute in Light has marked the anniversary of the events of September 11th. However, the pandemic has forced the tribute’s organizers to cancel this year’s Tribute in Light as well as the reading of victims’ names by family members. But there are ways we can mark this anniversary, honor the victims, and tribute the history of this event.
I have found the most effective way to confront difficult topics while still presenting a variety of perspectives and differentiated reading experiences for our diverse readers is through reading in book clubs. When classes read 5-6 novels about 9/11 where small groups of students are collaboratively reading, they can access differing perspectives to a story and generate important conversations within each book club and between book clubs. A complete unit on this topic for English-Language Arts and Social Studies classes is outlined—with daily focus lessons and student examples—in chapter 10 of Talking Texts: A Teachers’ Guide to Book Clubs across the Curriculum.
16+ Books; 16 Perspectives
Nine Ten: A September 11 Story is another novel effective in introducing young adolescent students to the many events of September 11, 2001. Nora Raleigh Baskin’s novel is set during the days leading up to 9/11—in Brooklyn, Los Angeles, Columbus, and Shanksvlle, Pennsylvania, where readers follow four diverse middle-grade students affected by the events of 9/11. Sergio, Naheed, Aimee, and Will first cross paths in the O’Hare Airport on September 9. The four young adolescents are Black, White, Jewish, and Muslim and are collectively surviving loss, guilt, poverty, parental absence, neglectful fathers, bullying, the navigation of peer relationships, as well as the angst of middle school, “…everything felt different, as if you suddenly realized you had been coming to school in your pajamas and you had to figure out a way to hide this fact before anyone else noticed.” (p. 48). In their own ways they are each affected by 9/11, and on September 11, 2002, these four and their families again converge at Ground Zero, each there for different reasons, but this time their paths back together have meaning.
There are a multitude of important conversations to be generated by this little novel, a story of Before and After. I was especially grateful that the events and heroes of Shanksville were memorialized. In fact there are many aspects of heroism brought forth in the novel to discuss. But Nine, Ten: A September 11 Story is the story of people and three days in their lives, “Because in the end it was just about people…Because the world changed that day, slowly and then all at once.” (p. 176).
On her first birthday Abbi was saved by a worker in her World Trade Center complex daycare center. As she is carried out, wearing a crown and holding a red balloon, the South Tower collapsing behind, a photographer takes the picture that has branded her Baby Hope, the symbol of resilience. Abbi spends her childhood and adolescence in relative fame; strangers hug and cry, share their stories with her, frame and hang the photograph in their homes, and news outlets hold “Where is Baby Hope Now” stories.
Noah was a baby in the hospital, fighting for his life, on 9/11 when his father went back to his office in the World Trade Center for his lucky hat, never to return home. He and his mother now live with her new husband and Noah is obsessed with comedy.
At age 15, Abbi is experiencing a suspicious cough, keeping it a secret from her parents and grandmother. Connie, the daycare worker, has recently died from cancer, most likely 9/11 syndrome, and Abbi takes a job as a camp counselor in a nearby town, looking for some anonymity and a chance at a “happily ever after” to the story that began with “Once upon a time” (9/11). Unfortunately, Noah, a fellow counselor, recognizes her and blackmails her into helping him interview the four other people in the iconic Baby Hope picture, convinced that the man in background wearing a Michigan cap is his father and also convinced, since his mother won’t talk about him, that his father chose not to come home after escaping from the Tower.
This is a novel about 9/11, one that presents yet more facets than many other 9/11 novels, such as 9/11 syndrome which is affecting many of those who were at Ground Zero, heroism and sacrifice, survivor guilt, and “[What] happens when the story you tell yourself turns out not to be your story at all.” (280)
This is primarily a novel about relationships—shifting relationships with family, friends, ex-friends, strangers, and romantic partners. I absolutely adored these characters—Noah and Abbi especially (and their evolving relationship) and Noah’s BFF Jack, Abbi’s divorced-but-best-friends-and-maybe-more parents, her grandmother who is experiencing the onset of dementia, and even Noah’s stepfather who learns to make jokes. I was sorry when the novel ended, not that the story was unfinished but my relationship with the characters was.
But then the events of September 11, 2001, occurred, and Martians did invade the earth, only they looked like Sam and his family—Muslim. Because one of the terrorists had lived in their neighborhood and was a client at the bank where Mr. Madina worked, Sam’s father comes under FBI surveillance, and the neighborhood divides in their support. Not Jake, though. He believes in his friend and his friend’s family, physically fighting the school bully who refers to Sam as a “towelhead” and arguing with his own mother whose own grief keeps her from supporting their neighbors.
When his father is taken into custody, Sam refuses to attend school, abandons his cross-country team, and distances himself from Jake, taking a new interest in the Islam religion. But Jake does not give up, and the boys reconnect to peacefully stop their racist classmates, Bobby and Rigo, from attacking the local mosque. Afterwards, Jake realizes that they both have been affected by 9/11; he has learned that you can be both scared and brave at the same time, but he has also has learned that adversity can be defeated peacefully. And Jake realizes that Sam is now different. “For the first time I see Sam, a Muslim. An American Muslim. But he is still just Sam, no matter what.”
When fifth-grader Ema and her mother go to live with Ema’s very traditional Japanese grandparents during a difficult pregnancy, author Annie Donwerth-Chikamatsu’s verse novel takes the reader through six months (June 21, 2001-January 2, 2002) of customs, rituals, and holidays, both Japanese and American. There are challenges, such a choosing a name for the new baby that brings good luck in Japan and that both sets of grandparents can pronounce. Ema celebrates American Independence Day and Japanese Sea Day, and she now views some days, such as August 15 Victory Over Japan Day from diverse perspectives.
On September 11, 2001 Ema experiences both two typhoons in her town and the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in America—on television. As the reader traverses the intricacies of two fusing two distinct cultures with Emi and her family, our knowledge of others is doubled
The attacks of September 11, 2001, affected our country as a whole, but it is even harder to imagine the effect on those who lived in NYC. Claire, Peter, and Jasper are three teenagers living in NYC on that date. Claire leaves her high school to pick up her brother from his elementary school; Peter has already left school and is at the record store, thinking about his impending date with Jasper; and Jasper is at home alone, his parents visiting their native Korea, before he leaves for college. None of the three are directly affected—none of their parents worked in the World Trade Center, none of their friends or relatives were killed; they were not physically hurt—but the events of this day color the year following. “I want to know why this is so much a part of me. I want to know why this thing that happened to other people has happened so much to me.” (104)
Readers view the day through their alternating perspectives. We view the constructive acts of strangers as Claire observes, “There are skyscrapers collapsing behind us, and nobody is pushing, nobody is yelling. When people see we’re a school group, they’re careful not to separate us. Stores are not only giving away sneakers, but some are handing out water to people who need it. You’d think they’d take advantage and raise the prices. But no. That’s not what happens.” (14) and Peter reflects, “And the people I care about, suddenly I care about them a little more, in this existential way.” (82)
Even though Peter and Jason’s date does not go well, another ramification of the day, the three become friends, especially Claire and Peter who attend high school together, Jason returning to college. And the year continues, each is a little changed. As Peter observes, “ If you start the day reading the obituaries, you live your day a little differently.” (123)
By December Jasper observes that he has finally gone an entire day without thinking of 9/11 but then wonders what that means. Claire feels the weight of the day lighten a little, but “It is still strange to see the skyline. I have never seen an absence that it so physical.” (126)
On the anniversary of 9/11 Claire retraces the steps she took on that day, and Peter and Jason finally have a second date. On March 19, 2003, the day of the United States invasion of Iraq, the three reunite, and Claire observes, “And we are so different from who we were on September 10th. And also different from who we were on the 11th. And the 12th. And yesterday.” (163) Together they have found the “antidote” to the fear and uncertainty; they have each other as they individually navigate the world and remember what matters.
Instead of focusing on the overwhelming statistics generated by the March 11, 2011 earthquake and resulting tsunami in Japan—nearly 16,000 deaths and 3,000 people missing—the event becomes even more intense and compelling as author Leza Lowitz relates the story of one town and one boy and the resilience of many.
The story begins on March 11 when Kai, a half Japanese, half American 17-year-old and his teachers and classmates experience the “jolting of the earth,” and as trained, they evacuate, running for their lives, looking for the highest place, as their town is destroyed. Written powerfully in free verse, the reader feels the fury of nature as the water “churns,” “thrashes,” “surges,” “sweeps,” “charges.” Kai ends up in a shelter having lost his mother, his grandparents, and one of his best friends. His father left years before to return to America.
Faced with overwhelming loss and trauma, Kai walks into the ocean but is saved by one of his classmates and convinced to accept the opportunity to go to New York City on the tenth anniversary of 9/11 where he will spend some time with young adults who lost their parents as teens in the 9/11 attacks. At Ground Zero, Fia tells him, “Bravery means being scared and going forward anyway.”
Kai hopes to find his father in NYC but returns to his village to help the young adolescents who lost their families and to rebuild his town. “I want to be/ like that tree/ deep roots/ making it strong/ keeping it/ standing tall.” And it is to his roots Kai returns and stays—“The quake moved the earth/ ten inches/ on its axis./ I guess/I shifted,” too.”
Up from the Sea, well-written as a verse novel (a format that engages many reluctant readers), would serve as an effective continuation to a 9/11 study. Readers should already be aware of the events of 9/11 to understand the connection between Kai and Tom but will comprehend the trauma and loss experienced, and resilience that is required, by anyone who faces adversity.
The reader learns about the close relationship between 13-year-old Wendy and her mother through flashbacks: her mother's divorce, the sporadic visits of her father, her mother's marriage to her "other dad," and the birth of her half-brother. And then her mother goes to work at her job at the World Trade Center on 9/11/2001—and does not return. Wendy’s world changes. “Then September happened and the planet she lived on had seemed more like a meteor, spinning and falling” (p. 175).
The reader experiences not only Wendy's (and Josh's and Louie's) loss but the suffering and uncertainty of those left behind. Could her mother be walking around, not remembering who she is? As the family hangs signs, we learn how different this loss was for many people who held out hope for a long time without a sense of closure. And this loss was different because it was experienced by many—an entire country in a way. “Instead of just dealing with your own heart getting ripped into pieces, wherever you looked you knew there were other people dealing with the same thing. You couldn’t even be alone with it” (p. 95).
We see the loss through the eyes and hearts of a daughter, a very young son, and a desperately-in-love husband. Wendy leaves Brooklyn and goes to her biological father’s in California. Among strangers, she re-invents her life. As those she meets help fill the hole in her life, she fills the hole in theirs. Books also help her to heal.
Even though there are quite a few characters in this novel, but they all are well-developed, and I found myself becoming involved in all their lives, not only Wendy, Josh, and Louie and even his father Garrett, but Wendy’s new friends—Carolyn, Alan, Todd, Violet… On some level they all have experienced trauma and loss, and within these relationships, Wendy is able to heal and return to rebuild her family.
Although I did not want this novel to end and to leave these characters, this well-written novel taught me more about the effects of September 11, loss, and the importance of relationships and added a new perspective to my collection of 9/11 novels.
All We Have Left was so compelling that I read from dawn to dusk and did not put the book down until I finished. The novel intertwines two stories, that of 18-year-old Travis and sixteen-year-old Alia who were in the Towers as they fell and the story of Travis’ sister, Jesse, who, fifteen years later, is part of a dysfunctional family whose lives are still overwhelmingly affected by That Day and Travis’ death.
Seventeen year old Jesse is not sure who she is, who she should be, who she should hate, and who she can love. Her life is overshadowed by 9/11, her mother’s mourning, and her father’s hate.
But both Alia in 2001, and Jesse in 2016, learn that “Faith and strength aren’t something that you wear like some sort of costume; they come from inside you” (p.329) as does love. And Jesse realizes that she has to work on “treasuring right here, right now, because that’s important.” As one character says but all the characters learn, “You can fill that void inside you with anger, or you can fill it with the love for the ones who remain beside you, with hope for the future.”
What I appreciated about this novel is that is shows yet another side of how 9/11 affected people, especially adolescents, those adolescents who populate American schools everywhere. I strongly feel that students should not only be learning about the events and effects of 9/11, but that, through novels, readers learn more about how events affect people and especially children their ages.
“Things get a little more complicated when you know somebody’s story.…It’s hard to fear someone, or be cruel to them, when you know their story.”
The majority of the 21.3 million refugees worldwide in 2016 were from Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia. The United States resettled 84,994 refugees. Together with immigrants, refugee children make up one in five children in the U.S. More than half the Syrian refugees who were resettled in the U.S. between October 2010 and November 2015 are under the age of 20.
In Out of Nowhere by Maria Padian, narrator Tom Bouchard is a high school senior. He is a soccer player, top of his class academically, and well-liked. He lives in Maine in a town that has become a secondary migration location for Somali refugees. These Somali students are trying to navigate high school without many benefits, including the English language. They face hostility from many of their fellow classmates and the townspeople, including the mayor; one teacher, at the request of students, permits only English to be spoken in her classroom. When four Somali boys join the soccer team, turning it into a winning team, and when he is forced to complete volunteer hours at the K Street Center where he tutors a young Somali boy and works with a female Somali classmate, Tom learns at least a part of their stories. Tom fights bigotry, especially that of his girlfriend—now ex-girlfriend, but he still doesn’t comprehend the complexity of the beliefs, customs, and traditions of his new friends, and his actions have negative consequences for all involved. While trying to defend the truth, Tom learns a valuable lesson, “Truth is a difficult word. One person’s truth is another person’s falsehood. People believe what appears to be true and what they feel is true.”
Author Gae Polisner wrote The Memory of Things in alternating narratives—Kyle's in prose, the girl writes in free verse—the two characters sharing their stories and perspectives, introducing adolescent readers, many of whom had were not alive during 9/11, to the effects of this tragedy in their own ways.
The 5th grade characters explore “What does it mean to be an American?” as well as why history is relevant, alive, and, especially, personal as three students—one Black, one White, one Muslim—explore the effects of the events of 9/11 on each of their families. Déja’s “journey of discovery” about the falling of the Towers helps her father work through his connection to the event and his resulting PTSD.
“Sometimes when a terrible thing happens, it can make a beautiful thing seem even more precious.”
Eleven is the story of Alex who is turning 11 on September 11, 2001. I was concerned that the character would be too young for this topic. I also thought that, the character age’s implied that the novel wouldn’t contain the complexity the topic deserves. but, boy, was I wrong! I was hooked with the complexity of the first 2-page chapter. I wasn’t sure what was happening in this introductory chapter, but it was not a feeling of confusion as much as “It could be this; no, it could be this…” and inference and interpretation, even visualization.
I also forgot that New York City kids grow up faster, taking public transportation throughout the city, but more importantly, I forgot that when you need or expect a young adolescent to rise to the occasion, he will.
Alex loves airplanes and dogs—and he doesn’t realize it, but he loves his little sister Nunu who is relegated to her side of the bedroom they share by a black and yellow “flight line” down the middle of the room. And he loves his father, even though Alex told him, “I hate you,” the night before 9/11. When the Towers fall, Alex rises to the occasion, taking care of his little sister and an abandoned dog, making the sacrifice to return the dog he has always wanted to his owners when the vet finds a chip, facing bullies, making “deals” in the hopes these deals and good works will offset what he said to his father and ascertain his return from the Towers, and comforting Mac, a lonely man who is awaiting his only son’s return from the Towers.
In Eleven author Tom Rogers builds a character who is authentic, a kid who events serve to turn into a young man. Alex’s mother had said to him, “I need you to be grown up today” and, even though he was focusing on his misdeeds of the day, he did. “I’m proud of you, young man…. Young Man. Alex liked how that sounded.”
This book is not graphic but does not skirt the events. Readers hear the news announcement about the four airplanes and, more chilling, a description of an empty hospital—“There were no gurneys rolling through to the ER, no sick and wounded in pain. There wasn’t a patient in sight. And he knew then that none would be coming.” A powerful examination of the events of 9/11 and how they affected ordinary people—and one boy’s birthday.
Dawn is a foster teen who runs away to New York City and becomes affected by the events of 9/11. As she plays her flute on the streets near Ground Zero to earn money for food, she is approached by families of victims who ask her to play for them and the memories of their loved ones. As Dawn comes to believe this is her mission, she teaches herself music she feels appropriate for those of many cultures and stages of life. In doing so, she opens up to strangers and new friends, something she couldn't do with her foster mother.
Johar is an Afghani teenager, weaver, and poet. His father is killed by the Taliban, his mother is killed by a land mine, his older brother joins the Taliban, and his aunt is missing, leaving Johar to care for his three-year-old cousin. He and his cousin flee to a refugee camp in Pakistan where he works for the Red Cross doctor, Dawn's foster mother, another person who must learn to show love.
Dawn and Johar connect through phone calls and emails, and as they all work toward forming a family—one that spans the globe—the reader learns how war, the U.S. involvement, and the events of 9/11 affected those in many countries. This would be a book I would recommend for proficient readers with an interest in war or history.
P.S. After I read this book and posted my original Goodreads review, I was listening to a discussion about the days following 9/11 in the Middle East on NPR and found that I could actually follow it; therefore, I realize that I learned more than I thought from this novel.
As the son of a firefighter, Lucas was aware of the effects of danger and disasters. His father had been severely injured in a warehouse fire and was still not himself (“It turned him quiet.”). It had been a while since they had worked together on the firetruck model in the basement. But it was another tragedy that brought them back together as a family.
Lucas had sneaked into NYC that September 11 morning to ask his uncle to intercede on his behalf. After three concussions in two years of football, his parents and doctor were taking him off the team, and Lucas loved being on a team, a team of two with his father, his dad and uncle’s Ladder 177 firehouse, and especially his football team. Lucas was near Ground Zero when the planes hit the Towers, and when his father went looking for him, they were able to make it safely back to the fire station, helping others along the way.
Readers view the attacks of 9/11 up close and personal through Lucas’ eyes; they experience his loss, the heroism of the firefighters, and the resilience of his father. We feel the dust of the falling Towers, see the sky fogged with dust and ashes. “It wasn’t like regular dust. Some of the grains were jagged—bits of ground glass.… The dust, Lucas realized. That was the tower. It was practically all that was left.”
The story ends on a realistic but positive note with Lucas, not a player, but still a valued member of the football team. “Nothing would ever be the same again.” But his father told him, as time passed, it would get, not easy, but easier.
This was the first book in Tarshis’ I Survived series that I have read, and I was impressed with the writing, development of the main character, and the complexity of ideas presented in such a short text. This novel could be employed for MG or YA readers who are less proficient or more reluctant readers; English Language Learners who may not be ready for a longer or more complicated text; students who are short on time through absences, trips, or other obligations or who joined the class during the unit; or as a quick whole-class read for background before students break into book clubs to read one of the other 9/11 novels.
With Their Eyes was written from not only a unique perspective—those who watched the attack on the World Trade Center and the fall of the towers from their vantage point at Stuyvesant High School, a mere four blocks from Ground Zero, but in a unique format. Inspired by the work of Anna Deavere Smith whose work combines interviews of subjects with performance to interpret their words, English teacher Annie Thoms led one student director, two student producers, and ten student cast members in the creation—the writing and performance—of this play.
The students interviewed members of the Stuyvesant High study body, faculty, administration, and staff and turned their stories of the historic day and the days that followed into poem-monologues. They transcribed and edited these interviews, keeping close to the interviewees’ words and speech patterns because “each individual has a particular story to tell and the story is more than words: the story is its rhythms and its breaths.” (xiv) They next rehearsed the monologues, each actor playing a variety of roles. Although cast members were chosen from all four grades and to represent the school’s diversity, actors did not necessarily match the culture of their interviewees.
They next planned the order of the stories to speak to each other, “paint a picture of anger and panic, of hope and strength, of humor and resilience” (7), rehearsed, and presented two performances in February 2002.
With Their Eyes presents the stories of those affected by the events of 9/11 in diverse ways. It shares the stories of freshmen, sophomores, juniors, seniors, special education students, an English teacher, a Social Studies teacher, the School Safety Agent, the Building Coordinator, a dining hall worker, a custodian, an assistant principal, and more, some male, some female, some named, others remain anonymous. Written as a play, readers are given a description of each character. Read and performed as a play, readers will experience the effect of Nine Eleven on others, actual people who lived that day and persisted in those days that followed, sharing their big moments and little thoughts.
“the air felt on the outside like something that you might smell at a,
or feel at a barbecue,
but it didn’t, it…it hurt you.
It hurt your windpipe.
I could feel like, things collecting on my esophagus or on my lungs,
and I don’t think that is something that I will ever forget.” (44)
“and you know
what an odd thing this is
a peculiar little odd thing
just a little quirk, just
an odd thing, but, ah, the day before
on Monday evening I had taken the time to shine my shoes.
‘cause it’s kind of weird I took the time to shine my shoes
and I did a good job, right,
and then Tuesday morning
it was a beautiful sunny day
and as I was dusting myself off
from the debris of the north tower
I—I shook my clothes off and then I looked down
at my shoes and my shoes were a whole ‘nother color
they were completely covered
and I thought to myself
‘I just shined them yesterday’…” (102)
And the pregnant English teacher who said,
“…during that time of feeling afraid I felt like I was
crazy to be in New York…
and I had lots of conversations with my friends about
whether or not we would…
we would consider, you know, just completely changing our
lives and leaving New York
So far I don’t know anyone who has done that.
But do I plan to raise my child in New York? Yes.” (90)
You know, I really believe in healing
And I believe that, the city will
I think you have to believe that.” (93)
With Their Eyes was written with the thoughts and pens of a school community.
The day was September 11, 2001, a teacher meeting day during which students at Will’s high school were to shadow their parents at their workplaces. Ninth-grader William’s father John worked in international trade in the World Trade Center.
Upon arrival, father and son went to the 107th floor Observation Deck for a quick tour and history of the Center and view of the city. “Maybe my father was right and the World Trade Center and all the money that passed through here each day really did represent the United States.” (42)
At 8:46, shortly after arriving at John’s office on the 85th floor of the South Tower, they felt the force of an explosion. And as he looked out the window Will saw a gaping hole in the North Tower, billowing smoke, thousands of pieces of paper—some on fire—and, before he could look away, he was horrified to notice a man and woman jumping from windows of the building.
Will’s father, as acting head of his office and fire warden for the floor, demanded that his staff and other businesses on the floor close and evacuate for the day. But at 9:03, just before John and Will were able to leave, the second plane hit the South Tower.
Readers follow the father and son as they make the harrowing journey down 85 floors through heat and smoke, formulating split-second decisions and stopping to rescue and carry an injured woman, only to experience the collapse of the building as they reach the lobby.
A quick but dramatic read, Eric Walters’ novel lets readers experience a close-up account of the day and the panic and fear and heroism of ordinary people—John and Will, the men carrying a man in a wheelchair, the firemen and police—as Will discovers another side of his father and John realizes how much time he has devoted to his job rather than to his family.
The title derives from the children’s rhyme “Ring Around the Rosie,” a song that is actually about the Black Death during the Dark Ages. Will learns this in history class on the previous school day, a foreshadowing of events to occur.
A middle school and high school teacher for twenty years, Lesley Roessing was the Founding Director of the Coastal Savannah Writing Project at Georgia Southern University (formerly Armstrong State University) where she was also a Senior Lecturer in the College of Education. In 2018-19 she served as a Literacy Consultant with a K-8 school. Lesley served as past editor of Connections, the award-winning journal of the Georgia Council of Teachers of English. As a columnist for AMLE Magazine, she shared before, during, and after-reading response strategies across the curriculum through ten “Writing to Learn” columns. She now works independently, writing, providing professional development in literacy to schools, and visiting classrooms to facilitate reading and writing lessons. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or through Facebook Messenger.
Lesley is the author of
- Bridging the Gap: Reading Critically & Writing Meaningfully to Get to the Core
- Comma Quest: The Rules They Followed. The Sentences They Saved
- No More “Us” & “Them: Classroom Lessons and Activities to Promote Peer Respect
- The Write to Read: Response Journals That Increase Comprehension
- Talking Texts: A Teachers’ Guide to Book Clubs across the Curriculum
- and has contributed chapters to
- Young Adult Literature in a Digital World: Textual Engagement though Visual Literacy
- Queer Adolescent Literature as a Complement to the English Language Arts Curriculum
- Story Frames for Teaching Literacy: Enhancing Student Learning through the Power of Storytelling (in press)