Matching Books and Readers

Helping English Learners in Grades K-6

Nancy L. Hadaway and Terrell A. Young

Paperbacke-bookprint + e-book
August 10, 2010
ISBN 9781606238813
Price: $30.00
256 Pages
Size: 6" x 9"
March 1, 2011
ePub ?
Price: $30.00
256 Pages
print + e-book
Paperback + e-Book (ePub) ?
Price: $60.00 $33.00
256 Pages

Providing practical guidance and resources, this book helps teachers harness the power of children's literature for developing ELLs' literacy skills and language proficiency. The authors show how carefully selected fiction, nonfiction, and poetry can support students' learning across the curriculum. Criteria and guiding questions are presented for matching books and readers based on text features, literacy and language proficiency, and student background knowledge and interests. Interspersed throughout are essays and poems by well-known children's authors that connect in a personal way with the themes explored in the chapters. The annotated bibliography features over 600 engaging, culturally relevant trade titles.

“Teachers will find real value in this book. The tips for matching ELLs with texts and the lists of current literature will enable teachers to meet the needs of students of all ages and proficiency levels.”

—Ashley Grinnan, MEd, fourth-grade teacher, Academy Elementary School, Little River Academy, Texas

In a world of prepackaged basals, this book gives teachers the opportunity to differentiate instruction for their ELLs. The authors offer guiding questions, user-friendly tables, and an extensive list of children’s literature, in addition to research-based best practices and convenient strategies to support ELLs. I will definitely use this as a resource in my classroom!”

—Kim Brooks, MEd, third-grade teacher, University Park Elementary School, Dallas, Texas

“Hadaway and Young provide a much-needed resource to support teachers' efforts to bring their English language learners into the world of children’s literature. Teachers and literacy specialists will find a rich list of children’s literature in a wide variety of genres that may be used to promote growth in language and literacy. Even more important, the authors provide research-based guidance to help teachers select the best books for particular students. This is a welcome contribution for teachers and staff developers and a useful text for courses in reading, language arts, and ESL.”

—Julie Coppola, EdD, Department of Literacy and Language, Boston University

“This book provides a systematic, accessible framework for choosing texts that can both facilitate ELLs' literacy development and instill a lifelong love of literature. Hadaway and Young make the complexity of teaching ELLs comprehensible without oversimplification. They bridge complex bodies of knowledge about reading instruction and language development, and do so with amazing clarity. The children’s literature recommendations, sidebars, and succinct tables will serve as practical resources for teachers; the personal essays offer unique insights into what it means to be an ELL.”

—Catherine Kurkjian, EdD, Department of Reading and Language Arts, Central Connecticut State University

Table of Contents

"Pizza," Janet S. Wong

I. Getting to Know English Learners

"How to Say Thy Name," Yangsook Choi

1. English Learners

'Writing the Muslim American Experience," Asma Mobin-Uddin

2. Matching Books to English Learners

"Only a Joke?: Humor as a Bridge between Cultures and Languages," Uma Krishnaswami

3. English Learners’ Academic and Social Language: Moving from Surviving to Thriving

"Creativity Begins at Home," Pat Mora

II. Selecting and Using Books with English Learners

"I Know the River Loves Me," Maya Christina Gonzalez

4. Selecting and Using Fiction with English Learners in Grades K–6

"Fear and Joy in Leaving Your Country," Jorge Argueta

5. Selecting and Using Poetry with English Learners in Grades K–6

"Books as Mirrors," Lulu Delacre

6. Selecting and Using Nonfiction with English Learners in Grades K–6

"I'm Learning to Speak English," J. Patrick Lewis

• Appendices:

A. Books for Learning about Immigrants and English Learners

B. Guidelines for Matching Literature to English Learner Proficiency Levels

C. Children’s Books for Social Language (Basic “Survival”) Topics

D. Narrow Reading Suggestions for Different Formats

• Children's Books Cited

About the Authors

Nancy L. Hadaway, PhD, is Professor of Literacy Studies at the University of Texas at Arlington. Her scholarly interests focus on the literacy issues of English learners. Dr. Hadaway has served on various state and national committees of professional literacy organizations; is a frequent conference presenter; and has published numerous articles, chapters, and books. She has been a committee member for several children’s book awards.
Terrell A. Young, EdD, is Professor of Literacy Education at Washington State University. Dr. Young’s scholarly interests include literature-based practices, English language learners, and the creative process of authors and illustrators, and he has published widely on these topics. He is a member of the International Reading Association (IRA) Board of Directors (2009 to 2012) and a recipient of the IRA’s Outstanding Teacher Educator in Reading Award. He has been a committee member for many children’s book awards.


K–6 classroom teachers; ELL/ESL specialists; reading specialists and coaches.

Course Use

May serve as a supplemental text in elementary literacy methods courses and ESL/TESOL certification programs.