Jeff's Books

Reading Unbound: Why Kids Need to Read What They Want—and Why We Should Let Them (2013)

Scholastic Teaching Resources, ISBN 10: 0-545-14780-8

The book is divided into two parts: Part One provides an in-depth exploration of the nature and variety of the pleasure avid adolescent readers experience through their out-of-school reading. Part Two identifies and explains the genres teen readers most enjoy—romance, vampires, dystopian fiction, and science fiction/fantasy.

The authors explore what we can learn from teens’ pleasure reading and the implications for instruction in this era of Common Core State Standards. They also suggest ways to make pleasure more central to the work we do in schools. For use with Grades 6 & Up.

Literature Genre Studies by Jeffrey Wilhelm:
Books Kids Want to Read

“We wanted to consider what might happen if we could unite our goals as teachers with the passions of our students as readers.”

―Dr. Jeffrey Wilhelm and Michael W. Smith
Reading Unbound

Get it Done: Writing and Analyzing Informational Text. (2012)

Heinemann, ISBN 10: 0-325-04291-2

This book lays out the foundational thought patterns and crux moves necessary to naming, listing, summarizing, describing, explaining, comparing, defining, classifying, cause and effect and problem-solution text structures.

The powerful five kinds of knowledge and five kinds of composing heuristics are applied to the planning and instructional activities of each text structure to ensure that students gain deep understanding and transferable strategies regarding each kind of informational text. Activities are coded to the CCSS standards.

Oh, Yeah?!: Putting Argument to Work Both in School and Out. (2012)

Heinemann, ISBN 10: 0-325-04290-X

This book lays out the ways to teach students to write and read arguments of judgment, policy and literary arguments to do work both in school and in the world. Powerful heuristics for teaching argument and meeting and exceeding the CCSS standards are shared.

So, What's the Story?: Teaching Narrative to Undestand Ourselves, Others, and the World. (2012)

Heinemann, ISBN 10: 0-325-04292-3

This book explores how to develop real and imagined experiences and events using effective technique, well-chosen details and well-structured event sequences in ways that foster new understandings of self and others and help people solve real problem together – and meet and exceed the CCSS.

Teaching Literacy for Love and Wisdom: Being the Book and Being the Change (2011)

by Jeffrey D. Wilhelm and Bruce Novak Teachers College Press, NCTE, NWP

This powerful book lays out an inspiring new vision for the teaching of English, building on themes central to Wilhelm’s influential "You Gotta BE The Book". With this new work, Wilhelm and Novak challenge business as usual in the language arts. They call for nothing short of a revolution in our understanding of the aims and methods of the English classroom, showing what English can do for democratic life, inside and outside of classrooms.

With moving portraits of teachers and students, as well as practical strategies and advice, they provide a roadmap to educational transformation far beyond the field of English that will be of interest to a wide audience of teachers, teacher educators, curriculum developers, and educational leaders.

Fresh Takes on Teaching Literary Elements: How to Teach What Really Matters About Character, Setting, Point of View, and Theme. (2010)

Jeffrey D. Wilhelm and Michael W. Smith. Scholastic

Bring new power and purpose to the study of literature with innovative tools and strategies that deepen students' understanding of literary elements and help them apply that understanding to their reading as well as their writing. Rich, original passages illuminate the intricacies of character, setting, point of view, and theme, and deeply engaging activities framed by inquiry enable students to transfer what they learn to new reading situations as well as to the way they think through problems and live their lives. 208 pages.

Inquiring Minds Learn to Read and Write: 50 Problem-based Literacy & Learning Strategies (2009)

Jeffrey D Wilhelm, Erika Boas, Peggy Jo Wilhelm Scholastic

A new comprehensive and valuable resource for teachers and librarians! Inquiry is all about promoting enthusiasm for reading and writing, for learning, and for life! This book focuses on setting up processes to support inquiry-based teaching and provides planning tools and guidelines to implement inquiry in the classroom.

The 10 Grossest Bugs (2008)

by Angie Littlefield, Jennifer Littlefield, Jeffrey D. Wilhelm (Editor) Scholastic

Students build comprehension and content-area vocabulary through inquiry-based learning while they explore key content-area concepts and themes. All books are written at a grade 6 level.Each book centers on one critical question designed to encourage students to think and read for meaning. Full-colour photographs and graphics support the text.

The 10 Coolest Wonders of the Universe (2008)

by Nigel Samuel, Jeffrey D. Wilhelm (Editor). Scholastic

Based on a "Top 10" countdown format, THE 10 develops critical thinking and comprehension skills. Through inquiry-based learning, students build comprehension and content-area vocabulary while scientifically, socially, and artistically exploring key content-area concepts and themes.

Getting It Right: Fresh Approaches to Teaching Grammar, Usage, and Correctness. (2007)

Scholastic Prof Book Div

Authors Jeffrey D. Wilhelm and Michael W. Smith consider what grammatical concepts and correctness issues are most worth teaching and how to teach those concepts and issues deeply. They explain how to understand the causes of students' errors, how to address those causes through authentic and engaging activities, and how teachers can work together to increase their effectiveness. They provide both guiding principles and plenty of examples that readers will be able to employ immediately. 192 pages.

Engaging Readers & Writers with Inquiry: Promoting Deep Understandings in Language Arts and the Content Areas with Guiding Questions (Theory and Practice). (2007)

Teaching Resources

What makes a good relationship? Is it ever permissible to lie? Reframing our units and lessons with questions such as these makes learning more exciting for students. Wilhelm debunks the myth that teaching through inquiry is hard. He shares practical, easy ideas for turning state standards into engaging authentic questions that propel students toward deep understandings. Includes sample lessons, and discussion techniques. 172 pages.

Language & Literacy : You Gotta BE the Book: Teaching Engaged and Reflective Reading with Adolescents. (2007)

Teachers College Press

Over a decade ago, Jeffrey Wilhelm's groundbreaking book showed educators how to think of reading as a personally meaningful, pleasurable, and productive pursuit. In the 13 years since its publication, the author has experimented with and further developed all of the techniques he first explored in You Gotta BE the Book including visual techniques, drama and action strategies, think-aloud protocols, and symbolic story representation/reading manipulatives. In this expanded edition, Wilhelm adds a new commentary to each chapter in which he reflects on the research and insights he introduced in his now classic text.

Reading for Themselves: How to Transform Adolescents into Lifelong Readers Through Out-of-Class Book Clubs (2007)


Just as adolescents aren't only students, literate behaviors aren't only for school. Engaging students in reading for pleasure through extramural book clubs can promote both lifelong literacy habits and improved in-school performance. Reading for Themselves shows you how to create and make the most of out-of-class book clubs.

Going with the Flow: How to Engage Boys (and Girls) in Their Literacy Learning (2006)

by Michael W. Smith and Jeffrey D. Wilhelm. Reed Elsevier, Inc.

Learn how to help teenagers love learning and how to assist them in meeting new literacy challenges. Read Smith and Wilhelm and let Going with the Flow be your indispensable guide to discovering a new way to communicate with adolescent readers and writers.

Teaching Literature to Adolescents. (2006)

Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc Inc

This text for pre-service and in-service English education courses presents current methods of teaching literature to middle and high school students. The methods are based on social constructivist/socio-cultural theories of literacy learning, and incorporate research on literary response conducted by the authors.

Reading IS Seeing: Learning to Visualize Scenes, Characters, Ideas, and Text Worlds to Improve Comprehension and Reflective Reading. (2004)

New York: Scholastic

Picturing scenes, events, settings, characters, and ideas is essential to reading comprehension - but not all students know how to do it. In this amazing book, a noted educator shows teachers dozens of engaging, interactive techniques that turn reading into a highly visual, enjoyable experience for proficient and struggling readers alike. Storyboards, main idea tableaux, timelines, picture maps, family trees and other activities enhance skills of inferring, interpreting, and applying what they read.

Action Strategies for Deepening Comprehension: Using Drama Strategies to Assist Improved Reading Performance. (2002)

New York: Scholastic.

Energize students before, during, and after reading with deepening reading strategies such as inferring, prior knowledge, visualizing, making connections, and more.

Reading Don't Fix No Chevys: The Role of Literacy in the Lives of Young Men. (2002)

Smith, Michael W. & Wilhelm, Jeffrey D. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

The problems of boys in schools, especially in reading and writing, have been the focus of statistical data, but rarely does research point out how literacy educators can combat those problems. That situation has changed. Michael Smith and Jeff Wilhelm, two of the most respected names in English education and in the teaching of reading, worked with a very diverse group of young men to understand how they use literacy and what conditions promote it. In this book they share what they have learned.

Improving Comprehension with Think-Alouds: Modeling What Good Readers Do. (2001)

Wilhelm, Jeffrey D. New York: Scholastic.

Think aloud as you read from a novel, a textbook, or any other kind of book and watch your students become confident, fluent, readers! With this simple, powerful technique, you can show students how you use strategies such as inferring, visualizing, and summarizing. Finally students can "see" what good readers do and apply it to their own reading process.Think alouds are great for struggling readers, because they make reading an active, social experience.

Strategic Reading: Guiding Adolescents to Lifelong Literacy. (2001)

Wilhelm, Jeffrey D., Baker, Tanya, & Dube, Julie. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Jeffrey Wilhelm and his coauthors know that before reading can be learned, it must be taught. As students move on to more challenging texts in middle and high school, their reading skills don't grow automatically to meet those demands. They need help figuring out how to read, not just what to read. Strategic Reading provides the tools teachers need to help students of all abilities make this important transition to higher-level texts.

Hyperlearning: Where Projects, Inquiry and Technology Meet. (1998)

Wilhelm, Jeffrey D. & Friedemann, Paul. York, ME: Stenhouse Publishers.

Hyperlearning is for teachers, educational psychologists, curriculum developers, and technology coordinators who are seeking new ways to support the attainment of both rich conceptual learning and more powerful procedures for learning, reading, and composing. And it is particularly relevant for administrators interested in improving technology use in schools.

Imagining to Learn: Inquiry, Ethics and Integration through Drama. (1998)

Wilhelm, Jeffrey D. & Edmiston, Brian. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Imagining to Learn moves drama into the mainstream of elementary and middle school teaching, learning, and curriculum. It is filled with examples of how teachers and students together can create contexts that tap into students' energies, abilities, and questions--contexts where students can discover a reason to read, a need to think, and a community that cares about their ideas. Readers will discover new methodologies and techniques that are rarely used in the U.S.

Reading Stephen King: Issues of Censorship,Student Choice and the Canon. (1997)

Power, Brenda, Wilhelm, Jeffrey D., & Chandler, Kelly. Champaign/Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English.

This collection of essays spotlights the ways in which King's work intersects the themes of the literary canon and its construction and maintenance, censorship in public schools, and the need for adolescent readers to be able to choose books in school reading programs. With contributions from librarians and literary scholars, high school teachers and students, policymakers, parents, and Stephen King himself, this book maps out the terms of a debate sure to interest literacy educators at all levels.

You Gotta BE the Book: Teaching Engaged and Reflective Reading with Adolescents. (1997)

Wilhelm, Jeffrey D. New York: Teachers College Press, Columbia University.

Wilhelm's vital book looks at "what this act of reading really is" a social practice and a search for meaning. He develops a powerful alternative to traditional models of close reading and bottom-up reading instruction. With its lively mixture of theoretical argument and classroom storytelling, You Gotta BE the Book will enrich the view of reading held by language arts teachers at all levels.

Standards in Practice: Middle School Language Arts. (1996)

Wilhelm, Jeffrey D. (an addendum to the NCTE/IRA National Standards Project) Champaign/ Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English/ International Reading Association.

Each chapter-long narrative follows a classroom community through a unit of study geared to that community's unique social and cultural context -- with its own distinct set of values and with learners who bring these values to class. Smagorinsky thus reveals the "situatedness"of both teaching and learning and demonstrates that they are not generic, homogeneous activities that transcend time, space, and culture. This book helps illustrate how every classroom teacher can adapt standards into a learner-centered pedagogy that capitalizes on students' strengths.