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Tool: Building a professional library

Beginning teachers should be encouraged to build a professional library and read at least one professional book per year. Mentors can recommend their favorite titles to the new English language arts teacher and new teachers may have some great titles to share with their mentors. Both the mentor and the mentee may want to read the same book and then discuss it. The following checklist might be a useful when discussing the merits/drawbacks of a book. A suggested reading list follows this chart.

Book review chart





ISBN number/cost


Publisher and publication date


Summary of book



What I liked/didn't like about the book



Topics to share



Questions for discussion



Three important points that I could use in my teaching



Should I purchase this book? Why or why not?


Suggested reading list

The following books encourage high school English language arts teachers to think about their craft. While this list is far from complete, it is intended for new teachers who want to begin selecting books for their professional libraries.

Daniels, H. (2002). Literature circles: Voice and choice in book clubs and reading groups. Portland, ME: Stenhouse.

Daniels, H., & Bizar, M. (1998). Methods that matter: Six structures for best practice classrooms. York, ME: Stenhouse.

Elbow, P. (2000). Everyone can write. New York: Oxford University Press.

Hayes, I, (Ed.). (1998). Great beginnings: Reflections and advice for new English language arts teachers and the people who mentor them. Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English.

Jago, C. (2000). Cohesive writing: Why concept is not enough. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

McCann, T. M., Johannessen, L.R., and Ricca, B.P. (2005). Supporting beginning English teachers: Research and implications for teacher induction. Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English.

Mitchell, D., & Christenbury, L. (2000). Both art and craft: Teaching ideas that spark learning. Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English.

Schuster, E. H. (2003). Breaking the rules: Liberating writers through innovative grammar instruction. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Tovani, C. (2000). I read it, but I don’t get it: Comprehension strategies for adolescent readers. Portland, ME: Stenhouse.

Wilhelm, J. D., Baker, T., & Dube, J. (2001). Strategic reading: Guiding students to lifelong literacy, 6-12. Portsmouth, NH: Boynton/Cook.

Wormeli, R. (2001). Meet me in the middle. Portland, ME: Stenhouse.