How to Navigate


The goal of Unleashing Readers is to be a go-to resource for all levels of teachers who are looking to include engaging, thought-provoking literature and nonfiction in their classrooms. We work to specifically tailor our website to teachers’ needs.

For each book we review, we will include a summary, our thoughts, potential discussion questions, quotes/pages we flagged, and books that are similar. To make the review even more useful for teachers, we will include how we would use the book in our classroom, including if we recommend the book for a read aloud, literature circle/book club, close reading/analysis, and/or classroom library buy

To us, these four suggestions are quite different.  If we recommend a book for:

Read Aloud

This would be a great choice to read aloud (in whole or excerpts) to all students in the class. We often suggest this category when the book has strong, widespread appeal to many types of students. 

Lit Circle/Book Club

This text would work very well for discussion within small groups. We often suggest this category when the book offers great points of discussion, but it might not appeal to every student in the class.

Close Reading/Analysis

There are many passages within the book that would be great for analysis, close read, or discussion in the classroom. We often suggest this category when a book has complex passages or great sections to teach literary elements to students or would be a wonderful mentor text.

Classroom Library

This would be a great addition to your classroom library. Often, these books fit well with a specific type of student, but we definitely think it is worth purchasing for your classroom.

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Click on any of the buttons above to see all of the reviews we’ve tagged with these recommendations.

Every classroom is different, and therefore, our categories are mere suggestions. We encourage you to comment on a review if you feel a book might be used in other ways.

Within each review, we include categories that highlight teachable aspects of each text. The categories also include the genre and format of each text. They can be accessed by using the drop down menu on the right side of our page or by clicking the links below.  Categories currently include: 

Allusion Asking Questions Audience
Author’s Purpose/Perspective/Bias Awards Background Knowledge
Biography/Autobiography/Memoir Book List Book-in-Verse
Cause/Effect Characterization Classroom Library Buy
Close Reading/Analysis Compare/Contrast Conflict
Dialogue Dystopian/Apocalyptic Fantasy
Figurative Language Alliteration Onomatopoeia
Personification Simile/Metaphor Symbolism
Foreshadowing Graphic Novel/Comics Historical Fiction
Horror Humor Illustrated Novel
Imagery/Descriptive Language IMWAYR Inferring
Informational Nonfiction Inquiry Language/Style
LGBTQ Literature Circles/Book Clubs Making Connections
Mood Mystery Narrative Nonfiction
Novel Picture Book Plot Development
Poetry Anthology Point of View Prediction
Puns/Word Play Read Aloud Realistic Fiction/Contemporary
Reflection Rhyme/Rhythm Romance
Science Fiction Sequence Setting
Short Story Collection Text Features Text Structure
Theme Tone Top Ten Tuesday
Traditional Literature Visualizing Vocabulary
Voice Writing

Each review will also be tagged with topics related to each text:

#mustread, Abuse, Adoption, Adventure, ALAN (Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of NCTE), Alcoholism, Aliens, Animals, Art, Audio, Author, Autism, Baby, Bullying, Cancer, Civil Rights, Class, Creativity, Death/Dying, Depression, Dinosaurs, Disability, Divorce, Drug Abuse, Education, Empathy, Environment, Fairy Tale Retelling, Family, Foster Care, Friendship, Gangs, Gender, Ghosts, Government, Guest Post, Guns, Heroism, High School, History, HIV/AIDS, Homelessness, Identity/Coming of Age, Illustrations, Illustrator, Imagination, Immigration, Interview, Justice, Love, Magic, Math, Mental Health, Monsters, Morality, Motherhood, Movies, Music, Mythology, Nature, NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English), Pirates, Poetry, Poverty, Pregnancy, Prison, Professional Development, Psychics, Racism, Rape, Relationships, Road Trip, School, School Shootings, Science, Series, Sexuality, Slavery, Space, Sports, Suicide, Superheroes, Supernatural, Survival, Suspense, Teaching, Technology, Text Set, Time Travel, Violence, War, Wilderness, Witches, Women’s Rights, Writing

We hope that you find Unleashing Readers to be useful.
Please contact us at if you have any questions,

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