Genre-Based Strategies to Promote Critical Literacy in Grades 4–8
by Danielle E. Hartsfield and Sue C. Kimmel
October 2019, 150pp, 7x10
1 volume, Libraries Unlimited

Paperback: 978-1-4408-6316-5
$50, £38, 42€, A72
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-6317-2
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Teach critical thinking with book lists and strategies to use with different genres.

Draws on critical and radical change theory to equip both aspiring and practicing library and teacher candidates with practical, research-based ideas for enacting critical literacy practices in middle grade libraries and classrooms.

Genre Based Strategies to Promote Critical Literacy in Grades 4-8 provides strategies and lesson plans with additional resources and tools for school librarians and teachers to engage middle grade students in reading children’s literature through a critical literacy lens.

To be critically literate readers and thinkers, students must learn to question what they read, asking themselves who wrote the text, why the text was written, and how the text positions its readers and others. Teaching students how to read from a critical literacy stance is a timely and relevant practice in a world in which text is available instantly and on nearly any mobile device. In many cases, preparation programs for school librarians and teachers do not teach candidates how to incorporate critical literacy practices in library and classroom settings. This book provides both pre-service and in-service school librarians and teachers with that professional development and guidance for teaching critical literacy in children’s literature courses.


  • Explains critical literacy strategies for educators to implement
  • Identifies characteristics of popular genres in children's literature and how to evaluate materials in those genres
  • Recommends titles to use in critical literacy instruction
  • Guides readers to develop an understanding of the theoretical perspectives underpinning critical literacy
  • Provides template lesson plans and tools to improve critical literacy instruction using genre strategies
Danielle E. Hartsfield, PhD, is assistant professor at the University of North Georgia's Cumming campus. She teaches children's literature and other courses in the elementary education program and supervises teacher candidates. Her work has been published in journals such as Teachers College Record, the Journal of Teacher Education, and Curriculum Inquiry, and she has presented at conferences hosted by the American Educational Research Association, the National Council of Teachers of English, and the International Literacy Association.

Sue C. Kimmel, PhD, is associate professor at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. She teaches children's literature, curriculum, and library science courses. Her work has been published in journals such as School Library Research, Library Quarterly, and the Journal of Teacher Education, and she has presented at conferences hosted by the American Library Association, the Association of Library and Information Science Educators, and the American Educational Research Association. She has been a member of the Association for Library Services to Children Newbery, Caldecott, and Notable Books for Children committees.
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