Hook Book Libraries by Kylene Beers & Bob Probst

“They will need you to put the right books in their hands, books in which they can lose themselves and books in which they can find themselves.”

― Kylene Beers & Robert E. Probst,
Notice & Note: Strategies for Close Reading

Writers, speakers, and well-respected educators, Kylene Beers and Bob Probst have partnered with American Reading Company to engage students in independent reading and help students read fiction and nonfiction with more enjoyment and deeper understanding.

Hook Book Collections offer you the books most enthusiastically read by our most reluctant readers. Why are these high-interest books important? Research reveals that the highest performing nations on the PISA (an international test of student achievement) also report the highest level of reading for enjoyment. These collections are carefully curated to include the types of books every teacher needs as part of a classroom library to nurture the reading enjoyment and development of students in his/her specific grade. Read more

Robert Probst

Educator, Speaker, Author

Robert (Bob) Probst is the author of Response and Analysis; coeditor (with Kylene Beers and Linda Rief) of Adolescent Literacy: Turning Promise Into Practice; and coauthor (with Beers) of Notice and Note: Strategies for Close Reading

Bob began his teaching career as a high school English teacher and then became a supervisor of English for a large district in Maryland. He spent most of his academic career at Georgia State University, where he is now Professor Emeritus of English Education. After retiring from Georgia State University, he served as a research fellow for Florida International University. He now consults with Kylene Beers in school districts across the United States.

Bob has served as a member on the Conference on English Board of Directors, as a National Council of Teachers of English journal columnist, and as a member of the NCTE Commission on Reading. He speaks nationally and internationally to administrators and teachers on literacy issues, particularly issues surrounding struggling readers and meeting standards, including the Common Core State Standards.

Kylene and Bob’s years of experience helping teachers improve the literacy lives of students has informed their collaboration on the creation of American Reading Company’s newest Hook Book Collections, which offer the best 50 or 100 titles for each grade (5–8) across a wide range of reading levels. These collections are carefully curated to include the types of books every teacher needs as part of a classroom library to nurture the reading development of students in his/her specific grade.

Kylene Beers Ed.D.

Author, Speaker, Senior Reading Advisor to the Reading and Writing Project, Teachers College, Columbia University

Award-winning educator Dr. Kylene Beers is the author of When Kids Can’t Read/What Teachers Can Do; Notice and Note: Strategies for Close Reading; Adolescent Literacy: Turning Promise Into Practice; and Elements of Literature, the literature textbook read by the majority of middle school and high school students across the U.S. Since beginning her teaching career in 1979, she has become an internationally known and respected authority in literacy education. Kylene works tirelessly to help parents, teachers, and national policymakers understand how to best help struggling readers.

In 2008-2009, she served as president of the National Council of Teachers of English and in 2011 she received an NCTE Leadership Award. She has served as a consultant to the National Governor’s Association Education Committee, was the editor of the national literacy journal Voices From the Middle, taught in the College of Education at the University of Houston, held a reading research position in the Comer School Development Program at Yale University School of Medicine, and has most recently served as the Senior Reading Advisor to the Reading and Writing Project at Teachers College, Columbia University.

Grades 5-8

100-book Libraries include 30 copies of the Notice & Note Skills Card

To learn more about the Hook Book Collection offered per each grade level, we've created a visual guide which includes representative titles. Click on any grade level below to view more details.

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What Kylene and Bob have to say about the Hook Book Collections

via Facebook on May 2nd, 2014

These 100-book collections are the result of many conversations that took place this past year with folks at ARC and many more longer discussions between us. We all wanted to find that group of books that hook kids on reading. After a lot of “What about this book?” and “We can’t have a set for seventh-graders without that book” and “Is this genre/author/topic represented strongly enough?” and “What would kids read next?” we finally agreed on what these first collections will look like.

What’s in each collection? You’ll find many titles that are the first book in a popular series because we know the critical value in series-book reading. You’ll also find titles by highly acclaimed and wildly popular children’s/YA authors because we wanted kids to know those folks and easily find more books by the same author in their school or classroom library. What we really like, though, is that each set of 100 books contains both easier and more challenging books, and as kids find a topic or genre they like (sports or mysteries or friendship, for example) they’ll be able to “read up the ladder” as they move to more sophisticated books. So, you’ll find books for your struggling readers and for your advanced readers. And on the ARC website, you'll find short videos from us that will be released a few at a time about issues around struggling and reluctant readers. Our goals were simple. First, when kids finished one book, we wanted them to have enjoyed it enough to want to read another. Second, when you have questions, we wanted you to have easy-access to information that might help.

Will these collections contain your particular favorites for your specific kids? Maybe. Maybe not. That’s why this is a collection to add to what you have, not replace. Smaller sets of 50 books will also be offered if budgets are really tight. But, when it comes to books, more is always better!

These collections are designed to nurture a love of reading. If kids, on their own, decide to read some parts closely, good for them. But pushing kids through exemplar texts wasn't our goal. Nurturing a love of reading was. We're excited. Can you tell?

Bob and Kylene

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Common Core Formative Assessment

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Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS)

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Virgina Standards of Learning (VA SOL)

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HOOK BOOK Collections by Kylene Beers and Bob Probst


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