Books, books and more… books! Here’s a reading list for all you bibliophiles out there and those who are passionate about using literature in class. So get reading!


  • ACIMAN, Alexander / RENSIN, Emmett: Twitterature. (Penguin 2009)
    A feast for the twitterati, but only real fun if you know the originals.
  • AGATHOCLEOUS, Tanya / Dean, Ann (eds): Teaching Literature: A Companion. (Palgrave Macmillan 2003)
    A ticket to the 21st century: a collection of truly interesting essays.
  • ALBERY, Nicholas (ed.): Poem for the Day: 366 poems, old and new, worth learning by heart. (Sinclair—Stevenson 1996).
    Looking for a coffee-table book? Why not give this one a try?
  • BAMFORD, Julian / Day, Richard (eds): Extensive Reading Activities for Teaching Language. (CUP 2004)
    A collection of activities—some of which you might not be familiar with.
  • BASSNETT, Susan / Grundy, Peter: Language through Literature. (Longman 1993)
    The title says it all. Lesson plans in the Pilgrims resource book format.
  • BEAN, Thomas / DUNKERLEY—BEAN, Judith / HARPER, Helen: Teaching Young Adult Literature (Sage 2014)
  • BLOCKSIDGE, Martin: Teaching Literature, 11—18. (Continuum 2000)
    Which texts do we teach and why? Intended for native speakers, though interesting to compare with what we teach and why.
  • BUSHMAN, John H. / Parks Haas, Kay: Using Young Adult Literature in the Language Classroom. (Prentice Hall 2001)
    Only for the dedicated.
  • BUTLER, Charles (ed.): Teaching Children's Fiction. (Palgrave 2006)
    Nice collection.
  • CALVO, Clara / Weber, Jean Jacques: The Literature Workbook. (Routledge 1998)
    Fairly classical in terms of both texts and approach, but it might be the right thing for you.
  • CARTER, Ronald / Long, Michael N.: Teaching Literature. (Longman 1991)
    Slightly dated, but with a handful of good ideas.
  • CARTER, Ronald / Long, Michael N.: The Web of Words: Exploring Literature through Language. (CUP 1987)
    Another eye—opener from the 1980s. Teacher's Book + audio. available.
  • CARTER, Ronald / McRae, John (eds): Language, Literature & The Learner: Creative Classroom Practice. (Longman 1996)
    Collection of quite interesting essays with some practical applicability; focus is on the interface of language and literature (and representational teaching).
  • CARTER, Ronald / McRAE, John: The Penguin Guide to English Literature: Britain and Ireland. (Penguin 1995)
    Informative, entertaining and a quick read.
  • CARTER, Ronald / McRAE, John: The Routledge History of Literature in English. (Routledge 2001)
    The more extensive volume—all you need to know for the beginning. A great read, too.
  • CARTER, Ronald et al.: Working with Texts. A core book for language analysis. (Routledge 1997)
    Foundation course with lots of satellite products (e.g. the language of poetry).
  • CHAMBERS, Ellie / GREGORY, Marshall: Teaching and Learning English Literature. (Sage 2006)
    Teaching and Learning the Humanities Series. Fairly recent, fairly practical.
  • COLLIE, Joanne / SLATER, Stephen: Literature in the Language Classroom: A resource book for ideas and activities. (CUP 1987)
    A classic, focusing heavily on Lord of the Flies. The frameworks described can be used with lots of other books.
  • CRACE, John: The Digested Read / 2 vols (Guardian Books 2005)
    Never again do you have to read a book.
  • CULLER, Jonathan: Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction. (OUP 1997)
    Nothing as practical as a good theory and all this in a handy little volume.
  • DUFF, Alan / MALEY, Alan: Literature. (OUP 1990).
    In the well—known Oxford Resource Books format. Ideal for quick preparation.
  • DUNCAN, Diane: Teaching Children's Literature. (Routledge 2009)
    A fine collection of 'Teaching ...' e.g. Pullman, Morpurgo, Comics ...
  • DURANT, Alan / FABB, Nigel: Literary Studies in Action. (Routledge 1990)
    A classic—a combination of workbook and handbook.
  • ECCLESHARE, Julia (ed.): 1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up. (Cassell 2009)
    It's worth a browse. Some very nice illustrations.
  • GAMBLE, Nikki / YATES, Sally: Exploring Children's Literature: Teaching the Language and Reading of Fiction. (PCP 2008)
    Well-made book with strong links to the National Curriculum (UK).
  • GOWER, Roger / PEARSON, Margaret: Reading Literature. (Longman 1986)
    A bit dated, but it contains some useful texts.
  • GREENWOOD, Jean: Class Readers. (OUP 1988)
    Lots of useful ideas, many for preintermediate/intermediate level.
  • KAYWELL, Joan F. (ed.): Adolescent Literature as a Complement to the Classics / 4 vols. (Christopher—Gordon Publishers 1993 — 2000)
    Four volumes full of practical ideas on how to bridge the gap between young adult novels and the classics.
  • KRAVIS, Judy (ed.): Teaching Literature: Writers and Teachers Talking. Cork University Press 1995
    Some very interesting contributions in a hard-to—get publication.
  • MALEY, Alan / DUFF, Alan: The Inward Ear: Poetry in the language classroom. (OUP 1990)
    A wealth of ideas, much of it using the language—through—literature approach.
  • MALEY, Alan / MOULDING, Sandra: Poem into Poem. (CUP 1985)
    Classic collection, well—structured; audio available. (There are lots of similar collections around these days.)
  • McRAE, John: The Language of Poetry. (Routledge 1998)
    A 'ragbag' of poems from various Englishes and perspectives—all here to give you a lot of classroom ideas.
  • McRAE, John: Literature with a small 'l'. (Macmillan 1991)
    A must if you are interested in the 1990's approach to teaching literature at schools.
  • McRAE, John / PANTALEONI, Luisa: Chapter & Verse: An Interactive, Approach to Literature. (OUP 1990)
    Highly practical, well—structured.
  • McRAE, John / VETHAMANI, Malachi: Now Read On. (Routledge 1999)
    Multicultural approach to poetry, short stories, plays and novels. Teaches you questions.
  • PARKINSON, Brian / REID Thomas, Helen: Teaching Literature in a Second Language. (Edinburgh University Press 2000)
    Slightly pedestrian—but go for it as a recent contribution (with an applied linguistics approach).
  • PENNAC, Daniel: The Rights of the Reader. (Walker 2006)
    Essential reading! This is the translation of Pennac's Comme un roman (1992) with, in this edition, lovely illustrations by Quentin Blake.
  • POPE, Rob: The English Studies Book. (Routledge 1998)
    These days, it's not so much literature, but cultural studies. This is a ragbag of terms and texts, a bit from here, a little from there—snippet literature really, but obviously the latest thing, and if you want to be a true genius and know a little bit about everything, but nothing really well, this might be the book for you.
  • POPE, Rob: Textual Intervention. (Routledge 1995)
    A motley bag of theory and activities. Recommended!
  • REID, Lousann (ed.): Rationales for Teaching Young Adult Literature. (Calendar Islands Publishing 1999)
    A plethora of ideas for 20+ books.
  • ROGERS, Jane (ed.): Good Fiction Guide. (OUP 2001)
    Includes lots of recent material and has a handful of subject essays.
  • RUDD, David (ed.): The Routledge Companion to Children's Literature. (Routledge 2010)
    A combination of very good essays, terms, names and a useful timeline and a massive bibliography thrown in for future buffs.
  • SHOWALTER, Elaine: Teaching Literature. (Wiley—Blackwell 2003)
    The (American) lecturer's perspective— might be quite interesting for a change.
  • THALER, Engelbert: Teaching English Literature. (Schöningh 2008)
    Some might say 'Literature for dummies'—but for (false) beginners, it's a highly accessible book with good examples.
  • WATSON, Victor: The Cambridge Guide to Children's Books in English. (CUP 2001)
    Wide—ranging, authoritative—and still a great volume. A must for school libraries.
  • WIDDOWSON, H.G. Practical Stylistics: An Approach to Poetry. (OUP 1992)
    Some people say this book changed their lives. Be one of them!


For more information on children's literature, turn to HUNT (1996) and WATSON (2001) (see above) as well as to:

  • International Companion Encyclopedia of Children's Literature (Routledge 1996)
  • BODART, Joni Richards: Radical Reads: 101 YA Novels on the Edge. (The Scarecrow Press 2002)
  • BODART, Joni Richards: The World's Best Thin Books. (Scarecrow Press 2000)
  • HUNT, Peter: Children's Literature. (Blackwell 2001)
  • MONSEAU, Virginia R. / SALVNER, Gary M. (eds): Reading Their World: The Young Adult Novel in the Classroom. (Boynton/Cook 1992)
  • SOTER, Anna O.: Young Adult Literature & the New Literary Theories. (Teachers College Press 1999)
  • ZIPES, Jack: Sticks and Stones: The Troublesome Success of Children's Literature from Slovely Peter to Harry Potter. (Routledge 2001)


For reading in general, there are thousands and thousands of books; to begin with, you might want to check out:

  • BENNETT, Alan: The Uncommon Reader. (Faber&Faber 2007).
  • MANGUEL, Alberto: A History of Reading. London: (Flamingo 1997).
  • MANGUEL, Alberto: The Library at Night. (Yale University Press 2009).
  • STYLES, Morag / ARIZPE, Evelyn (eds): Acts of Reading: Teachers, Texts and Childhood. (Trentham Books 2009).
  • WOLF, Maryanne: Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain. (Harper Perennial 2008)