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Reading Nonfiction

  • Title:Reading Nonfiction: Notice & Note Stances, Signposts, and Strategies
  • Author:Kylene Beers, Robert Probst
  • Publication Date:October 2015
  • Grade Level:4-10
  • ISBN:9780325050805
  • Publisher:Heinemann

“When students recognize that nonfiction ought to challenge us, ought to slow us down and make us think, then they’re more likely to become close readers.” That means we need to help them question texts, authors, and, ultimately, their own thinking. No matter the content area, with Reading Nonfiction’s classroom-tested suggestions, you’ll lead kids toward skillful and responsible disciplinary literacy.

Picking up where their smash hit Notice & Note left off, Kylene Beers and Bob Probst write: “Fiction invites us into the writer’s imagined world; nonfiction intrudes into ours and purports to tell us something about it.” This crucial difference increases the responsibility of the nonfiction reader, so Kylene and Bob have developed interlocking scaffolds that every student can use to go beyond a superficial reading:

  • 3 essential questions that set students up for closer, more attentive readings of nonfiction texts
  • 5 Notice & Note nonfiction signposts that cue kids to apply the skills and processes that sophisticated readers use instinctively
  • 7 proven strategies readers can use to clear up confusions when the text gets tough.

We all know the value of helping students define nonfiction and understand its text structures. Reading Nonfiction goes the next crucial step—helping kids challenge the claims of nonfiction authors, be challenged by them, and skillfully and rigorously make up their mind about purported truths.

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Author Bio

Kylene Beers, Ed.D., is a former middle school teacher who has turned her commitment to adolescent literacy and struggling readers into the major focus of her research, writing, speaking, and teaching. She is author of the best-selling When Kids Can’t Read/What Teachers Can Do,Adolescent Literacy: Turning Promise into Practice, and co-author (with Bob Probst) of Notice and Note: Strategies for Close Reading. She taught in the College of Education at the University of Houston, served as Senior Reading Researcher at the Comer School Development Program at Yale University, and most recently acted as the Senior Reading Advisor to Secondary Schools for the Reading and Writing Project at Teachers College.


Kylene has published numerous articles in state and national journals, served as editor of the national literacy journal, Voices from the Middle, and was the 2008-2009 President of the National Council of Teachers of English. She is an invited speaker at state, national, and international conferences and works with teachers in elementary, middle, and high schools across the US. Kylene has served as a consultant to the National Governor’s Association and was the 2011 recipient of the Conference on English Leadership outstanding leader award.

Robert (Bob) Probst is the author of Response and Analysis, he is 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 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, an NCTE journal columnist, and a member of the NCTE Commission on Reading. He speaks nationally and internationally to administrators and teachers on literacy issues, particularly issues around struggling readers and meeting standards.

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