Carol’s discussion of the impact of the Common Core Standards is of utmost importance at this moment and she specifically addresses those standards throughout the book, especially in Chapters 5, 8, and 9. Concrete examples, as well as the gray sidebars scattered throughout the text, are found in each chapter and provide a firm foundation for and insight into Carol’s theories and practices. Each example is specific, easily transferable and applicable to middle and high school classrooms, and occasionally even to college-level literature courses. Carol argues for teaching complex literary texts of any variety, and is argues that our students, by doing that challenging reading, and by writing about those challenging books, will change substantively, and for the better. It is a challenge, Carol argues, that English teachers must meet rather than shirk, because it’s worth the effort.
The Leaflet, Volume 111, Number 1, Spring, 2012.
(The Leaflet is the academic journal of the New England Association of Teachers of English)
With Rigor for All is clear, interesting, and honest. I feel like I am talking to an old friend who feels the same way about teaching and learning as I do. Throughout the text, I see the respect Carol has for her students, her personal sense of self-efficacy and her plan to instill those feelings in her students.
Harriet D. Porton, Supervisor, Notre Dame of Maryland University
Just finished With Rigor for All, Second Edition and really enjoyed and admired it. I was raised on Dickens and Dostoevsky so I loved how Carol featured them in the book and in her classroom. When I was about 13 I actually bought a full set of Dickens’ novels (all crammed into 6 volumes) at an auction. They were too heavy to carry home, so I had to get my old Radio Flyer wagon to carry them. Thank you, Carol, for your work here and your passion for a type of reading that I treasure.
Thomas Newkirk, University of New Hampshire
I have a plethora of things marked that I can’t wait to share with colleagues in our PLC. So many of the things are directly part of my curriculum—Tom Sawyer, Paul Revere’s Ride, The Diary of Anne Frank, plot lines (how stories work), Poe, vocabulary formal study vs. vicarious learning. I could go on and on…Carol’s emphasis on students needing to love reading is at the core of what I do.
Jeanne Topic, Gregory Middle School, Team 8-1
I absolutely love With Rigor for All. In my role as the President of the International Reading Association Secondary Reading Interest Group, I have spent a great deal of time thinking about what the CCSS literacy standards will look like in social studies, history, science, and technical subjects. Reading With Rigor for All provided a clear illustration of what Standard 10: Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently, looks like in ELA compared to the content areas. It has provided clarity, language, and evidence about what is unique about reading literature independently and proficiently, compared to what reading to reason, to think, and to learn looks like in the other disciplines. Thank you!
Lori DiGisi, Ed.D., President of IRA Secondary Reading Interest Group
In this curriculum development guide for middle and high school English teachers, Carol Jago gives advice on using demanding literature to motivate and engage students. She warns of the uses and abuses of reading aloud and film in the classroom and offers ideas on developing students’ vocabularies, mapping complex sentence structures, and holding students accountable for their reading. She notes the limitations of objective tests and recommends unconventional summative assessment and essays. The author lists recommended books of many types, from short classics to contemporary novels about romantic relationships, action and adventure, books about the Middle East, and contemporary issues.
Book News Inc., Portland, OR
The first opportunity I had, I picked up With Rigor for All and could barely put it down. It is decorated with notes in the margin, underlined sentences and post-it notes.
Christy Howard, English Language Arts Curriculum Specialist