Teachers College Press 

Re-Reading Families:
The Literate Lives of Urban Children, Four Years Later

Catherine Compton-Lilly
Foreword by Gee, James Paul
Practitioner Inquiry Series
Pub Date: June 2007, 160 pages

Paperback: $27.95, ISBN: 0807747912
Cloth: $56, ISBN: 0807747920
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“In this rich and textured analysis, Compton-Lilly takes up the complex relationships that exist between and across different social contexts to invite and engage students to learn.”
—Vivian Gadsden, William T. Carter Professor of Education and Child Development, University of Pennsylvania

“This brilliant book will show you, loudly and clearly, what it really means to investigate children’s reading.”James Paul Gee, Mary Lou Fulton Presidential Chair in Literacy Studies, Arizona State University

Four years after publishing her provocative study, Reading Families: The Literate Lives of Urban Children, Compton-Lilly revisits the same group of urban students (then first graders, now fourth and fifth graders) and their families. Armed with rare longitudinal data from follow-up interviews and reading assessments, she once again upsets widespread misconceptions about reading and urban families. This eye-opening sequel uses case studies to explore important issues, such as students’ feelings of connection to their school; gender and schooling; parents’ experiences dealing with “the system”; high-stakes testing; and technology use at home. Building on past insights, this book:

  • Uses an innovative approach to educational research to explore why urban students often have difficulty becoming proficient readers.
  • Employs case studies to support a new construct called “reading capital.”
  • Offers important recommendations for teaching in diverse communities.
  • Models longitudinal qualitative research, describing the critical role it plays in studying a child’s experiences with school.

Catherine Compton-Lilly is an Assistant Professor in Literacy at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. She taught in the public schools of New York State for 18 years.

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