“Reading the Rainbow” receives Edward B. Fry book Award from Literacy Research Association

Dr. Caitlin Ryan, associate professor of reading education, and collaborator Jill Hermann-Wilmarth received the Edward B. Fry Book Award for outstanding

Jill-Hermann Wilmarth and Dr. Caitlyn Ryan


contributions to literacy research and practice for their book Reading the Rainbow: LGBTQ-Inclusive Literacy Instruction in the Elementary Classroom. The award was presented at the Literacy Research Association Conference on November 27, in Indian Wells, California.

In a year with an unusually high number of submissions, the committee noted that Reading the Rainbow “advanced our knowledge about literacy, particularly related to the inclusion and the representations of LGBTQ students and themes in the English language arts curriculum; it demonstrated responsible intellectual risk taking, and it raised thought-provoking issues.”

What an honor it is to receive this award. It feels especially meaningful this year, when Dr. Haddix’s theme Centering Activism, Community, and Love is circulating in important, meaningful, and sometimes difficult ways. In that vein, we are incredibly grateful to Maree, Rose, and Barbara, the gifted and courageous teachers who welcomed us into their classrooms, trusted us with their students, were unafraid of vulnerability, and truly taught us about queer theory and literacy learning in ways that we are still discovering.

 Of course, as intentionally and publicly collaborative scholars, we know that all writing is collaborative, even when the collaborators remain unnamed, but in this LRA community, we have truly benefited from the support and thinking of so many. We want to thank our nominators, members of the committee, our colleagues at our respective universities, and our mentors. We are also incredibly grateful for the members and leadership of our friends and colleagues in the Ethnicities, Race, and Multilingualism Standing Committee and, more intimately, the scholars and co-conspirators in the Genders and Sexualities Standing Committee. We appreciate being a part of these kinds of communities who work so hard to make our schools and our world better.

 Thank you for appreciating and honoring the work we do. We find hope in the work of building and creating more just and equitable school spaces with this community of scholars, and we are glad our book can be part of that work.”

Dr. Caitlyn Ryan
Jill-Hermann Wilmarth