About Elise Leonard:

Elise Leonard is the author of the Junkyard Dan series (Itz Books), the LEADER series (Itz Books), the Al’s World series (Simon & Schuster), the Smith Brothers series (Nox Press), the A LEEG of His Own series (Nox Press), the series entitled Pete’s Place (Nox Press) and even some romantic comedies for Harlequin under pen names. She was a teacher for many (MANY!) years before becoming a full-time author. Due to her concern about the plummeting literacy rates in the U.S. and throughout the world, she now writes cool, funny, high-action books for struggling adult, adolescent and English Language learners, to help older struggling readers increase their reading levels and have a better life through literacy.

Elise has been educating adolescents and adults for the past 30+ years.

She has a 100% success rate, and has been able to teach every single person who crossed her path how to read! It didn’t matter if they had Dyslexia, were learning English as a second language or were just under-educated. Every student learned how to read with Elise. You will hear her often say: “Teaching reading is not rocket science. Just teach your students the alphabet, the sounds each letter makes, and then get them reading right away!” Her books, although written for adolescents and adults, are written on an emergent reading level so your learners can find immediate success and enjoyment! She also says: “Give students something they WANT to read, on a reading level they CAN read, and they’ll READ!”

About the “Freaky” Punctuation:

Yes, I realize that I take a lot of poetic license with the punctuation in my books. Please understand that that is done ON PURPOSE and with a very good (and logical) reason. My books are written for the struggling, emergent and ESL reader. They are 100-page books written on a first- to second-grade reading level, so this target learnership can find immediate success and enjoyment while still being able to read them! [If your students were reading on a 4th- to 8th-grade reading level, they would not NEED books written on a 1st- to 2nd-grade reading level. They need small, concise sentences that are easy for them to read and understand.]

As with sports or playing an instrument, all the instruction and lessons are fine and dandy, but if you don’t actually DO it, you will not increase your skill or fluency! Reading is exactly the same, and, unfortunately, there’s not much out there for the emergent, struggling or ESL reader to read that’s ON an emergent 1st- and 2nd-grade reading level. Particularly anything these readers WANT to read. 🙂 My Junkyard Dan series and my LEADER series address that need and are all written by me – a former inner-city educator who had a 100% success rate with NYC inner-city kids and the NY State Regents exams (which are on par with an SAT). All of my books are something these students CAN read and are something they WANT to read.

And as we all know, if you want to teach the struggling reader how to read… they actually have to READ!

When your learners are reading on age or grade level, THEN you can be more precise with them about punctuation and sentence structure; but until they are able to perform at that level, educators will only frustrate their learners and make them feel inadequate by insisting that they read on a reading level these struggling learners are not yet able to comprehend or absorb.

That is why the punctuation is as it is in some of my books. It is for the struggling learners’ ultimate success.

Bottom line… my books work, and struggling readers love them! ~Elise

Elise Leonard’s Mission:

Elise Leonard believes that reading shouldn’t be a privilege, it should be a right! That’s why she writes cool, fun, interesting books for struggling, emergent and English as a second language (ESL) adolescent and adult learners.

Elise believes that literacy gives us power and a voice. So she wants your students to read up and speak out! She also thinks that everyone deserves a bright future, and she believes that one can’t have a very bright future when one is illiterate or low-literate. Her mission is to foster a love for reading and learning in every individual, one book at a time.

Empowering older struggling readers is her passion. She believes in the transformative power of literacy and strives to provide engaging, accessible books for all. That is why she has written a diverse collection of high-interest titles to foster a love for reading in adolescent and adult emergent, struggling, and ESL readers.