Junior Great Books

Designed around the Shared Inquiry™ method, our Junior Great Books programs comprise curated anthologies of outstanding fiction, nonfiction, and poetry designed to:

  • Inspire students to explore essential ideas
  • Teach students to learn to read and think critically
  • Equip teachers to lead engaging, inquiry-focused explorations of challenging texts
  • Build communities of lifelong learners and informed citizens

Professional Development

Our professional development courses and programs help educators learn, practice, and continuously improve their use of the Shared Inquiry™ method of teaching and learning by:

  • Providing educators with hands-on workshops and training sessions
  • Offering continuous support to refine instructional strategies
  • Encouraging collaboration and idea-sharing among teachers
  • Utilizing evidence-based practices to enhance teaching effectiveness

We Help Educators
Build Collaborative and Engaged Classrooms

“Junior Great Books. . . is exactly what prepares students to go to the university, the workplace, anywhere, and have intelligent , passionate, appropriate conversations.”

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“All of the rules of Shared Inquiry are applicable not only to when we’re reading Junior Great Books stories, but for any other whole-group activity. So we have kind of adopted the Shared Inquiry approach to most of the things that we do in class.”

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“Junior Great Books selections are actual stories from cultures all over the world. We love that we are constantly sharing different diverse authors from different countries, as well as experiencing lots of different types of texts, from nonfiction to fiction to poetry.”

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Our Mission

We believe that literacy and critical thinking help form reflective, knowledgeable citizens equipped to participate constructively in a democratic society. The mission of the Great Books Foundation is to advance the critical, reflective thinking and social and civic engagement of people of all ages through Shared Inquiry™ discussion of works and ideas of enduring value

Who We Are

For over 75 years, the Great Books Foundation has trained thousands of educators and serviced millions of students. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit best known for founding Junior Great Books® and the Shared Inquiry method of teaching and learning. Junior Great Books programs comprise carefully curated anthologies of outstanding fiction, nonfiction, and poetry that students explore collaboratively with their peers and the teacher through Shared Inquiry, boosting all the basic language arts skills as they do so.


Join the Conversation

Earn Shared Inquiry Badges with Great Books Training

We want to recognize your expertise in Shared Inquiry™ and make it simpler to share your achievements with others. The Great Books Foundation now issues a Shared Inquiry Leader digital badge to participants who complete the Shared Inquiry Essentials course.
Advanced badges are issued to educators who complete additional courses.

Shared Inquiry Leader Certificates

What People Are Saying


Dr. Jennifer Cosme

Jonathan Dascal

Erin Mohr



The Great Books Blog

Learn more about us!

Students discussing a Junior Great Books story

How to Ensure That Gifted Students Grow As Readers

States, districts, and educators continue to devote time and resources to overhauling curriculum and instruction so that it is aligned with the science of reading to ensure that all students gain the complex, vitally important skills involved in reading. Attention often appropriately turns to the needs of the far tooContinue reading

Megan Hubbard

Junior Great Books Provides a “Magical Time” for Montessori Students

Discussion Day Is Students’ Favorite Day of the Week Megan Hubbard, Montessori adolescent lead guide at San Tan Charter School in Gilbert, Arizona, just began using Junior Great Books® with her sixth- and seventh-grade students during the 2023–24 school year. She is already loving the program and plans to expandContinue reading

Felicia Messina-D'Haiti

Junior Great Books Sparks Creativity and Communication

Felicia Messina-D’Haiti, the Manager of Academic Enrichment Programs for Washington, D.C. Public Schools, believes Junior Great Books® programs to be the “jumping off point” for students’ creativity. Messina-D’Haiti began teaching in DCPS in 2012, which is when she was first introduced to Junior Great Books and the Shared Inquiry™ method of teaching and learning.