What We Do

We are an independent, nonprofit educational organization that creates reading and discussion programs for students, teachers, and adult learners. We believe that literacy and critical thinking help form reflective, knowledgeable citizens equipped to participate constructively in a democratic society.

For over 70 years, the Great Books Foundation has published anthologies of authentic texts and taught the Shared InquiryTM method of learning to educators around the world.

  • Through our books, journals, and interactive learning materials:
    We inspire students to explore essential ideas and learn to read and think critically.
  • Through our professional development programs:
    We equip teachers to lead engaging, inquiry-focused explorations of challenging texts.
  • Through our community outreach initiatives and partnerships:
    We expand access to inquiry-based learning, build communities of lifelong learners and engaged citizens.

Engaging Blended Solutions for ELA

The Great Books Foundation offers a variety of print and digital solutions for the classroom in addition to professional development and training for teachers.
Our flagship K-8 Junior Great Books® series are available in print and online with our Great Books Plus digital platform. For every grade level, teachers have access to offline and online resources for teaching the Junior Great Books series.

Grades K-1: Three volumes with four selections each of engaging stories and activities for building a solid foundation in oral language skills, listening skill, so comprehension strategies so young learners can take the first steps in expressing their ideas about what they read.

Grades 2-5: Two books for each grade of authentic fiction, a book of nonfiction inquiry, and student logs.

Grades 6-8: 20 authentic texts, eight nonfiction texts, and two poems, and a reader’s journal for each grade level.

Grades 9-12: 12 selections of fiction and nonfiction from classic contemporary masters per level. A variety of additional stand-alone titles cover civics, nature, science, and the environment.

Professional Development: In Person and Online

We provide professional development on the Shared Inquiry method from the introductory level through mastery.

You can support our work through a tax-deductible contribution to the Great Books Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.


Author reading from Great Books published book, Immigrant Voices

“I would say to a parent or child considering Junior Great Books to go ahead and do it because there is nothing better than to actually read a great book. Reading a book can take you places in your imagination that you could never dream of going.”

Lydia Penosky
Junior Great Books Teacher Leader