Shining Readers creates inviting leveled books for beginning and transitional readers. Helping readers shine, we believe that every child can become the best reader he or she can be with engaging books, positive support, and practice. Our focus is on the reader with simple yet meaningful stories and illustrations that encourage conversations and writing.

As a National Board Certified Reading Teacher and former Reading Recovery Teacher®, I observe children daily who find learning to read challenging. Children will persevere when you believe in them and partner with them in the reading process, and share your love of reading. Thanks to all the children, their families, and teachers whom I have the opportunity to work with – we journey together.

Great Books Feed Us,
Jen Fenrich

Our Books

Leveled Books      Fountas and Pinnell level our books.  The renown literacy experts and former Reading Recovery® teachers developed a gradient text tool (A-Z) to guide teachers in “noticing, teaching, and supporting” students at each level in their reading development. Based on Marie Clay’s groundbreaking work in the 1970’s, the New Zealand educator and psychologist developed Reading Recovery®, a short-term, one-on-one intervention for low-achieving first graders.

Reading Recovery® Book List      Many of our books are now leveled by Reading Recovery® and are listed in the official Reading Recovery® Book list. Books not leveled will under go the next round of field testing, a deliberate, thoughtful screening process for book selection.

Comprehension      Comprehension is understanding what we read ~ the meaning of text.  We take this very seriously at Shining Readers because our goal is not only to help children become independent readers but also to develop critical thinkers. We encourage children to engage in our books by asking questions and making comments. Research shows that critical thinkers make more-informed decisions.

Book Series      We offer several series: Tanner, Little Toad, Monkey Man, Woodland Animals, Inspire, and Diversity. Reading a series helps beginning readers with comprehension and motivation to read because they are already familiar with the book’s layout and characters.  They want to read more books about their favorite characters and anecdotes.

Fiction and Non-Fiction Books    We offer fiction books for beginning readers and now offer 3 non-fiction books geared towards second and third graders. Jellies, our latest book, is a collaboration with the University of California at Merced. Our goal is to leave the reader reflecting, long after the book is read.

Beginning readers usually start learning to read by reading fiction books because most children are familiar with a sense of story with its beginning, middle, and end. Non-fiction initially creates more of a challenge for children until they are taught the various purposes for reading non-fiction and how text features (i.e., headings, captions, etc.). guide their reading and understanding.

Who Purchases Our Books      Individuals and schools alike purchase our books. Check out their positive reviews on the website. For schools, our books supplement guided reading programs and build classroom libraries and students’ book boxes.  Our books may be read multiple times for different purposes (discussions, writing opportunities, vocabulary and word study). As Marie Clay stated, A child needs to read often from many different books… (LL2, p.98).

I use My Home with my kindergarteners. 
It has many of the sight words they need.

                          Reading Teacher, Ohio

Our Team

Founder/Author, Jennifer Fenrich, a National Board Certified Reading Specialist and former Reading Recovery© Teacher, shares the love of reading with elementary and middle school students for over twenty years in public education. She lives near the Blue Ridge Mountains with her husband, Richard, and loves hiking in the mountains, kayaking on the New River, and taking “detours” with her family.

Illustrator, Tessa Riley is a recent graduate from Virginia Tech with a Bachelor of Fine Arts majoring in visual communication design and minoring in art history. In her free time, Tessa enjoys hiking, running (ran track and cross country for Virginia Tech) and of course, drawing! Tessa hopes to one day illustrate full time. For now she is spending her winters substitute teaching and her summers working on a dude ranch in Grand Teton National Park.

Illustrator, Grace Yi was an honors student who graduated with a BFA in Studio Art from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. She currently resides in northern Virginia as a graphic designer by day and a children’s book illustrator by night. Grace finds inspiration from her love of nature and its intricate decorative qualities and its effortless beauty, and has found interest in exploring a wide variety of media and styles.

Illustrator, Leyla Kiran received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she focused primarily in ceramics and sculpture. When she is not illustrating for Shining Readers, Leyla is a studio assistant for a Chicago-based jewelry and object design duo called Minima Maxima. In her own art practice, Leyla is interested in using humor as an accessible entry point for talking about serious issues like mental health and social justice. Her other interests include dogs, coffee, loud music, and orange things.

Editor, Megan Anne Fenrich, is a graduate student at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She holds a Master’s in Italian Studies and is continuing on with her PhD. She has experience with educational curriculum and instruction, graphic design and professional writing. When not studying, Megan enjoys photography, outdoor activities, and reading.

Educational Consultant, Hillary Fenrich, with her experience in business consulting and administration, works to bring our books into little hands regionally. Understanding that strong, long-lasting community relations are the fabric of sustainability in the business world, she plans to own her own consulting business eventually. Hillary consistently works to minimize her environmental impact while finding time to travel, grow delicious organic vegetables, and enjoy the sun.

Community Partnerships Shining Readers advocates children’s literacy through community outreach and conferences. Thanks to all our community partners and the important work they do every day.

Take a scavenger hunt around Montgomery County to find all the Little Free Libraries.

  • Auburn High School and Little Free Library Project
  • Blacksburg High School and Little Free Library Project
  • Eastern Montgomery High School and Little Free Library Project
  • Montgomery County Christmas Store and Giving
  • Montgomery-Floyd Regional Library and Little Free Library Project
  • St. Mary’s Little Angels Preschool and Giving
  • Salvation Army and Angel Trees