The Book

Smart! A Reading Tutor's Guide, an essential resource for reading tutors, parents, and educatorsSMART! A Reading Tutor’s Guide

SMART! A Reading Tutor’s Guide, by Sylvia Keepers, is a complete handbook for adults who want to help teens excel at reading and learning. SMART! is also an indispensable aid in setting up a tutoring practice. It covers all aspects of one-on-one reading instruction from word recognition through in-depth understanding at the advanced high school level. With this reading tutor guide, any educated person, even one who has never taught before, can help teens read well, love reading and become motivated, independent learners.

Sylvia Keepers, author of SMART! A Reading Tutor's Guide

Sylvia Keepers

Although this book focuses on working with teens, the exercises and techniques it contains can be used with all ages. Teachers who work with younger children are using the ideas in SMART! to help their students become more confident, enthusiastic readers. Instructors of college students and adults are also finding practices here to help their students master the demands of higher level academic reading. Parents who decide to homeschool also will find the tools they need to improve their kids’ reading comprehension, concentration, and motivation.

Learn to:

  • Set up a tutoring practice and do an informal evaluation.
  • Help teens understand and enjoy fiction reading by making mental movies and more.
  • Teach phonics effectively.
  • Help teens understand their textbooks without dying of boredom.
  • Show students how to get the big picture by focusing on main idea and metaphor.
  • Teach a complete speed reading course that will allow your students to double or triple their reading speed and understand more.
  • Talk with teens about success, failure and perseverance in a way that engages and inspires. Let the section on Emotions, Attitudes, and Aptitude be your guide.

High-quality tutoring transforms students’ lives. As a tutor for more than three decades, Sylvia Keepers has had the opportunity and pleasure of playing a part in hundreds of such transformations. Teens and children no one has been able to help before now succeed regularly in school and in life as a result of her efforts. In SMART! Sylvia shares winning practices, attitudes and tips that will allow other tutors and homeschool parents to experience a new level of success with their own students.

Includes References, Annotated Bibliography, and detailed Index.

Read a sample chapter.

What readers and reading tutors are saying about
SMART! A Reading Tutor’s Guide . . .


The Best Book for One-on-One Reading Interventions
for Secondary Students

This book is solid gold for reading tutors and teachers. Finally we have a text that spells out exactly what to do to meet the needs of our struggling readers. We’ve all had students we desperately wanted to help and had to rely on intuition and best guesses. No more. SMART! A Reading Tutor’s Guide provides a road map full of practical activities for reading assessment and instruction. Insightfully mixing practice, theory, and anecdote, this book is incredibly helpful for anyone charged with improving student reading. This book gives us the why, the how, and the how-you-know-it’s-working. It will be our next book study with our secondary reading interventionists.

—Ramona Lowe, Ph.D.
Secondary Literacy Design Coach

Approved by Another Reading Tutor!

As a teacher of language arts I find this book spot on when it comes to diagnosing and treating reading issues in adolescents. The practical nature of it had me wondering why I hadn’t thought of it before, and yet there are gems galore that I would never have put together. I have pondered starting a side business of one-on-one tutoring—can definitely see that as a retirement option—and have already plastered the book with sticky notes. Sylvia Keepers has done all the work for me. I can’t imagine how long it took for her to put this treasure chest together, but I am ever so grateful she did.

—L. W. Smith
Reading Tutor/Classroom Teacher

“I am one of those transformations”

A special teacher can make a huge impact on a kid’s life, and for me, Sylvia Keepers was that teacher. I believe that by following the path set out in this book you too can make a major difference in a child’s life. I went from barely being able to read or write at age 12, to graduating high school and college with honors, going on to became a National Board Certified high school teacher. I owe much of my success to Sylvia, my reading tutor—and the methods described here, which I now use in my own teaching.

Sylvia says, “It is my experience that teens who receive intensive help [with reading problems] can make surprising transformations even as late as high school.” I am one of those transformations.

―Katie Lake, high school math teacher
Bernalillo Public Schools

SMART! A Reading Tutor’s Guide, by Sylvia Keepers
ISBN 9780988532014
477 pp; $29.95

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