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2 Book Sale






If They Can Argue Well, They Can Write Well + Entertaining an Elephant



3 Book Sale








If They Can Argue Well, They Can Write Well + Entertaining an Elephant + Entertaining an Elephant: The Graphic Novel


Holiday Book Salel EAE & Feathers





Entertaining an Elephant Carrying a Load of Feathers



More of Bill's books …

(Also See Bill's BRAND NEW Book for Struggling Teen Readers on a separate page!)

Click on any title below to see a full description.


Entertaining an Elephant

 Entertaining an Elephant


(click on the image for more information) 

 The Perfect Faculty Study Book!

 A 1-hour read that will inspire any teacher!

 To order by FAX:  1-415-826-2310.

 Available below in Print and as eBooks. (eBooks are emailed as pdfs)

                            (Not available on

Print Version

$6.37   (Reg. $7.95–20% Discount!)



Digital Version




Entertaining an Elephant

  Entertaining an Elephant: STUDENT EDITION!

  (scroll down to descriptions for more information)  


  How to Order by FAX​: 1-415-826-2310  

  (Not available on 

  Available in Print and as eBooks. (eBooks are emailed as pdfs)

   1 Book: $8.95  Class set of 20: $180.00   Class set of 30: $270.00







Print Options



























Digital Version








The Graphic Novel: Teacher's Guide to Student Edition    

Slide1 (click on the image for more information)  

Covers State and Common Core ELA Standards!

How to Order by FAX​: 1-415-826-2310      

(Not available on                                  




What's Happening?  What's Happening? (click on the image for more information)
 Save Your Struggling Teen Readers

 High-Interest Articles with Research-based Reading  Strategies

 Proven Successful in Independent Testing!

Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

How to Order: By Phone at 1-800-462-6595
Online at



Carrying a Load of Feathers ( Carrying a Load of Feathers

 (click on the image for more information)

 The sequel to Entertaining an Elephant!

 Luis returns to help a family torn apart by greed and  illness! 

 How to Order by FAX​: 1-415-826-2310                                    

 (Not available on 



Building Literacy in Social Studies   Building Literacy in Social Studies

  Practical and Engaging Strategies for the Classroom!

  Turns Social Studies Teachers into Reading Teachers

  (click on the image for more information)  

  How to Order by FAX​: 1-415-826-2310




Argue Well Small If They Can Argue Well, They Can Write Well

 (click on the image for more information)  

 Teaches Simple Classroom Debate, Internet Research, and  Critical Thinking that  culminates in a perfect Argumentative Essay

 An Entire Book of Reproducible Copy Masters that ARE your Lesson Plans!                                                       

How to Order by FAX: 1-415-826-2310

                       (Not available on

Print Version: $15.00  






Tablet Options














  Power Words (click on the image for more information)Power Words

Vocabulary Development for Struggling Readers

 3 Levels of Engaging Instruction

How to Order: By Phone at 1-800-462-6595
Online at
Search ISBN: 978-0-618-95099-7, 978-0-618-95092-8, and 978-0-618-95089-8

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Many of Bill’s books can also be bought at the IESS store at

About Bill’s Books


Entertaining an Elephant

Entertaining an Elephant is the heartwarming story of a burned-out teacher struggling though his fifteen year of teaching. Through a set of unexpected events, this teacher becomes re-inspired with both his profession and his own life. Woven into this short novel are quotes from world-renown spiritual and philosophical writers who suggest ways for us to face the tough challenges of today’s world.

Already in its 20th printing, the book is a favorite among educators and parents. Priced to sell in bulk, administrators and instructors often use the novel as a “book study” with faculties or in schools of education. Teachers are able to talk about a "bad teacher" without pointing fingers at others! 

Here’s what people are saying about Entertaining an Elephant.

“Powerful! Super! Splendid! Explosive! A thousand thanks!”
– Cora Miles, Principal, White Planes, NY
– “It should be on every educator’s recommended reading list.”
    – Nel Noddings, Ph.d., Dean of the School of Education, Stanford University
“I bought a copy for every teacher at my school. What a wonderful book!”
– Sandra Farmer, Principal, Rocky Mount, NC
“I couldn’t put it down. I loved it!”
– Inga Smith, Ohio Teacher of the Year
“A poignant story about teaching only love that will open up your heart to how important it is to let go, to be open-minded, and to forgive others and ourselves.”
– Gerald Jampolsky, M.D., Author of Love is Letting Go of Fear
“This novel touched me.”
– Peter Elbow, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA
“Entertaining an Elephant is wonderful. I loved it!”
– Carol Jago, Editor, California English, Pacific Palisades, CA

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Entertaining an Elephant: The Graphic Novel by Bill McBride

A Story to Open the Hearts and Minds of Teens

With over 80,000 copies of the original novel sold, now enjoy the graphic novel version of Entertaining an Elephant. This beautifully drawn book tells the same story of Mr. Reaf, a burned-out teacher, who becomes re-inspired when he realizes how he’s hurting himself and his students. The story also helps middle and high school students reflect on positive human values.

Praise for the Graphic Novel

"Beautifully written.  Beautifully drawn.  Teachers and teens will love it!                    

– Dr. Sterling Hennis, Professor of Education, UNC-Chapel Hill

"The art and story will surely engage adolescents, especially those who struggle with reading and school in general."                                                                  

– Oneida Fox Roye, Senior Program Director of ELA, Boston Public Schools

"This is the perfect format to teach students Common Core skills AND positive values about life."                                                                                                

– Talya M. Taylor, Teacher of the Year 2012, Duval Co. Schools, Jacksonville, FL

"Teen readers will relate to the all-too-familiar scenario of school as a dead zone and respond powerfully to this story about love and loss, faith and forgiveness.”        

– Carol Jago, Past President, National Council of Teachers of English

Also available in Classroom Sets with a Teacher’s Guide of Common Core Activities [See Below].  

The Graphic Novel: Teacher's Guide by Bill McBride

Teacher’s Guide of Reproducible Copy Masters


·        Specialized Vocabulary Lesson for Graphic Novels  

·        An Anticipation and Reaction Guide for EVERY Chapter

·        And the following Common Core Skill Lessons;              

Plot Summary Lesson                                                     

Setting and Plot Lesson                                              

Myths and Religion Lesson                                           

Dramatic Irony Lesson

Citing Evidence Lesson                                               

Theme Lesson                                                         

Craft and Structure Lesson    

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What's Happening? by Bill McBride, Ron Klemp and Larry Gable.

Reading experts agree that the last best place to save an adolescent struggling reader is in Grades 6 – 10. To become proficient readers, Tier 2 students require high-interest nonfiction paired with focused practice with literacy strategies. Here's what you'll find in What's Happening?

  • 20 High-Interest Nonfiction Articles on topics ranging from Saggy Pants to Somali Pirates
  • Students learn 7 Comprehension, 5 Vocabulary, and 4 Fluency strategies with EACH article
  • Students do Repeated Readings of Texts as required by the Common Core Standards
  • 4 to 5 Background Videos are available for each article
  • Short, focused lessons are easy to implement, requiring minimal inservice
  • Program is Inexpensive and Student Book is Consumable
  • And it's Excellent Test Prep for State Assessments

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Carrying a Load of Feathers is the second book in a series featuring Luis, the janitor, from Entertaining an Elephant. Written in the same format as the first book, the novel weaves quotes from world-renown spiritual and philosophical writers throughout the story of Bradford Sparks, an ambitious mortgage broker determined to become rich.

As the story unfolds, Bradford, his wife, and two teenage children begin to learn that a family, like a garden, needs care and tending. Half the proceeds of every sale go to the charity, Under One Roof. Here’s what people are saying about Carrying a Load of Feathers.

“Carrying a Load of Feathers is a tour de force. The story portrays teenager-hood, family, friends and school with such insight that it's sure to invite lots of discussion.”
* Dr. Judith A. Langer, Center on English Learning & Achievement, Albany Inst.

“Carrying a Load of Feathers gives us a chance to examine what is important in life—in learning—in loving. This family’s journey gives us the opportunity to think about our own choices; their journey helps us find words for our fears and hope for a better life.”
* Dr. Janet Allen, Author of Yellow Brick Roads; & Words, Words, Words

“This book resonates with all of us who struggle to find purpose in our lives. The story helps us remember that teaching is not an occupation, but a calling to change peoples’ lives to make a better world.”
* Dr. Ron Klemp, Secondary Literacy Coordinator, Los Angeles USD

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Building Literacy in Social Studies by Bill McBride, Donna Ogle, and Ron Klemp

Preparing students to be active, informed, literate citizens is one of the primary functions of public schools. But how can students become engaged citizens if they can’t read, let alone understand, their social studies texts? Building Literacy in Social Studies provides targeted strategies—included teaching models, graphic organizers, and step-by-step instructions to help students do the following:

– Build vocabulary
– Develop textbook literacy skills
– Interpret primary and secondary sources
– Critically examine newspapers and magazines
– Evaluate internet sources

Teachers will also learn how to organize their classrooms into models of democracy by creating learning communities that support literacy instruction, distribute authority, encourage cooperation, and increase student accountability.

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If They Can Argue Well, They Can Write Well

If teenagers love to argue, then why aren’t we using this as a springboard to teach them to write persuasively? In this interactive workshop, teachers learn to use this natural “resource” to teach students to argue intelligently with well-supported arguments—exactly what the new Common Core State Standards require.  Teachers will learn how to set up simple 8 minute debates in any content area, how to teach students to evaluate what they research on the internet, how to teach logical fallacies and propaganda techniques, and how to transform students’ information into well-written argumentative essays. 

Praise for If They Can Write Well, They Can Argue Well

“I just want to thank you for publishing If They Can Argue Well, They Can Write Well.  It has been the most impressive instructor’s manual for teaching I have yet to encounter.  “I love the simple, straight forward method, and most importantly the kids are loving it.  Thanks again.”

Shannon Fox

Braham High School

Braham, MN

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Power Words by Bill McBride

Many adolescents lack the vocabulary skills to comprehend subject matter texts. To address this issue, Power Words is a three-level vocabulary instruction program designed for secondary students who need instruction in research-based practices to learn and retain new words. The program is especially effective with English as a Second Language students and less-able readers. The following skills are taught in Power Words:

– Affixes (Suffixes and Prefixes)
– Compound Words
– Multiple meaning words
– Greek and Latin Roots
– Context Clues
– Synonyms and Antonyms
– Syllabication through phonics
– Structural Analysis
– Idioms
– Homophones
– Specialized Vocabulary
– Using a Dictionary

Power Words can be ordered at: Search ISBN: 978-0-618-95099-7.

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If They Can Argue Well, They Can Write Well: Using Debate to Teach
Persuasive Writing, Critical Thinking, and Internet Research by Bill McBride

The new Common Core Standards require students to write an Argumentative essay. What teenagers do well is argue, so why not channel an adolescent's natural desire to argue into an engaging activity that meets a host of Common Core Standards? Part 1 of this book begins by having students analyze a persuasive essay to learn how to support an opinion well. Students are then taught a simplified form of debate, watch a model debate, and choose topics they’d like to debate. In order to debate their topics, students need to do research. Consequently, Part 2 of the book teaches students how to use online resources, use Search Engines, do Boolean searching, how to evaluate web information, how to conduct surveys, and how to analyze basic statistics. Once students find relevant data, they need to know how to think critically about the information. Part 3 of the book teaches students about logical fallacies, propaganda techniques, and how to build both a strong argument and rebuttal. At the end of Part 3, students “rehearse” their writing by having classroom debates. Students are now ready to write their essays. In Part 4 of the book, students learn how to organize and outline their papers, how to vary sentence structure, how to begin with a good opening, how to revise using a rubric, and how to cite their sources.


Also by Bill McBride:
“Passionate Pupils: Using Brain Research to Engage Learners” ASCD online article at:

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