New book by Hynes-Berry offers lessons in learning through story

Image: Hynes-Berry Book

Senior instructor Mary Hynes-Berry’s new book, Don’t Leave the Story in the Book: Using Literature to Guide Inquiry in Early Childhood Classrooms, is a culmination of her life’s work as a teacher and storyteller.

“I wanted to share all that I had learned to be effective,” says Hynes-Berry. “Writing this book was a way to reach all the teachers I couldn’t work with in person.”

Written from Hynes-Berry’s 30 years experience teaching children and professionals, Don’t Leave the Story in the Book comprises nine chapters, each a case study of how a particular story can be used in an early childhood classroom. Throughout her book, Hynes-Berry illustrates the higher levels of learning that are possible within a constructivist approach, which makes children “agents of their own learning.”

In the foreword to the book, Erikson professor Jie-Qi Chen emphasizes that educators must cultivate conversations around the story that foster children’s innate curiosity and desire to make meaning.

“Books and stories do not automatically produce quality intellectual work in the classroom,” writes Chen. “Intellectual quality depends also on adults — committed and intentional teachers and parents who activate the potential of stories.”

Don’t Leave the Story in the Book: Using Literature to Guide Inquiry in Early Childhood Classrooms will be published by Teachers College Press in November.


Visit Teacher’s College Press’s website for more on the book, as well as purchasing information.