Fall 2020 Guidance
In response to COVID-19, university courses and operations remain predominantly online for fall.

MaryAnn Cappiello


Mary Ann Cappiello headshot, outside

"The creative impulse, like love, can be killed, but it cannot be taught. What a teacher or librarian or parent can do, in working with children, is to give the flame enough oxygen so that it can burn. As far as I'm concerned, this providing of oxygen is one of the noblest of all vocations." - Madeleine L'Engle, A Circle of Quiet

Mary Ann is a Professor of Language and Literacy in the Graduate School of Education at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Prior to that, she served as a curriculum facilitator for English Language Arts and Social Studies at the middle level, and taught English Language Arts and Humanities at the middle and high school level in New York and New Hampshire.

At Lesley, she teaches courses in children's and young adult literature and literacy methods, including a specialized course in nonfiction for children and young adults, mentors the content literacy and children’s literature courses, and advises doctoral students. Previously, she served as program director of the Collaborative Internship Program, a residency-based teacher preparation program in its fifth decade. Along with Erika, she is the co-author of Teaching with Text Sets (Shell, 2012) and Teaching to Complexity: A Framework for Evaluating Literary and Content-Area Texts (Shell, 2014) and a forthcoming book with Stenhouse Publishers in 2019.

She has been a guest on public radio and a consultant to public television, and her work has appeared in English Journal, Language Arts, The Dragon Lode, School Library Journal, and School Library Connection. She blogs about children's and young adult literature currently at "The Classroom Bookshelf," a School Library Journal blog and formerly at “The Uncommon Corps.” She also reviews children's and middle grade books for Language Arts.

From 2015-2018,Mary Ann was a member of the National Council of Teachers of English's Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction (K-8) Committee, serving two years as chair.

Mary Ann was also a consultant on the new PBS kids' show "Molly of Denali." Read more about her participation.


BA, Haverford College
MA, Teachers College, Columbia University
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University

Selected Publications


  • Dawes, E. & Cappiello, M.A. (Forthcoming, 2019). Thinking deeply with text sets. Portsmouth, NH: Stenhouse Publishers.
  • Cappiello, M.A., & Dawes, E. (2015). Teaching for complexity: A framework to evaluate literary and content-area texts. Huntington Beach, CA: Shell Education.
  • Cappiello, M.A., & Dawes, E. (2013). Teaching with text sets. Huntington Beach, CA: Shell Education.


  • “Selecting Texts for Text Sets: Best Practices for Grades K-8,” with Erika Thulin Dawes, for Follett Library Resources. March 2017.
  • Teaching with Text Sets,"with Erika Thulin Dawes, for Follett Library Resources. April 2014.


  • Dawes, E.T., Cappiello, M.A., Magee, L. B. (January, 2019). Portraits of perseverance: Reading and writing picture book biographies with third graders. Language Arts.96(3). TBD.
  • Cappiello, M.A., Aziz, S., Davila, D., Grabarek, D., Graff, J. M.,  Riley, S., Waugh, J. (November, 2018). The 2018 Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children. Language Arts. 96(2) TBD.
  • Enriquez, G., Dawes, E.T., Cappiello, M.A., Cunningham, K.E. (September, 2018). Complex characters, rich storylines: Series books with sophistication. Language Arts. 96(1), 57-66.
  • Enriquez, G., Cappiello, M.A., Cunningham, K.E., Dawes, E.T. (July, 2018). Changes in children’s literature. Language Arts. 95(5), 338-345.
  • Cappiello, M.A. (June 2018). “Behind the Scenes with Henry VIII’s Wives: Fatal Throne.School Library Journal.
  • Cappiello, M.A. (February 2018). The Creation of Mary's Monster - A Conversation with Lita JudgeSchool Library Journal. 
  • Cappiello, M., & Stewart, M. (March, 2018). Understanding categories of nonfiction for young people. School Library Connection. 3(5), 29-32.
  • Enriquez, G., Cunningham, K.E., Dawes, E.T., Cappiello, M.A. (January, 2018). Beyond primers: High-quality children’s literature for primary-grade readers. Language Arts. 95(3), 182-189.

Selected Presentations

  • Orbis Pictus Committee. “Teaching with the 2018 Orbis Pictus Award Nonfiction Books. November 2018. Houston, Texas. National Council of Teachers of English Annual Conference.
  • Beecher, A., Cappiello, M.A., Dawes, E.T., Shubitz, S., Stewart, M., and Young, T. “Giving Fact Loving Kids a Voice: Using Expository Nonfiction as Mentor Texts." November 2018. National Council of Teachers of English Annual Conference.
  • Cappiello, M.A. and Dawes, E.T. “Visual Literacy and the Nonfiction Picture Book.” October 2018. Providence, Rhode Island. Literacy for All Conference.
  • Cappiello, M.A., “Reading in Action: Teen Activism.” New York City Department of Education, Office of Library Services. September 2018. New York, New York.
  • Cappiello, M.A., Dawes, E.T. “Ignite a Passion for Reading with NCTE Book Award Winners.” April 2018. Quincy, Massachusetts. Massachusetts Reading Association Annual Conference.
  • Cappiello, M.A. “Tools for writing true stories that speak to young readers.” Moderator. Boston, MA. May 2018. John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site and the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, “The Nonfiction Writer’s Toolbox for Exploring History and Other Subjects” Conference.
  • Cappiello, M.A. “Ten Things I Wish Authors and Illustrators Knew.” Springfield, MA. April 2017. New England Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Annual Conference.
  • Byrd, B., Cappiello, M.A, Reynolds, J., Schumaker, J., Stewart, M. “Working with Educators and Booksellers: What You Need to Know.” Springfield, MA. April 2017. New England Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Annual Conference.

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