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Ruth E. Quiroa


Associate Professor, Reading & Language

Programs/Classes Taught:

Ed.D Reading & Language
Language, Linguistics, & Literacy

M.Ed. Language, & Literacy Education
Survey of Youth Literature, PreK-12
Adolescent Literature
Diverse Perspectives in Youth Literature, PreK-12
Language Development & Variation
Seminar in Language Literacy, & Library Education
Special Topics: Exploring Latino/a Cultures through K-12 Literature; Latino Families & Students (K-12): Literacy & Literature; Meeting the Needs of K-12 English Language Learners

M.Ed. Reading
Reading & Language Arts Methods for Culturally & Linguistically Diverse Students, K-12

M.A.T. Elementary and Middle Level Teacher Education
Literacy Methods I: Grades K-4
Literacy Methods II: Grades 5-9

Areas of Expertise:

  • Impact of multicultural literature on instructional practice
  • Latin@-themed literature (P-12)
  • Multicultural and general literature for children and adolescents (P-12)
  • Wordless picturebooks
  • Bilingual / ESL Education
  • Literacy for culturally and linguistically diverse students
  • Culturally responsive instruction
  • Language, literacy, and culture


Ruth E. Quiroa, Ph.D. is an associate professor of Reading & Language at National Louis University and a former kindergarten and bilingual (Spanish/English) second grade teacher. She teaches courses in youth literature and pre-service literacy methods. Her research focuses on the impact of multicultural literature on K-12 teachers’ instructional practices. Other research areas include trends and issues in Latino/a-themed children’s literature published in the U.S., international Spanish-language children’s literature, and wordless picture books. She has served on review committees for the Américas Book Award for Children and Adolescents (2010-2012) and the Pura Belpré Award (2013). Ruth will serve on the 2019 Caldecott Award Selection Committee, an American Library Association (ALA) award given to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children published in the U.S. during the preceding year. Ruth's term will focus on picture books published in 2018.


Ph.D., Education, Curriculum & Instruction / Language & Literacy / ESL-Bilingual Education University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2004. M.Ed., Education, Curriculum & Instruction / Language & Literacy / ELL-Bilingual Education University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1998 Multiple Subjects Elementary Teaching Credential California State University, Los Angeles, 1992 B.A., Psychology Olivet Nazarene University, 1987

Research and Interests:

The impact of multicultural literature on the instructional practices of in-service teachers
Trends and issues in Latin@-themed literature
The complexity of wordless picturebooks


Quiroa, R. E. (2016). Filling the gap: The looking glass legacy of Julie Kline and the Américas Book Award. In L. Henderson (Ed.). The Américas Award: Honoring Latino/a children’s and young adult literature in the Americas. Lexington Books.

Naidoo, J. C., & Quiroa, R. E. (2016). Beyond Calaveras and Quinceañeras: Fostering bilingual Latino students’ identity development with culturally relevant literature. In E. R. Clark, H. L. Smith, & B. B. Flores (Eds.) Multicultural Literature for Latino Bilingual Children: Their words, their worlds. Rowman Littlefield.

Quiroa, R. E. (April 30, 2016). Be:Tween Column: Pat Mora on Día, the Arbuthnot lecture, and diverse books: 20 years and counting. School Library Journal.

Quiroa, R. E. (May 17, 2016). BeTween Column: Gutsy, funny, and flawed: Angela Cervantes on crafting strong Latina characters. School Library Journal.

Lugo, S, Quiroa, R., Terrones, L., & Diaz, S. M. with Wadham, T. (2015) Top 10 Latin@ books. School Library Journal, 61,(12), 52-53.

Lugo, S., Quiroa, R., Terrones, L., & Diaz S. M. (2014). Latino books. School Library Journal,60(12),45.

Quiroa, R. E. (2013). Promising portals and safe passages: A review of preK-12 Latino/a-themed literature. In J. C. Naidoo & S. Park (Eds.) Diversity in Youth Literature: Opening Doors Through Reading. ALA Editions.

Cummins, S. & Quiroa, R. E. (2012). Teaching Tips: Teaching for writing expository responses to narrative texts. Reading Teacher, (65)6, 381-386.

Quiroa, R. E. (2010). Bailando ante el espejo literario / Dancing in front of the literary mirror: Responses to culturally familiar themes in picture storybooks. In J. C. Naidoo (Ed.) Celebrating cuentos: Promoting Latino children's literature and literacy into classrooms and libraries. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.

Quiroa, R. E. (2010). The story of the Américas Collection: Gathering preK-12 Spanish language books and resources. In J. C. Naidoo (Ed.) Celebrating cuentos: Promoting Latino children's literature and literacy into classrooms and libraries. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.


"The silent surprising worlds of wordless picture books.” Comprehensive Literacy and Reading Recovery® Conference. Co-presented with Amy Huftalin, NCE/Reading & Language Doctoral Candidate. January 2016.

"Murals in 32 pages." A teacher and librarian workshop titled, "The Américas Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature: Highlighting the 2015 commended list teacher and librarian workshop”  at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies. October 2015.

“The Languages and complexities of wordless picturebooks: Developing Comprehension Strategies for English Learners (Grades PreK-12).” An ELL-focused breakout session for National Louis University’s Center for Teaching through Children’s Books and ESL STEM Success Grant’s “Picture Book and Visual Literacy Institute.” January 2015.

 “Latin@ picture books as murals for children,” presentation title as an invited member of the Association for Library Services for Children (ALSC) panel titled, “Adventures through a cultural looking glass and what we found there: Trends in diverse children’s literature in the US and beyond” at the 11th International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) Regional Conference sponsored by the United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY) national conference in New York City. October 2015.

"The wonderful world of books without words: Complex texts with open access." Paper presented at the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) 34th International Congress in Mexico City, October 10, 2014.

"Silent picture storybooks as complex texts," a presentation at the Illinois TESOL-Bilingual Education (ITBE) Conference. Co-presenter: Amy Huftalin, NLU Reading Doctoral Candidate. March 2014

"Reading the Américas," a presentation at the Américas Award K-12 Teacher Workshop: "Using children's literature to explore Latin American/Latino cultural heritage," sponsored by Tulane University and Vanderbilt University's Centers for Latin American Studies & Teaching for Change; Washington, D. C. Co-presenter and award initiator, Julie Kline. October 6, 2012.

"Latino/a-Themed K-12 Literature and the Impact of the Child's Perspective on Educators." Featured Sessions, Illinois Reading Council Conference, Springfield, IL, April 2012.

"New And Familiar Worlds: Latino/a-themed Literature For Pre-K-High School, 2001-2010." Presentations at the Alice Hagar Curriculum Center, Murphy Library at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, April 2011.

"Portals to Our Future: Latino/a-Themed Literature for Children and Adolescents, 2001-2010." Presentation on panel, "Culture and Literacy: Portals to our History," National Council of Teachers of English annual convention, Chicago, IL, November 2011.

Peaceful Crossings with Wordless Picture Books." United States Board on Books for Young People regional conference, Fresno, CA, October, 2011.


School Library Journal reviewer of Latino/a-themed texts (Spring 2014 to present); invited to serve on selection committee for SLJ’s Latino-themed List (Fall 2014, 2015, 2016).

Invited member of the Diversity in the ALCS (Association for Library Services to Children) Task Force, whose function is to thoroughly examine diversity within all areas of ALSC such as membership, recruitment, award committees, and leadership and to recommend short-term and long-term strategies for developing richer diversity within the association. Spring 2015 - present.

Invited participant in the “Day of Diversity: Dialogue and Action in Children's Literature and Library Programming,” hosted by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), in collaboration with the Children's Book Council (CBC). American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting; Chicago, Illinois. January 2015.

Member of the Review Committee for the 2013 Pura Belpré Award for Children's Literature, January 2012-January 2013. See: and

Chair (2011-2012) and Member (2009-2012) of the Review Committee for the Américas Award for Children's and Young Adult Literature of the Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs (CLASP). Participated in the 2010, 2011, and 2012 Award Ceremonies at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. See Award Ceremony webcasts:

Co-founder of the Américas Collection of books for Children and Adolescents at the National Louis University library. This is a collection of 1500+ Spanish, bilingual, and Latino/a-themed children's and young adult books, with the majority originally published in Spanish by Latin American authors & illustrators.

Contact Information:

phone/fax: 630.874.4563

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    NLU’s Chicago campus on South Michigan Avenue occupies five floors of the historic Peoples Gas Building. This landmark building, across the street from the Art Institute of Chicago and Grant Park, is easily accessible by train, bus and car and is surrounded by restaurants, parking lots/garages and shops.

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    Located just minutes from the East-West Tollway (I-88), NLU Lisle features 42 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a separate walk-in lab in the library; a café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; conference rooms; and six comfortable student lounge areas with wireless access.

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