Unfulfilled Expectations examines the home and family characteristics, school teaching practices, and family-school relationships that affect the literacy development of low-income children. Eschewing comparisons across social class, the authors focus exclusively on an ethnically diverse group of low-income children in grades two, four, and six, the thirty-two subjects of an intensive two-year study and a follow-up study five years later. The authors pinpoint the diverse home factors that can explain differential achievement by youngsters from the same socioeconomic background. These include the familys own uses of literacy, their attitudes toward and communication with the schools, their social networks, their rules and schedules, and their susceptibility to economic and psychological stress. The book challenges assumptions about low-income families commitment to and interest in their childrens schooling and offers valuable recommendations for parents, teachers, and administrators to ensure that low-income children fulfill their early promise.