Category Archives: Top Ten Lists

October 06

Ten Great Mentor Sentences from a Middle Grade Text by Kris Barr Paquette

I love a great sentence. You know the ones that just grab you and make you say, whoa! One of the suggestions I always have for the teachers I work with is that they model sentences from these fantastic middle grade novels that we just love to teach grammar, editing, and revision. Jeff Anderson, also […]

September 29

10 Positive Things about Aging We Need to Show Kids in Books by Lindsey McDivitt

Childhood is an important stage of life, but it’s time limited. The fact is—we all have lots of living to do beyond age 18, yet the images of growing older in books for kids are often skewed to portray negative stereotypes as truth. Adulthood is frequently ignored and late life is often seen as sad. […]

September 08

Ten Middle Grade Book Beginnings Begging to be Read by Kris Barr Paquette

It’s the beginning of the school year, and you have all your favorite summer reads stacked up in your mind to book talk.  I know.  It’s exciting.  The kids are going to love each and every suggestion you give them!  Let’s fast forward a few weeks, suddenly you are buried beneath a stack of personal […]

August 25

Character-Inspired Collectors by Heather Rader

“Question #460: Poop. Poop. Poop is stupid. Stupid poop. Stupid. Poopid. Poopidity. Is poopidity a word?”   Silence.   When “Poop” is the first word your teacher reads aloud from  As Brave As You by Jason Reynolds on your first day of school of fourth grade—that gets your attention.   The main character Genie’s questions […]

August 18

Top Ten Reasons Students Should Read More Whole Books and Fewer Passages and Packets by Cari White

This seems like a list that should be written by Captain Obvious, right? Of course students should read whole books from beginning to end! But does that really happen at your school? Or does the workroom copier groan under the load of stapled packets with  “passages” and related multiple-choice questions? Are students unable to find […]

August 11

Ten Early Readers and Transitional Chapter Books Not to Be Overlooked by Alyson Beecher and Michele Knott

As the start of the school year quickly approaches, I have been finding ways to book talk as many books as I can to teachers. Recently, I shared picture books, early readers and chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, and nonfiction for children with a group of K-12 teachers. Yes, a little of […]

July 21

Top 10 Books that Should Have Won the Newbery (According to Me, Anyway) by Stacy Nockowitz

Each year, a group of carefully selected committee members is given an impossible task: to choose the children’s book that they deem the most distinguished written by an American author and published in the previous year. I’m a middle school librarian who previously taught middle school language arts for more than twenty years, and I […]

July 14

Fighting the FOMO: Ten Ways to Make the Most of Your Local Book Festival (Without Breaking the Bank) by Oona Marie Abrams

I consider myself lucky to live in New Jersey — really! When my parents relocated here from Illinois in 1994, it was quite the culture shock, but I’ve embraced the Garden State enough to call myself a Jersey Girl (Exit 163!) and now raise my own family here. One of the benefits of living in […]

July 07

10 Musical Middle Grade Novels to Rock Readers’ Worlds by Lisa Jenn Bigelow

My middle grade years were immersed in music. I sang in the choir. I learned to play piano. I discovered my parents’ record collection, Top 40 radio, and cassingles. There was joy in lifting my voice, coaxing chords from the keys. There was comfort in hearing pop singers magically echo my deepest feelings. If life […]

June 18

A Top Fifteen List of Diversity in YA Realistic Fiction by Kristyn Dorfman

Hello again! You may recall I recently posted about Diversity in Speculative Fiction but I felt like it was also important to highlight some amazing realistic reads.   I firmly believe that everyone should be able to see themselves in the stories they read and, of course, also see, lives different than their own. There […]