Category Archives: Top Ten Lists

November 13

Ten Booty-ful books for laughing and learning by Jocelyn Rish

Kids like books about butts. And farts. And poop. Actually, most adults like them, too. There’s something about a solid scatological joke that sets off peals of laughter. Heck, even just saying the word toot can trigger the giggles. Because books about backsides produce so much laughter, they are a great way to slip in […]

November 06

Ten Books to Support Young Activists by Rochelle Melander

When I started a writing program for young people in Milwaukee, I had one goal: to create a space for children and teens to tell their stories. The students I’ve worked with over the years dream of changing the world. They’ve written about how they would do it, from buying back guns to mandating recycling […]

September 25


In the wake of the social isolation that Zoom school brought to students, this year I’ve been flooded with requests from teachers for books about social emotional learning (SEL). There are many aspects of SEL, from developing empathy to encouraging self-confidence, but the request I’ve received the most is books about growth mindset. Carol Dweck […]

September 13

10 Best Books Starring Kangaroos by Margaret Robson Kett

It’s the animal holding up one side of the Australian coat-of-arms. Europeans who encountered First Nations people speaking Guugu-Yimidhirr language in what is now northern Queensland over two hundred years ago heard them describe this strange animal as ‘ganjurru’. The kangaroo is adorably quirky and seems purpose built for picture books about mother-child relationships. My […]

August 14


When I host elementary school class visits at my library, one of the most frequent questions I hear in the nonfiction section is “Where are the cookbooks?” The popularity of competition cooking shows like MasterChef Junior or The Great British Baking Show may help fuel this interest, but whatever the reason, it’s a great idea […]

August 07

Ten Ways to Make Storytimes Interactive by Abi Cushman

At nErDCampPA this year, I got together with fellow kidlit creators, Josh Funk, Valerie Bolling and Carol Gordon Ekster to chat about making storytimes interactive. How can we get kids actively involved and keep their interest piqued during the reading and even beyond? It was a great discussion with many educators chiming in with their […]

July 10

Ten Books to Help you Get Ready for the Summer Olympics by Jennifer Swanson

Got sports? The Olympics does, and plenty of them. A huge multinational sports competition held every four years, this is THE sporting event of the world. Well, okay it depends on who you ask, but still, the Olympics are a pretty big deal, especially if you are an athlete. It brings together some of the […]

June 05

Top Ten Short Story Anthologies for Teens by Kasey Short

Short Story anthologies have so much to offer middle and high school age children. Teens are often still deciding what types of books they enjoy, looking for authors whose work engages them, and may not have significant time to invest in reading outside of school assignments. These approachable books provide an opportunity for teens to […]

April 03

Ten Books that Encourage Teens to Speak Up and Speak Out by Kasey Short

Middle and high school students have strong sense of justice, innovative ideas, and the potential to make a significant impact on their communities. They need encouragement to use their voices to speak up and speak out for their lives, their school, their community, and our world. These books provide examples of teens speaking up for […]

January 23

10 Ordinary Moments In Diverse Picture Books by Amanda Bower

A pattern that disturbs me in picture books that illustrate diversity is that most books I come across that are by diverse authors or that have diverse characters deal with oppression and racism as the main theme of the story.   Civil rights, and the ways those have been violated, are essential stories, and many […]