Category Archives: Top Ten Lists

May 20

Ten Types of Books That Are Hooking My MOST Reluctant Readers by Wendy Gassaway

I teach reading to middle schoolers who read two or more years below grade level.  I am a fierce believer in the power of reading workshop and choice, but I continue to struggle with a sizable minority of students who Won’t. Read. ANYTHING.  I feel like I offer a wide range of material, and I’m […]

May 13

TEN MENTOR TEXTS FOR MY HISTORICAL FICTION WIP by Carol Baldwin

When I teach writing I say, “If you want to write, read.” Taking that motto to heart, these ten books have guided me as I’ve written HALF-TRUTHS, my first young adult novel.   BLUE by Joyce Moyer Hostetter   In Hickory, North Carolina in 1944, Ann Fay Honeycutt assumes responsibilities after her father leaves for […]

May 06

“E” is for “Entertaining” and “Educational”: Ten Picture Book Biographies Tweens, Teens, and Teachers Will Love! by Maggie Bokelman

Even though the “E” on a picture book spine stands for “Everybody,” sometimes it’s mistaken for “Easy.” That’s unfortunate, because many picture books are complex and thought-provoking. In their 2009 book, Teaching Literary Elements with Picture Books, Susan Van Zile and Mary Napoli write, “A majority of current picture books are particularly geared for adolescents.” […]

April 22

10 New Books Highlighting the Diversity and Strength of Girls & Women by Brittany Gendron

Far too often girls are shortchanged in literature. They deserve to see the beautiful wide world of humanity, and more definitions of ‘girl’ than just girl-chases-boy, clique-drama tropes. Here are 10 recent favorites of mine showing the beautiful wide-open world of what it is to be female!   Non-Fiction Strong is the New Pretty: A […]

April 15

Top Ten Picture Books for Read Alouds by Kate Olson

As an elementary school librarian, I am always looking for ways to connect my read alouds with other books I have shared with students, and build a community of books, reading and readers. One way I do this is by choosing specific picture book “series” for each grade level and making sure to read EVERY. […]

April 01

Top Ten Books to Inspire Inventors, Engineers, Tinkerers, and Those of Us Who Wish We Were! by Kristin Schweitzer

You know that kid, the one who doesn’t understand why he can’t record Lego instructions on his reading log?  Or the one who disassembles her mechanical pencils, just to see how they work?  As a teacher, I have not always recognized this child.  You see, my teaching life was shaped by my reading life.  As […]

March 25

Ten Refugee Stories by Jenny Siebring deGroot

Reaching out in friendship to new arrivals is the best way to learn about the hopes and fears of individuals and families leaving or fleeing their homelands. However, picture books, especially ones based on true experiences, are a great way to engage children and adults as well.  Below are my ten best picks from among […]

March 02

Top Ten Historical Fiction Titles to Encourage a Diverse Understanding of the Past by Rebecca Redinger

When teachers and librarians encourage students to read historical, they not only provide a way to understand the past, they also promote an enjoyment in learning. Historical fiction has not always been used in this way, however. For centuries, children’s literature, and historical fiction in general, failed to accurately reflect and include global humanity.   […]

February 25

5 Series My Emergent-Bilingual Readers Are Loving by Priscilla Thomas

Over the past 11 years, I have defended the necessity of independent reading in a wide variety of high school English classrooms. Whether my students were 9th grade boys in a vocational school or honors-level 11th graders, I have always believed in the value of reading for joy, reading by choice, and reading on your […]

February 11

Twofers: Top Ten Titles about Twins for Teens and Tweens by Maggie Bokelman

Twins—especially identical twins—have a certain mystique about them. In her book Two, or the Book of Twins & Doubles, children’s author Penelope Farmer, a twin herself, argues that our society’s fascination with twins reflects deeply rooted yet conflicting desires.  On the one hand, we yearn to be unique and special, and the existence of identical […]