Category Archives: Top Ten Lists

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 […]

February 10

Have you heard of these? by Larissa Juliano

At this time, there was a great roaring and trumpeting and screeching as the animals ran from the table to find hiding places. “Halt in the name of the law” shouted the policeman.   ~Arnold Lobel from A Zoo for Mister Muster   Children (but really all of us) love animal stories. Animals can elicit this […]

February 04

Ten YA Books About Characters Shaped By Their Families by Melinda Wallace

We all have an origin story.  Life begins with a family, large or small.  Sometimes that family nurtures us as we grow and helps us to understand the world around us.  Sometimes that family provides struggle and resistance against which we learn to push.  Family provides a basis for comparison, the bar against which we […]

January 28

​Ten Books About Climate Change by Nancy Castaldo 

One of the most important issues our world faces today is climate change. Scientists across the globe agree that our planet is in the throes of a dramatic change. As our Earth warms, every organism on the planet from insects to plants, from polar bears to humans are impacted. Here is a list of books […]

January 15

Get Those Kids Out of the Room:  Books to Get Your Students Outside and Immersed in Nature by Sarah Gross

The onslaught of testing required by the No Child Left Behind Act has resulted in schools pressuring teachers to prepare students for tests, and time spent outdoors has suffered as a result. Nature-deficit disorder is a term used to describe the loss that children and teens experience when they are not given opportunities to have […]

January 08

Top 10 Homes in Middle-Grade Fiction by Keir Graff

Homes are important in kids’ books, probably because visiting other people’s houses awakens our first wonderings about how other people live—and, by inference, how we might live once we get to make decisions about such things. (Imagining others’ circumstances also has a lot to do with the development of empathy, too.) I’ve spent a lot […]

January 07

OUR TOP TEN FAVORITE FICTION PICTURE BOOKS OF 2016 by Holly Mueller and her 6th Grade Class

For several weeks in December my 6th graders have been reading and reviewing many of this year’s picture books in order to choose contenders for the 2017 Caldecott Award, which will be announced on January 23rd.  I always like to watch the ALA Youth Media Awards with my classes, but it’s way more exciting to […]