Category Archives: Top Ten Lists

identical 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 […]

larissa-7 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 […]

every-hidden-thing 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 […]

global-warming 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 […]

the-art-of-holding-on-and-letting-go 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 […]

the-matchstick-castle 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 […]

DearDragon_cover 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 […]

cover-image December 24

Top Ten Picture Books With Fascinating Author’s Notes For All Ages by Elizabeth Dillow

I have long been an advocate for encouraging the frequent reading of picture books well past the “recommended” age, generally defined as 3-8 years old. It pains me when I overhear a parent or caregiver tell a child past the age of 8 that picture books are “for babies.” It’s very possible to choose books […]

something-rotten December 22

Ten Books To Introduce Kids (of any age! Adults, too!) to Shakespeare by Andi Diehn

When I was about 12 years old, I decided to read A Midsummer Night’s Dream. My mom was impressed. We went to the library and picked it up, along with Hamlet, just because, and I carried them home with a reverence usually reserved for books by Madeleine L’Engle and Noel Streatfield, my usual favorites that […]

kateschu December 21

8 Awesome Things From 2016 

2016 was a difficult one for many people. Some of us lost loved ones, some of us were disappointed in the presidential election, and most of us are feeling sad to be living in such a divided world. When I looked back at 2016 I was able find a handful of pretty awesome things. Here […]