Category Archives: Top Ten Lists

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 […]

the-girl-in-the-blue-coat December 17

Ten Fiercely Fabulous Female Heroines by Megan Fink

As a middle school librarian, I see a multitude of readers both eager and reluctant every day in my library.  The female heroines in this book represent a collection of independent and strong-willed characters that demonstrate resilience and persistence that we want our students to emulate.     Rook by Sharon Cameron Sophia Bellamy is […]

boy-robot December 16

Not Entirely Human: A Top Ten List of Gay YA by Rob Bittner

I have a special place in my heart, amidst the growing number of LGBT novels published each year, for well-written science fiction and fantasy featuring gay characters or relationships (because there are so few!). Sometimes I feel as if these books get short shrift. This list features YA novels containing gay characters who either aren’t […]

under-the-christmas-tree December 10

Beyond Santa and Frosty: Meaningful Books for the Season by Susan Knell

Every year I always look forward to reading aloud my favorite books to children for the holiday season. There are so many books that we can turn to year after year that go a bit deeper than the cute little books about Santa, snowmen, or Christmas gifts.  Here are some of my favorites that I […]

symptoms-of-being-human December 03

Ten YA Books Featuring Gender Non-Conforming Characters by Amanda Shepard

In the 1960s, when young adult literature was first emerging as a genre, the books published often targeted a specific gender: romances for girls and sports books for boys (according to Michael Cart). With the emergence of LGBTQ YA literature in recent years, this stark divide between genders within YA literature has slowly begun to […]