Category Archives: Top Ten Lists

mind's eye November 28

Characters Like You and Me by Heather Rader

I was Anastasia Krupnik by Lois Lowry when I was ten. We were both precocious, observant girls who dreamed of being writers and worried about what having a newborn brother would bring. The next year I transitioned from Anastasia to Judy Blume’s Margaret trying to figure out what coming of age and religion meant to […]

Never Fall Down November 14

Ten Books that Imagine the Unimaginable: Genocide by Sarah J. Donovan, PhD

Education reform wants competition and global participation, but reform does not seem interested in intervening in the dark side of such progress. As a modern nation, we celebrate development, yet we tend to overlook the lives lost and voices pushed to the margins of society in the process. Literature is one way we can bear […]

10 Great Picture Books About Art November 07

10 Great Picture Books About Art by Elizabeth Dillow

“We must guard against the tendency to suppose that our national well-being is served primarily by advances in technology, however important and timely these may be. …And the social sciences and the humanities and fine arts are as important to the quality of our culture and eventually to the strength of our nation as are […]

a long walk to water October 31

Top Ten Books That Inspire by Adriana Fortier

After reading almost every book in my local library,  this list includes some of the most inspiring and influential books I found.* These books make you stop, think, and look at the world in a different way. They remind you to be aware of your own actions and how they affect other people and to […]

kwame1 October 25

Top 10 Tips to Get HS Students (All Students) Interested in AND Excited about Poetry OR What I Learned from Hanging with Kwame by JoEllen McCarthy

If you are a nerdy fangirl (or fanboy), you will get why the next sentence sounds so surreal.   I have had the pleasure of knowing author, poet extraordinaire, and Newbery winner, Kwame Alexander for many years.  Recently, Kwame asked me to join him at a high school visit here on Long Island. Kwame spent the […]

The Power of a Read Aloud October 24

The Power of a Read Aloud by Peggy Alfano

  If I were a superhero, then books would be my faithful sidekick. Books have proven to be loyal companions of insight and inspiration and I carry one with me wherever I go. One of the reasons I became a teacher was my love for reading and my desire to ignite that passion in others. […]

image7 October 17

Top Ten Fictional Places in Literature by Isabelle Sudron

We’ve all finished reading a book before bed, only to dream of being in the same fictional land all night. Some locations will always stick in your head, whether they’re terrifying, inconceivable or just plain fantastic. Here’s a few of my favourites, the ones that didn’t give me nightmares and that I still dream of […]

from lost in the sun October 10


There comes a time in every character’s life when they are at a crossroad. They must face the simple, honest truths about life and how to live it, but often times they need the insight, advice and guidance from a friend, parent or stranger to help them choose their own destiny. Whether or not they […]

Jkt_0590929974 October 03

Top Ten Picture Books to Build Character by Anna Sedenka

  At the beginning of the school year I always take a look at my collection of picture books and try to decide which ones I absolutely have to share with my class.  Of course I would love to share all of my picture books with my students, but there just isn’t enough time in […]

something real September 26

Top Ten Worst Parents in Tween Lit by Amy Estersohn

I’ve noticed that my seventh graders take tremendous pleasure in reading about horrible, awful, mean, nasty, and ludicrous parents, no matter the genre, setting, or gender of the main character.     For all other bad-parent-lovers out there, I’ve collected a list of some of my favorite careless caretakers:   Gym Candy by Carl Deuker […]