The Classroom Bookshelf
Inside The Classroom Bookshelf

2020 Charlotte Huck Award for Outstanding Fiction: Room on Our Rock

“There are two sides to every story.” This well known phrase appears on the cover of Australian authors Kate & Jol Temple’s unusual picture book along with the image of two seals, presumably a child and caregiver duo. An initial read of this book prompts expressions of concern for this pair as they travel away from their storm ravaged home only to be met with the words, “There’s no room on our rock,” when they seek shelter. The text is reverse poetry and read from back to front, it offers an entirely different reading experience.

2020 Pura Belpré Illustrator Award Winner: Dancing Hands

Winner of the 2020 Pura Belpré Illustrator Award, Dancing Hands tells the extraordinary tale of a young Venezuelan girl whose musical talents helped people find respite amidst the tumult of life.

2020 APALA Picturebook Winner for Literature

As the 2020 picturebook winner of the APALA Award for Literature, Queen of Physics is a rich source of teaching ideas and invitations for your ELA, social studies, and STEM curricula.

Fry Bread, A Native American Family Story: A Love Letter to Indigenous Nations and Communities

Winner of the 2020 Robert F. Sibert Medal for most distinguished information book for children and an American Indian Youth Literature Honor recipient, Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story is a love letter to Indigenous nations and communities centered around a simple food that represents a complex history of survival, relocation, and resilience.

2019-2020 Children’s and Young Adult Book Awards

Each year, the announcement of the American Library Association (ALA) Youth Media Awards gives us occasion to celebrate the many awards in the field of children’s and young adult literature. Below you will find links to the 2020 ALA award-winning, honor books, and authors that we blogged about, as well as links to other books we blogged about in the past that have won some of the most prestigious awards and honors in the field for 2020.

Shedding Light on 20th Century Termination and Relocation Efforts with Indian No More

Ideal for explorations of family, friendship, and identity, the impact of federal policies generationally on Native Americans, and the process by which we claim our own identities, Indian No More will linger in the hearts and minds of readers.

Exploring Race, Class, and School Integration with The Long Ride

For independent and curricular explorations, The Long Ride offers readers a snapshot of a girl, a city, and a country trying to forge a new identity and a foundation for the future.

Celebrating Grandparents and Elders

Preschool and primary grade readers will find comfort in the closeness and warmth shared between grandparents and grandchildren as they go about their everyday rituals and routines.

Saying Goodbye to 2019 with the Best in Children’s Books

We hope you find this curated “best of” list useful for your winter holiday reading and gift-giving, your classroom planning, and/or your library purchases.

Here and Now: A Picture Book Meditation on How to Live Life More Fully Present

With each turn of the page, Here and Now celebrates the beauty, magic, and wonder of every moment and the interconnectedness of all things. Written as a “real-time meditation” (author’s note), the spare picture book reads like a recipe for living life more fully present.