The Classroom Bookshelf
Inside The Classroom Bookshelf
Katie Cunningham

About Katie Cunningham

Katie is an Associate Professor of Literacy and English Education at Manhattanville College. Her work focuses on children’s literature, joyful literacy methods, and literacy leadership. Katie is the author of Story: Still the Heart of Literacy Learning and co-author of Literacy Leadership in Changing Schools. Her book Start with Joy: Designing Literacy Learning for Student Happiness will be released September 2019. She is passionate about the power of stories to transform lives.

Award-Winning Books Remind Young Readers They Belong: 2020 Caldecott Honor Book, Going Down Home with Daddy, and 2020 Coretta Scott King Illustrated Honor Book, Sulwe

2020 Caldecott Honor Book, Going Down Home with Daddy, and 2020 Coretta Scott King Illustrated Honor Book, Sulwe, remind young readers that they are worthy of love and belonging. Both books invite various ways to celebrate ourselves, our families, our communities, and our histories.

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.

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.

Rekindle or Reaffirm Students’ Love of Reading with How to Read a Book

Teaming up for the first time, Newbery Medal-winning author Kwame Alexander and two-time Caldecott Honoree Melissa Sweet have crafted a joyous and contemplative ode to reading.

Explore the Intersection of Science and Stories in The Girl Who Named Pluto

Ripe with many opportunities for content-rich learning opportunities, The Girl Who Named Pluto is a welcome addition to the study of fictionalized biography, the solar system, and the power of interdisciplinary thinking.

Picture Books that Spark Joy and Encourage Play

Invite students to interact with three recent books in innovative ways to spark joy and encourage play.

New Kid by Jerry Craft is a Middle School Must-Read

In New Kid, Jerry Craft has taken the daily dramas of middle school life (cafeteria hierarchy, social anxieties, and tween hallway banter) to an arresting and devastatingly accurate new level. Offering hope for a more socially conscious, kinder tomorrow, New Kid should be required reading for every middle schooler (and middle school teacher) before the start of every school year.

Round Out Poetry Month with The Proper Way to Meet a Hedgehog and Other How-To Poems

Rooted in childhood wonderings like “How to Tell Goblins from Elves” and “How to Scare Monsters”, The Proper Way to Meet a Hedgehog and Other How-To Poems takes the how-to genre to new imaginative heights with sensitivity and humor.

Celebrate Spring and the Start of Poetry Month with Bloom Boom!

Simple, yet soulful, Bloom Boom! is a book full of teaching possibilities for poetry reading and writing, plant investigations, student research, nature walks, and photo illustration.

A Subtle Call to Action for Planet Earth in Debut Picture Book Sea Bear, A Journey for Survival

Told from the point of view of a female polar bear journeying across the diminishing ice from winter to summer, Sea Bear: A Journey for Survival is both poetic and gripping. In her debut picture book, author/illustrator Lindsay Moore has crafted a lyrical text complemented and extended by breathtaking watercolor and pencil illustrations.