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The Classroom Bookshelf
Inside The Classroom Bookshelf
Katie Cunningham

About Katie Cunningham

Katie is an associate professor of literacy at Manhattanville College. Her work focuses on children’s literature, 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. She is passionate about the power of stories to transform lives.

The Word Collector


The Word Collector Written and Illustrated by Peter Reynolds 2018 Orchard Books ISBN 978-0-545-86502-9 Grades K-5 Book Review Fans of Peter Reynolds’ Ish, The Dot, and Happy Dreamer, will be delighted by his latest picturebook, The Word Collector. Reynolds continues his trend of crafting seemingly simple text with significant and lasting meaning, this time with […]



Wishtree Written by Katherine Applegate and Illustrated by Charles Santoso 2017 Feiwel and Friends ISBN 978-1-250-04322-1   Grades 3-6 Book Review “My friends call me Red, and you can, too. But for a long time people in the neighborhood have called me ‘the wishtree.’” From celebrated author, Katherine Applegate, comes her latest literary triumph–Wishtree. Fast-paced, […]

What Do You Do With a Chance?


What Do You Do With a Chance? Written by Kobi Yamada and Illustrated by Mae Besom Forthcoming in Feb. 2018 by Compendium Inc. ISBN 978-1-943-20073-3 Grades PreK-3   Book Review “I wished I had taken my chance. I realized I had wanted it, but I still didn’t know if I had the courage.” The struggle […]

Why Am I Me?


Why Am I Me? Written by Paige Britt and Illustrated by Sean Qualls and Selina Alko Published in 2017 by Scholastic Press ISBN 978-1-338-05314-2 Grades PreK-5   Book Review “Why am I me…and not you? Why are you, you…and not me?” These seemingly simple, yet profoundly philosophical questions are made to feel familiar in this […]

The Antlered Ship


The Antlered Ship Written by Dashka Slater and Illustrated by Terry and Eric Fan Published in 2017 by Beach Lane Books ISBN 978-1-4814-5160-4 Grades PreK-2 Book Review When a mysterious antlered ship arrives at Emerald Lagoon, a philosophical fox named Marco is suddenly filled with quixotic questions: Why do some songs make you happy and […]

Dorothea Lange: The Photographer Who Found the Faces of the Depression


Dorothea Lange: The Photographer Who Found the Faces of the Depression Written by Carole Boston Weatherford Illustrated by Sarah Green Published in 2017 by Albert Whitman & Company Grades 1-6 ISBN: 978-0-8075-1699-7 Book Review “More than a photographer, she was a storyteller with a camera.” Best known to the world for her iconic photograph Migrant […]

A Letter to All the Children of America


For the past few years, we have launched our new blog season with a post that serves as a reflection on the current cultural context we are living in as teachers, librarians, and literature lovers. The past two years we wrote about what we believe matters most when selecting books and building classroom libraries. We […]

Over and Under the Pond


Over and Under the Pond Written by Kate Messner Illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal Published in 2017 by Chronicle Books Grades PreK-5 ISBN: 978-1-4521-4542-6 Book Review “Over the pond, cattails rustle and shush in the wind…Under the pond, a caddisfly larva builds a home of her own–a secret shelter of pebbles and sand.” As with […]

The Girl Who Ran: Bobbi Gibb, the First Woman to Run the Boston Marathon

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Written by Frances Poletti and Kristina Yee Illustrated by Susanna Chapman To be published in 2017 by Compendium Grades K-5 Book Review   “Girls can’t run marathons, don’t you know that?…Good girls don’t run. You’ll hurt yourself!” What does it take to follow your heart, rather than bend towards the fears of others? From the […]

2018 Caldecott Winner: Wolf in the Snow

Wolf in the Snow

Wolf in the Snow Written and Illustrated by Matthew Cordell Published in 2017 by Feiwel and Friends ISBN 978-1-250-07636-6 Grades preK-3   Book Review Get ready to challenge all of your assumptions about stories of girls in red-hooded jackets and wolves. Counter to traditional fairy tales that caution (and condition) us to be fearful of […]