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The Classroom Bookshelf
Inside The Classroom Bookshelf
Mary Ann Cappiello

About Mary Ann Cappiello

Mary Ann is a professor of language and literacy at Lesley University. A former public school language arts and humanities teacher, she is a passionate advocate for and commentator on children’s books. Mary Ann is the co-author of Teaching with Text Sets and Teaching to Complexity.

Orbis Pictus Honor Book – Fault Lines in the Constitution: The Framers, Their Fights, and the Flaws That Affect Us Today

Fault Lines

Fault Lines in the Constitution: The Framers, Their Fights, and the Flaws That Affect us Today By Cynthia Levinson and Sanford Levinson Published by Peachtree Publishers, 2017, ISBN 978-1-56145-945-2 Grades 6-Up Book Review On this President’s Day, it is important to note that “not one of our first eight presidents had any real power” (p. […]

Orbis Pictus Honor Book: Chef Roy Choi and the Street Food Remix

Chef Roy

Chef Roy Choi and the Street Food Remix Written by Jacqueline Briggs Martin and June Jo Lee Illustrated by Man One Published by Readers to Eaters, 2016 ISBN: 978-0-9836615-9-7 Grades 2 and Up Book Review On the very first page of this innovative and immensely relevant picture book biography, readers are presented with a “Ramen […]

The Best of 2017

Photo by T. Horvath

It has been a hard year. In the United States and around the world, there is important work to be done to advance social justice. We realize now more than ever how much words matter. Words can inflict harm. But words can also transform lives. Words can shape the future and can give us a […]

Post-Orbis Pictus Nonfiction Musings

Grand Canyon

Imagine having hundreds of nonfiction books arrive on your doorstep. A teacher’s dream come true, right? When you’re a member of NCTE’s Orbis Pictus Committee, you are living the dream as you unpack box after box of titles, ranging in audience from preschool to young adult. The NCTE book award committees are somewhat unique in […]

NCTE Children’s Book Awards

Katie, Mary Ann, Erika

On Saturday, the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) hosted its Children’s Book Award Luncheon, at which Mary Ann and Erika, as committee chairs, announced the 2018 Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction (K-8) and the 2018 Charlotte Huck Award for Outstanding Fiction (K-8). Last week, SLJ’s “Curriculum Connections” newsletter published “The NCTE Book Awards: Opportunities for Collaboration,” […]



Windows Written by Julia Denos, Illustrated by E.B. Goodale Published by Candlewick Press, 2017 ISBN: 978-0-7636-9035-9 Grades Prek-2 Book Review Have you ever found yourself walking down a street at twilight, watching the lights pop on inside the houses and apartment buildings you pass by? As the northern hemisphere turns and twirls towards winter, autumn […]

The Way to Bea

The Way to Bea Final Cover

The Way to Bea Written by Kat Yeh Published by Little, Brown 2017 ISBN: 978-0-316-23667-6 Grades 5-8 Book Review “I mean, how do you keep someone and make sure they don’t leave? How do you figure out how to be and how to act, so they don’t even want to begin to think about leaving?” […]

Felix Yz


Felix Yz Written by Lisa Bunker Published by Viking Press, 2017 ISBN: 978-0-425-28850-4 Grades 5-8 Book Review Being thirteen can be hard even on the good days. Protagonist Felix Yz faces bullies, strives to please his teachers, and tries to get to know his crush Hector a little better. But he has even bigger problems, […]

Bronze and Sunflower

Bronze and Sunflower Cover

Guest blogger Fang Jia jointly authored this week’s entry with Mary Ann. In China, Fang teaches Chinese language and literature. Currently, she studies Curriculum and Instruction at Boston College. Bronze and Sunflower Written by Cao Wenxuan, translated by Helen Wang, illustrated by Meilo So Published by Candlewick Press, 2017 Originally published in Mandarin, 2005 ISBN: […]

Out of Wonder

Out of Wonder

Out of Wonder Written by Kwame Alexander, with Chris Colderly and Marjory Wentworth Illustrated by Ekua Holmes Published by Candlewick Press ISBN: 978-0-7636-8094-7 Grades 3-8 Book Review “A poem is a small but powerful thing. It has the power to reach inside of you, to ignite something in you, and to change you in ways […]