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.

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.

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.

Fostering a Sense of Gratitude Year-Round with Thanku

Beyond a focus on giving thanks in November, Thanku can be used across the school year for read alouds at the beginning and end of the day, poetry genre studies, as an exploration of theme across language arts, and as a window into small moments in writer’s workshop.

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.

Poetry as History in The Undefeated

The Undefeated, a new picture book created by acclaimed author Kwame Alexander and award-winning illustrator Kadir Nelson has been described as “a love letter to America. To black America” (book jacket). The text is a poem that traverses the history of the United States, tracing the trauma and the triumphs of Black / African American experiences from enslavement to the Civil Rights Movement to Black Lives Matter.

Wonder, Words, and Wisdom: Teaching with the Works of Kwame Alexander

It is the power of the poem that we turn our attention to this week. In particular, we highlight Kwame Alexander’s powerful and prodigious body of work.

Looking Back and Looking Ahead to Make the Classroom Bookshelf Even Better

In August, sharpened pencils stand tall in cups and caddies. Crisp, marble notebooks are stacked in neat piles. Bulletin boards, carefully crafted with die cut letters, greet students. And books, intentionally selected, line library and classroom bookshelves. Everything feels possible. At The Classroom Bookshelf, we believe that literacy itself is about possibility. With this in […]

Exploring History, Commemorating PRIDE with Stonewall: A Building. An Uprising. A Revolution.

As the first picture book on Stonewall, timed for the 50th anniversary, Stonewall: A Building. An Uprising. A Revolution provides teachers, librarians, parents, and children with an entry point into the history of the Gay Rights Movement, to be explored in the context of other books, those written and yet-to-be-written, and digital texts as well.