The Classroom Bookshelf
Inside The Classroom Bookshelf

Navigating Family, Middle School, and the Universe in We Dream of Space

Set in January 1986 against the countdown to the launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger, this coming-of-age novel by Newbery Award-winning author Erin Entrada Kelly tells the story of a family searching for something to bring their orbits into alignment with their dreams and with one another before disaster strikes.

Affirming Children’s Worthiness with I Am Every Good Thing

From the author-illustrator team that brought you the Caldecott Honor- and Newbery Honor-winning Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut, comes another poignant picturebook that celebrates Black joy and Black excellence.

Celebrating Kindness with When We are Kind

n the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, When We are Kind offers preschool and primary grade children a vision of kindness they can enact in their own lives.

Connecting Home and Heart with The Blue House

A beautiful commentary on what “home” is, Phoebe Wahl’s The Blue House offers much for your students to discuss and discover.

Confronting Anti-Black Racism with the Middle Grade Novel What Lane?

Sixth grader, Stephen, lives in Brooklyn, is into sci-fi, and is a mixed race tween who has started to painfully experience the ways that white people in his neighborhood treat him differently than his white friends. If you are wondering how to begin confronting Anti-Black racism in your classroom, start with What Lane?

Hearing the Melodies of Classmates with Your Name is a Song

“I’m not coming back ever again.” A young girl stomps out her anger and frustration as she walks with Momma at the end of the first day of school. The source of her distress? No one could pronounce her name. “Not even the teacher?” queries Momma? As they pass by a street musician, Momma offers some advice: “Tell her your name is a song.”

Exploring Native American Activism and Environmental Justice

In this historic moment, as people around the world shelter at home to slow the spread of the coronavirus, there has never been a more potent time to be reminded of our need to be good stewards of the earth we share.

Using Online Museum Resources for Literacy Learning

Whether you are a K-12 teacher trying to support students online or a parent, grandparent, or family or community member trying to support learning for a range of students and ages during this period of disruption, we hope you can find these resources interesting and engaging, and these simple protocols helpful.

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.

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.