The Classroom Bookshelf
Inside The Classroom Bookshelf

Raymie Nightingale

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Raymie Nightingale Written by Kate DiCamillo Published by Candlewick Press, 2016 ISBN 978-0-7636-8117-3 Grades 4-8 Book Review  “The world went on. People left and people died and people went to memorial services and put orange blocks of cheese into their purses. People confessed to you that they were hungry all the time. And then you […]

Paper Wishes

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Paper Wishes Written by Lois Sepahban Published in 2016 by Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers ISBN 978-0-374-30216-0 Grades 3-8 Book Review How do we sensitively teach children about the painful truths of American history? Perhaps the best method we have is with moving, memorable stories that reveal the inner lives of people most […]

In the New World: A Family in Two Centuries

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In the New World: A Family in Two Centuries Written by Christa Holtei; Illustrated by Gerda Raidt Published by Charlesbridge, 2015 ISBN # 978-1-58089-630-6 Grades K and up Book Review Immigration stories have been told before in picture books, so when the invitation to “take a closer look at an immigrant family’s journey” (p. 7) […]

A Fine Dessert: Four Centuries, Four Families, One Delicious Treat

A Fine Dessert: Four Centuries, Four Families, One Delicious Treat Written by Emily Jenkins, Illustrated by Sophie Blackall Published by Schwartz and Wade, 2015 ISBN 978-0-375-86832-0 Grades 2-6 NOVEMBER 4, 2015 NOTE: Since the initial publication of this blog entry, there has been significant discussion within and outside of the children’s book community regarding the […]

Coretta Scott King Author Award Winner: P.S. Be Eleven

Written by Rita Williams-Garcia Published Amistad, an Imprint of Harper Collins ISBN 978-0—06-193862-7 Grades 5-8 Book Review One Crazy Summer, Williams-Garcia’s first book about Delphine Gaither and her sisters, illuminates the changes brought forth by the civil rights movement, the cultural revolution, and anti-war efforts, and foreshadows the shifting family dynamics ushered in by the women’s […]

The Great Trouble: A Mystery of London, the Blue Death, and a Boy Called Eel

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Written by Deborah Hopkinson Published by Alfred A. Knopf Publishers, Random House, 2013 ISBN 978-0-375-84818-6 Grades 4-8 Book Review Historical fiction as a genre can vary greatly. Some novels for children and young adults provide their readers with a window into a particular time and place. Some may include actual events or real people. But […]

The Matchbox Diary

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The Matchbox DiaryWritten by Paul Fleischman; Illustrated by Bagram IbatoullinePublished by Candlewick Press, 2013ISBN# 9780763646011 Grades K and up Book Review“Pick whatever you like most. Then I’ll tell you its story.” So begins a tale not just about the object that a young girl chooses from among her great-grandfather’s curio-filled home, but the story of […]

The Mighty Miss Malone

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The Mighty Miss Malone By Christopher Paul Curtis Published by Wendy Lamb Books, Random House Children’s Books ISBN: 978-0-385-73491-2 Grades 4-8 Book Review Prompted by fans discouraged by a lack of female protagonists in his body of work, Christopher Paul Curtis created Deza Malone, an irrepressible twelve-year old surviving the Great Depression with savvy, strength, […]

Dead End in Norvelt

Dead End in Norvelt Written by Jack Gantos Farrar Straus Giroux, New York ISBN: 978-0-374-37993-3 Grades 5 and Up Book Review Few authors can do what Jack Gantos manages to do in Dead End in Norvelt. As you turn the pages, you laugh out loud, clutching your sides. Next, you ponder the lessons of history. […]

Underground: Finding the Light to Freedom

Underground: Finding the Light to FreedomWritten and illustrated by Shane W. EvansPublished by Roaring Brook Press, 2011ISBN # 978-1596435384All grades Book Review “The darkness.”“The fear.”“We run.” With these succinct opening statements, award winning illustrator Shane Evans provides an intimate portrait of a family’s nighttime flight from slavery in his new picture book, Underground. Each double-page […]