The Classroom Bookshelf
Inside The Classroom Bookshelf

Just Right: Searching for the Goldilocks Planet

“When you look toward the stars, do you wonder if anyone is looking back? Is Earth the only planet with intelligent life? Is it the only planet with life at all?” Curtis Manley’s new nonfiction picturebook, Just Right: Searching for the Goldilocks Planet, tackles these complex wonderings with aplomb through the existence of exoplanets—that is, extrasolar planets that orbit the countless stars across the universe.

Learn and Grow with Seeds Move! by Robin Page

Seed dispersal is the topic of collage artist Robin Page’s latest nonfiction picture book. Versatile for use throughout the seasons, this teaching tool plants the seeds for important classroom conversations about nature, interdependence, and the importance of conservation.

Fast Enough: Bessie Stringfield’s First Ride

“Have you ever been told you are not enough?” With this opening line, author-cartoonist Joel Christian Gill grabs the attention of readers of all ages and introduces us to the legendary Bessie Stringfield, the first African American woman to ride solo across the United States on a motorcycle.

2019 Schneider Family Book Award Winner: Rescue & Jessica

Winner of the 2019 Schneider Family Award, the story of Jessica Kensky’s road to healing after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing robbed her of the use of legs is offered in a heartwarming picture book autobiography.

Constructing Curriculum: Teaching with Jorey Hurley’s Skyscraper

The processes and machines used to build a skyscraper are the subject of Jorey Hurley’s latest picture book offering. Construction vehicles take center stage in the digitally rendered illustrations. Hurley’s bright colors and geometrical shapes detail fourteen different machines and their roles in building a glass encased skyscraper. This engaging title is sure to inspire young readers to want to know more about cities and their skylines.

Exploring Power, Agency, and the Black Freedom Movement with Never Caught

Never Caught, the Young Reader’s Edition of Erica Armstrong Dunbar’s 2017 National Book Award Finalist, explores the intricate and intimate ways in which the personal lives of George and Martha Washington and the enslaved men and women they owned were tangled together. As Martha Washington’s personal maid, Ona Judge, a skillful seamstress, had access to fine clothes, trips to the theater, and the chance to travel beyond Mt. Vernon. But for Judge, that was not enough. Only freedom was enough. Ideal for biography genre study as well as explorations of the Black Freedom Movement and the American Revolution, Never Caught can play many roles in middle grade language arts and social studies classrooms.

The Power of Apology: Teaching with Orbis Pictus Honor Book Thirty Minutes Over Oregon

This book is a welcome invitation to all of us to model civility and forgiveness in our communities, without waiting for our elected officials.

Rodent Rascals: From Tiny to Tremendous – 21 Creatures at Their Actual Size

A superhero rat who can scale buildings and chew through cement; a capybara as a seeing-eye guide animal; rats trained to detect landmines and Tuberculosis – these fascinating rodents and 18 more are the subject of author/illustrator Roxie Munro’s latest picture book.

Post-Orbis Pictus Nonfiction Musings, Round Two

Last week, Erika and I wrote a post about the Orbis Pictus and Charlotte Huck Book Award announcements at the NCTE Annual Convention. The Orbis Pictus Award was the first stand-alone award for children’s nonfiction, established by NCTE in 1989 and first awarded in 1990. You can learn more about the award on the NCTE […]

La Frontera and Dreamers

La Frontera: El Viaje con Papá/My Journey with Papa Written by Deborah Mills and Alfredo Alva Illustrated by Claudia Navarro Published by Barefoot Books, 2018, ISBN 978-1-78285-388-6 Book Review “Cuando era niño, mi familia vivía en el pequeño pueblo de La Ceja, en el centro de Mexico, en el estado de Guanajuato. Mi familia había vivido allí […]