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 (2013) and Teaching to Complexity (2015) and Text Sets in Action: Pathways Through Content Area Literacy (Stenhouse, 2021). She has been a guest on public radio and a consultant to public television. From 2015-2018, Mary Ann was a member of the National Council of Teachers of English's Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction (K-8) Committee, serving two years as chair.

Exploring Language, Leadership, Love, and More: Teaching Ideas for The Beatryce Prophecy

This hopeful story of language, leadership, and love has so much to offer readers as an independent read, a whole class read aloud, or a book club exploration. Our weary, virus-laden world needs the goodness and joy this book conjures. “What does, then, change the world?….Love, and also stories” (p. 247).

A List of Lists! 52 Best Children’s Book Lists for 2021

Whether you’re at the library or the bookstore, or shopping online from the comfort of your own home, pull up The Classroom Bookshelf to peruse these “Best of” lists, as well as our entries from throughout the year, to find some of the most amazing 2021 book titles for children.

Exploring the Past and Imagining the Future with Once Upon a Time There Was and Will Be So Much More

Rare is the book that has the potential to prompt so much thinking in so few pages for such a wide audience. Originally published in Sweden in 2020, Johanna Schaible’s Once Upon a Time There Was and Will Be So Much More is a picture book for humans of all ages, from young children with an emerging concept of time to adults pondering their own life experiences in the past, present, and future.

Honoring Indigenous People’s Day with Teaching Ideas for Ancestor Approved

For Native and non-Native readers alike, Ancestor Approved centers the diverse lives of contemporary Native tweens and teens, and invites all of us to delight in the community, connection, and celebration of the powwow.

Teaching About September 11th and its Aftermath: In the Shadow of the Fallen Towers

In the Shadow of the Fallen Towers offers tweens and teens the opportunity to use our historic grief to see anew – right now, when we need it most – our collective responsibility towards one another.

Living Questions: Teaching Ideas for Dr. Fauci: How a Boy from Brooklyn Became America’s Doctor

Rich for thinking about the scientific process, the nature of inquiry, the people behind our public policy, and the nature of biographical writing with living subjects, Dr. Fauci: How a Boy from Brooklyn Became America’s Doctor offers teachers, librarians, families, and the children in their care much to explore.

Exploring Native American Activism: Teaching Ideas for We Are Still Here!

deal for explorations of Native American history, U.S. history, contemporary current events, We are Here! Native American Truths Everyone Should Know offers teachers, librarians, parents, and young people the opportunity to fill in knowledge gaps and then act on that information in the quest towards justice.

Kids in Action: Teaching Ideas for The Floating Field

Ideal for explorations of agency, language, environment, and sports participation, The Floating Field reminds us that children and communities are their own best agents of change.

Learning from the Unspeakable: Teaching Ideas Centered on the Tulsa Race Massacre

Weatherford and Cooper’s fusion of art and history bring to light a shameful episode a century ago that allows teachers, librarians, young people, and their families to reconsider our present and reaffirm our commitments to anti-racism.

Teaching Ideas for a Democracy Under Assault

What can educators do? We can offer young people an opportunity to better understand and make sense of this moment through information. Nonfiction books for young people offer us gripping accounts of the past and present in language that engages young people’s hearts and minds. Nonfiction books for young people provide a “container” of information vetted and researched, with evidence documented in bibliographies and chapter notes, acknowledgements and author’s notes. Nonfiction books for young people personalize and problematize history. Nonfiction books for young people can be juxtaposed in the classroom so that students can hear a range of perspectives and make sense across texts. Nonfiction books for young people can model inquiry and informational literacy, while also providing essential information about our past, our present, and the government structures within which we operate.