The Classroom Bookshelf
Inside The Classroom Bookshelf

New Kid by Jerry Craft is a Middle School Must-Read

In New Kid, Jerry Craft has taken the daily dramas of middle school life (cafeteria hierarchy, social anxieties, and tween hallway banter) to an arresting and devastatingly accurate new level. Offering hope for a more socially conscious, kinder tomorrow, New Kid should be required reading for every middle schooler (and middle school teacher) before the start of every school year.

Laughter as an Inference Tool: Teaching Ideas for Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Winner Fox+Chick and Other STories

Following in the literary footsteps of the famed friendships of Frog and Toad and Elephant and Piggie, a new pair of unlikely animal friends has entered the early reader scene. Author/illustrator Sergio Ruzzier has crafted two endearing characters in Fox and Chick that young readers will enjoy following through their humorous antics across three clever vignettes in this first book in this soon-to-be a series


Rebound Written by Kwame Alexander and Illustrated by Dawud Anyabwile Published in 2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Grades 4-8 ISBN: 978-0-544-86813-7   Book Review In this much-anticipated prequel to his Newbery-winning novel The Crossover, Kwame Alexander draws from similar themes and the rhythm of basketball to transport readers back in time to 1988 with another […]

Grace for Gus

Grace for Gus Written and illustrated by Harry Bliss Published by Katherine Tegen Books, 2018   Book Review At Midtown Elementary School in New York City, Grace’s class is raising money for the Gus Buddy Fund. Gus, the class guinea pig, spends most of his day in a cage and needs a friend. Spending much […]

March: Book Three – National Book Award, Sibert Medal, YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction, Coretta Scott King Author Award, Printz Award

March: Book Three Written by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, Illustrated by Nate Powell Published by Top Shelf Productions ISBN: 978-1-60309-402-3 Grades 7-Up Book Review Many Americans outside of the black community may only understand the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s through the actions of Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks. Many have never […]

Snow White

Snow White Written and Illustrated by Matt Phelan Published by Candlewick Press, 2016 ISBN: 978-0-7636-7233-1 Grades 4-8 Book Review The Roaring 20s and Art Deco New York City meet the Great Depression in Matt Phelan’s new graphic novel Snow White. Phelan introduces the climax of the novel at the very beginning, revealing to readers a […]

Drowned City – 2016 Orbis Pictus Winner, Sibert Honor

Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina & New Orleans Written and Illustrated by Don Brown Published by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children ISBN: 978-0-544-15777-4 Grades 7 and Up In the interest of full disclosure, we want our readers to know that Mary Ann served on the Orbis Pictus Committee that selected Drowned City as its 2016 winner. […]

Lowriders in Space

Lowriders in Space Written by Cathy Camper; Illustrated by Raúl the Third Published by Chronicle Books, 2014 ISBN# 978-1-4521-2869-6 Grades 3 and up Book Review Bajito y suavecito: low and slow. That’s how expert car mechanics Lupe Impala, Elirio Malaria, and El Chavo Flapjack like their cars, and a lowrider is exactly the kind of car […]

2014 Newbery Award Winner: Flora & Ulysses, The Illuminated Adventures

Flora & Ulysses, The Illuminated Adventures Written by Kate DiCamillo and Illustrated by K.G. Campbell Published in 2013 by Candlewick PressISBN #:978-0763660406  Grades 4-8 Book Review In Flora & Ulysses, the 2014 Newbery Award Winner, Kate DiCamillo brings us into the world of Flora Belle Buckman, a young self-proclaimed cynic and comic-book lover, who finds […]


Smile Written and illustrated by Raina TelgemeierPublished by Graphix, an imprint of Scholastic, 2010ISBN # 978-0545132060Grades 4 and up Review In this hilarious autobiographical tale by author-illustrator Raina Telgemeier, a series of dental disasters provides an appropriate analogy for the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of adolescence. One clumsy fall in the sixth grade damages Raina’s two […]