The Classroom Bookshelf
Inside The Classroom Bookshelf

Anything for Mom: Shy Willow

Shy WillowWritten and Illustrated by Cat MinPublished by Levine Querido, 2021ISBN: 978-1646140350Grades K – 5 Book ReviewJust in time for Mother’s Day, Cat Min’s debut picturebook, Shy Willow, chronicles the extraordinary efforts of a shy rabbit to satisfy a boy’s wish for his mother. Min’s vibrant, color saturated artwork closely aligns with this tender yet […]

Amari and the Night Brothers Celebrates #BlackGirlMagic

Amari and the Night Brothers is a thrilling, fast-paced read that tackles issues of loss, belonging, and race in ways that will inspire readers to confront prejudice and interrogate privilege.

Healing and Hope through Storytelling: The 2021 Newbery and APALA Award Winner When You Trap a Tiger

Part magical realism, part folktale, part contemporary realistic fiction, Tae Keller’s Newbery and APALA Award winning novel weaves a coming-of-age tale that is heartrending, haunting, and hopeful.

Felix Yz

Felix Yz Written by Lisa Bunker Published by Viking Press, 2017 ISBN: 978-0-425-28850-4 Grades 5-8 Book Review Being thirteen can be hard even on the good days. Protagonist Felix Yz faces bullies, strives to please his teachers, and tries to get to know his crush Hector a little better. But he has even bigger problems, […]

The Inquisitor’s Tale

The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog By Adam Gidwitz, illustrated by Hatem Aly Published by Dutton Children’s Books Grades 5-8 Book Review “Whether you go your separate ways or stay together, you will continue to witness— against ignorance, against cruelty, and on behalf of all that is beautiful about […]

Far Far Away

Far Far Away Written by Tom McNeal Published by Alfred A. Knopf, 2013 ISBN# 978-0-375-94972-2 Grades 6 and up Book Review Acclaimed author Tom McNeal weaves a tale both eerily familiar and hauntingly new in his first solo young adult novel, Far Far Away. Having been abandoned by a capricious mother, neglected by his ever-grieving father, and […]


Peaceweaver By Rebecca Barnhouse Random House, 2012 ISBN 978-0-375-86766-8 Grades 6-8 Book Review      As a companion to The Coming of the Dragon, a retelling of the “Beowulf” epic poem, Rebecca Barnhouse once again invites middle grade readers into the world of Scandinavia’s legends and Britain’s early medieval period. A medievalist, Barnhouse brings to life […]

ALA Pura Belpré Winner: The Dreamer

The DreamerWinner of the 2011 Pura Belpré Award Written by Pam Muñoz Ryan; Illustrated by Peter Sís Published by Scholastic Press, 2010 ISBN # 9780439269704 Grades 3 and upBook Review Neftalí’s world is filled with the wonders of nature, sensitivity of childhood, and sheer fascination with life and language. That, however, is a different world from the […]

The Moomin Books

The Moomin Books Written and illustrated by Tove Jansson Translated by Elizabeth Portch, Kingsley Hart, and Thomas Warburton Published by Square Fish, 2010; originally published in the U.S. by Henry Z. Walck, Inc., 1951 Grades 3 and up #1 Comet in Moominland, ISBN 978-0312608880 #2 Finn Family Moomintroll, ISBN 978-0141328607 #3 Moominpoppa’s Memoirs, ISBN 978-0312625436 #4 Moominsummer […]