The Classroom Bookshelf
Inside The Classroom Bookshelf

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.

Navigating Family, Middle School, and the Universe in We Dream of Space

Set in January 1986 against the countdown to the launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger, this coming-of-age novel by Newbery Award-winning author Erin Entrada Kelly tells the story of a family searching for something to bring their orbits into alignment with their dreams and with one another before disaster strikes.

Confronting Anti-Black Racism with the Middle Grade Novel What Lane?

Sixth grader, Stephen, lives in Brooklyn, is into sci-fi, and is a mixed race tween who has started to painfully experience the ways that white people in his neighborhood treat him differently than his white friends. If you are wondering how to begin confronting Anti-Black racism in your classroom, start with What Lane?

2019 Coretta Scott King Honor Book: The Parker Inheritance

Winner of a 2019 Coretta Scott King Author Honor, The Parker Inheritance is a part historical fiction novel, part puzzle mystery full of masterful plot twists and clever riddles. Set in three distinct and alternating time periods, Author Varian Johnson weaves a mystery across time, place, and generations that captivates with every chapter.

You Go First

You Go First Written by Erin Entrada Kelly Published by Greenwillow Books, 2018 ISBN # 978-0-06-241418-2   Grades 5 and up   Book Review The link between middle schoolers Charlotte Lockard and Ben Boxer is an online one—a friendly rivalry around a Scrabble game that they play against each other and occasionally text each other […]

Rebound

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 […]

2018 Newbery Award winner: Hello, Universe

2018 Newbery Award Winner: Hello, Universe Written by Erin Entrada Kelly Published by Greenwillow Books, 2017 ISBN #978-0-06-241415-1   Book Review   The start of summer vacation should be the bright spot in 11-year old Virgil Salinas’s year. But shy, insecure, and misunderstood, he only sees it as the official notice of his Grand Failure […]

The Harlem Charade

The Harlem Charade Written by Natasha Tarpley Published by Scholastic, 2017 ISBN #978-0-545-78387-3   Grades 3 and up   Book Review   Art, adventure, and activism are at the center of The Harlem Charade, Natasha Tarpley’s novel about three very different seventh graders who unite to solve a series of mysteries in their own backyard […]

The Way to Bea

The Way to Bea Written by Kat Yeh Published by Little, Brown 2017 ISBN: 978-0-316-23667-6 Grades 5-8 Book Review “I mean, how do you keep someone and make sure they don’t leave? How do you figure out how to be and how to act, so they don’t even want to begin to think about leaving?” […]

Clayton Byrd Goes Underground

Clayton Byrd Goes Underground Written by Rita Williams-Garcia Published by Amistad, 2017 ISBN 978-0-06-221691-8   Grades 3 and up   Book Review   “When, Cool Papa, when?” For young Clayton Byrd, all that matters is when he’ll get finally the chance to play a twelve-bar solo on his blues harp (harmonica) with his grandfather’s blues […]