The Classroom Bookshelf
Inside The Classroom Bookshelf

Remembering and Healing with Before the Ever After

As his mother and father visit doctor after doctor and try meds after meds, ZJ aches for the time ‘before’ his father’s illness, a time filled with picnics, pick up games, and spontaneous dance parties in the living room. ZJ’s father is a pro football player who is experiencing headaches, mood swings and memory loss. Jacqueline Woodson’s latest novel in verse explores the impact of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) on tight end Zachariah ‘44’ Johnson, through the eyes of his twelve year old son, his namesake.

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.

Encourage Self-Love with Eyes that Kiss in the Corners

In Eyes that Kiss in the Corners, a young Chinese American girl speaks to readers through lyrical language that celebrates the beauty of her eyes and the eyes of her beloved Mama, grandmother Amah, and little sister, Mei-Mei.

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.

Affirming Children’s Worthiness with I Am Every Good Thing

From the author-illustrator team that brought you the Caldecott Honor- and Newbery Honor-winning Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut, comes another poignant picturebook that celebrates Black joy and Black excellence.

Celebrating Kindness with When We are Kind

n the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, When We are Kind offers preschool and primary grade children a vision of kindness they can enact in their own lives.

Connecting Home and Heart with The Blue House

A beautiful commentary on what “home” is, Phoebe Wahl’s The Blue House offers much for your students to discuss and discover.

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?

Hearing the Melodies of Classmates with Your Name is a Song

“I’m not coming back ever again.” A young girl stomps out her anger and frustration as she walks with Momma at the end of the first day of school. The source of her distress? No one could pronounce her name. “Not even the teacher?” queries Momma? As they pass by a street musician, Momma offers some advice: “Tell her your name is a song.”

Exploring Native American Activism and Environmental Justice

In this historic moment, as people around the world shelter at home to slow the spread of the coronavirus, there has never been a more potent time to be reminded of our need to be good stewards of the earth we share.