Teaching Books

Here is a list of the 2011 for a Global Society. These have been selected by a committee of educators and rated as topnotch!

New Anchor Text List

The list of anchor texts, organized by genre, will help you model reading strategies, genre, and applying essential questions whether you use guided reading, a basal program, one novel, or every student in a different book at his/her instructional reading level.

Informational Picture Books

  • Roughing It on the Oregon Trail by Diane Stanley
  • Forging Freedom by Hudson Talbott
  • Under the Quilt of the Night by Deborah Hopkinson and James E. Ransome
  • If You Made a Million by David M. Schwartz
  • The Scarlet Stockings Spy by Trinka Hakes Noble
  • I Want to Be Free by Joseph Slate
  • Immigrant Kids by Russell Freed
  • Suryia & Roscoe: The True Story of an Unlikely Friendship by: Bhagavan “Doc” Antle with Thea Feldman
  • Survival at 40 Below By: Debbie S Miller
  • Coyote by: Stephen R Swinburne
  • Faces in the Mountains by: Ron Hirschi and Thomas D Mangelsen
  • Ice Bear and Little Fox by Jonathan London

Biography Picture Books

  • Harvesting Hope by Kathleen Krull
  • Wilma Unlimited by Kathleen Krull
  • Rosa by Nikki Giovanni
  • The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles
  • Sojourner Truth’s Step-Stomp Stride by Andrea Davis Pickney
  • Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai by Claire A. Nivola
  • Richard Wright and the Library Card by William Miller

Historical Fiction Picture Books

  • The Cats in Krasinski Square by Karen Hesse
  • The Cemetery Keepers of Gettysburg by Linda Oatman High
  • Landed by Milly Lee
  • Nim and the War Effort by Milly Lee
  • The Bobbin Girl by Emily Arnold McCully
  • Sparrow Girl by Sara Pennypacker

Folktale Picture Books

  • Nacho and Lolita by Pam Munoz Ryan
  • Jack and the Beanstalk by Steven Kellogg
  • The Talking Eggs by Robert D. San Souci
  • The Secret Message by Mina Javaherbin
  • The Stolen Egg by Sue Vyner
  • The Snow Wife by Robert D. San Souci

Realistic Fiction Picture Books

  • Miss Dorothy and Her Bookmobile by Gloria Houston
  • Saturdays and Teacakes by Lester Laminack
  • Swift by Robert Blake
  • Crow Call by Lois Lowry (Memoir)
  • One More Acorn by Don Freeman
  • Across the Alley by Richard Michelson
  • The Hickory Chair by Lisa Fraustino

Teaching About Heroes and Heroines with Picture Books

Broaden students’ concept of heroism with these outstanding picture books. Ideal for grades 4 and up.

1. Beautiful Warrior, The Legend of the Nun’s Kung Fu by Emily Arnold McCully. Scholastic Press. 1998. Emily Arnold McCully’s paintings teem with the life and color of seventeenth century China as they tell an inspiring story of inner strength victorious over brute force.

2. Henry and the Kite Dragon by Bruce Edward Hall. Illustrated by William Low. Philomel Books. 2004. A beautifully told and brilliantly illustrated celebration of diversity and acceptance as opposing groups of chidren become friends.

3. Moses by Carole Boston Weatherford. Illustrated by Kadir Nelson. Hyperion. 2006. This is a unique and moving portrait of one of the most inspiring figures of the Underground Railroad. Kadir Nelson’s emotionally charged paintings embody strength, healing, and hope.

4. Passage to Freedom, The Sugihara Story by Ken Mochizuki. Illustrated by Dom Lee. Lee & Low Books. 1997. One of the most important stories to emerge from the ruins of the Holocaust. It is the story of one man’s remarkable courage, and the respect between a father and a son who shared the weight of witness and an amazing act of humanity.

5. Planting the Trees of Kenya by Claire A. Nivola. Frances Foster Books. 2008. With glowing watercolor illustrations and lyrical prose, Claire Nivola tells the remarkable story of one woman’s effort to change the fate of her land by teaching many to care for it.

6. Rosa by Nikki Giovanni. Illustrated by Bryan Collier. Scholastic. 2005. A moving and poetically written account of Rosa Parks and the Civil Rights movement she sparked with her refusal to move to the back of the bus.

7. Rose Blanche by Roberto Innocenti. Stewart, Tabori & Chang. 1985. This moving story of childhood and war is told with remarkable depth, detail, and pathos in Roberto Innocenti’s spare text and rich artwork. Every inch of illustration tells not only Rose Blanche’s story, but a timeless story of innocence, selflessness, and compassion in the midst of ignorance, corruption, hatred, and war.

8. Swift by Robert J. Blake. Philomel. 2007. Set in Alaska, this moving story documents the heroism of Swift, a dog, as he helps save Pa from freezing to death on the frozen, unfriendly tundra.

9. The Last Brother by Trinka Hakes Noble. Illustrated by Robert Papp. Sleeping Bear Press. 2006. Once again, the superb author-illustrator team combines their talents to bring American history to vivid life. Masterful storyteller Trinka Hakes Noble brings the events of the past into present-day suspense. Incredible, true-to-life illustrations from artist Robert Papp take the young reader from armchair reading to center stage at one of America’s most memorable events.

10. The Librarian of Basra by Jeanette Winter. Harcourt. 2004. In a war-stricken country where civilians-especially women-have little power, this true story about a librarian’s struggle to save her community’s priceless collection of books reminds us all how, throughout the world, the love of literature and the respect for knowledge know no boundaries.

This sight has a list of 100,000 books, each one lexiled so you can place your children in the “just right” instructional text. If your book is not listed, there are directions for typing in a page of the book to find the lexile level.

GREAT READING LISTS–LEVELED, TOO! Go to Scholastic Book Wizard
This fantastic site has 50,000 books organized by title and author. You can access the guiding reading, lexile, or grade level of each book as well as the DRA level. The best feature is the “Book Alike” which helps you selected a variety of leveled books on different topics or those related to a book one of your students adores. You’ll also find teaching book lists by teachers.
Jim Blasingame is a major authority on Young Adult Literature. These resources gathered from his site, offer information about the best books for adolescents.

Something for Everyone: What’s New and Might Fit You? Best Books of 2008/2009

Who’s Afraid of Virginia (Euwer) Wolf: Choosing and Using Young Adult Literature (Affirming Equity and a Little Technology)

Young Adult Lit WebQuests

This site from the Boston Public Library orgaqnizes books by themes and topics. You’ll also find a list of online magazines for students and dozens of links to author and illustrator pages.

Use these thirty picture books with students in grades five and up. With these, you can build students’ background knowledge about a topic and introduce and discuss and issue or theme. Enjoy using these topnotch books!
1. The Hickory Chair by Lisa Rowe Fraustino. Illustrated by Benny Andrews. Arthur A. Levine Books.
Here is a story that shows how what is important runs deeper and truer than what can merely be seen.

2. Freedom on the Menu by Carole Boston Weatherford. Paintings by Jerome Lagarrigue. Dial Books for Young Readers.
Carole Weatherford and Jerome Lagarrigue offer a child’s-eye view of how ordinary citizens stood up for themselves and caused a revolution, both close to home and far beyond.

3. Circle Unbroken by Margot Theis Raven. Pictures by E. B. Lewis. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. With powerful images, this story of the preservation of the art of the sweetgrass baskets of the South Carolina and Georgia Lowcountry spirals through time and expands in meaning until it becomes a triumphant song – one that tells a rich story of a craft, a culture, and a people.

4. The Composition by Antonio Skarmeta. Illustrated by Alfonso Ruano. Groundwood Books/ House of Anansi Press. Humorous, serious and intensely human, this powerful picture book presents a situation all too familiar to children around the world. And for all children it provides food for thought about freedom, moral choices and personal responsibility.

5. Night Running by Elisa Carbone. Illustrated by E. B. Lewis. Alfred A. Knopf. Based on a true story, Night Running pairs an acclaimed historical fiction writer with a Caldecott Honor artist in a gripping and luminously illustrated journey to freedom.

6. Erika’s Story by Ruth Vander Zee. Illustrated by Roberto Innocenti. Creative Editions. This is the true story of Ericka who survived the Holocaust. Told in a poignant and straightforward voice, the story, along with Roberto Innocenti’s remarkable illustrations is sure to move readers and give them insights into the will t survive.

7. When Harriet Met Sojourner by Catherine Clinton. Illustrated by Shane W. Evans. Katherine Tegen Books. This book is a portrait of two remarkable women, from their inauspicious beginnings to their pivotal roles in the battle for America’s future.

8. Landed by Milly Lee. Pictures by Yansook Choi. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Based on a true story from the author’s father-in-law, Landed vividly recounts an amazing chapter in Chinese American history.

9. The Sound of Colors, A Journey of the Imagination by Jimmy Liao. Little, Brown and Company. This beautiful evocative book celebrates the power of imagination. This is a moving, magical journey readers won’t soon forget.

10. Nim and the War Effort by Milly Lee. Pictures by Yangsook Choi. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Based on the author’s childhood memories, Nim’s story celebrates the patriotism of Asian family members in embracing their new home and country and their efforts to maintain their cultural traditions.

11. The Araboolies of Liberty Street by Sam Swope. Pictures by Barry Root. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. This is a vivid and entertaining tale of fair play and poetic justice. The Araboolies, an extended family of multicolored vagabonds and noncomformist behavior teaches a memorable lesson about conformity and terrorizing others.

12. Passage to Freedom, The Sugihara Story by Ken Mochizuki. Illustrated by Dom Lee. Lee & Low Bookis, Inc. It is the story of one man’s remarkable courage, and the respect between a father and a son who shared the weight of witness and an amazing act of humanity.

13. Pitching in for Eubie by Jerdine Nolen. Illustrated by E. B. Lewis. Amistad. Through her lyrical prose, Jerdine Nolen shares a heartfelt story about people working together to make dreams come true.

14. Journey to Freedom, A Story of the Underground Railroad by Courtni C.Wright. Illustrated by Gershom Griffith. Holiday House. A moving story about the Underground Railroad and how one family, led by Pa, finds freedom.

15. Sixteen Years in Sixteen Seconds, The Sammy Lee Story by Paula Yoo. Illustrated by Dom Lee. Lee & Low Books Inc. Sammy Lee’s story of determination and triumph sets an extraordinary example for anyone striving to fulfill a dream.

16. Jesse Owens, Fastest Man Alive by Carole Boston Weatherford. Illustrated by Eric Velasquez. Walker & Company. Once in Berlin for the 1936 Olympics, the triumph of Jesse Owens’ will helped him run through any barrier, winning not only Olympic gold but countless fans.

17. There Come a Soldier by Peggy Mercer. Illustrated by Ron Mazellan. Handprint Books. Told in the flowing cadences of the rural South and through painting that alternate between the light-filled beauty of the Southern landscape and the dramatic harshness of war, this affecting tale sends an ageless message of hope to all who long for peace.

18. The Yellow Star, The Legend of King Christian X of Denmark by Carmen Agra Deedy. Illustrated by Henri Sorensen. Peachtree. Deedy’s lyrical prose and Sorensen’s arresting portraits unite to create a powerful and dignified story of heroic justice, a story for all people and all times.

19. Owen & Mzee, The Language of Friendship by Isabella Hatkoff, Craig Hatkoff, and Dr. Paula Kahumbu. Photographs by Peter Greste. Scholastic Press. This wholly unexpected friendship between a young hippo named Owen and a 130-year-old tortoise named Mzee has captured hearts everywhere. He is the true story of their first remarkable year together.

20. Swift by Robert J. Blake. Philomel Books. A gripping survival story that takes place in Alaska. Pa and his son Johnnie hunt for winter food with their dog Swift. When a grizzly mangles dad’s foot, Johnnie learns to trust Swift as both work to bring help back to Pa.

21. Only Passing Through, The Story of Sojourner Truth by Anne Rockwell. Illustrated by R. Gregory Christie. This is a story about a slave girl, Isabella, who would become the legendary Sojourner Truth.

22. Zen Shorts by Jon J. Muth. Scholastic Press. With vibrant watercolors and elegant ink drawings, Jon J. Muth – and Stillwater the bear – imaginatively present three classic Zen stories that abound with enlightenment and love.

23. Satchel Paige, Don’t Look Back by David A. Alder. Illustrated by Terry Widener. Harcourt, Inc. Paige’s story is a powerful one of perseverance and overcoming odds.

24. Campy, The Story of Roy Campanella by David A. Adler. Illustrated by Gordon C. James. Viking. With honesty and affection, award-winning author David A. Adler tells the story of a man who was so much more than a sports hero.

25. Miss Lady Bird’s Wildflowers, How a First Lady Changed America by Kathi Appelt. Illustrated by Joy Fisher Hein. HarperCollins Publishers. In this warm, engaging look at the life of a great First Lady, Kathi Apelt tells the story behind Lady Bird Johnson’s environmental vision.

26. An Angel for Solomon Singer by Cynthia Rylant. Paintings by Peter Catalanotto. Orchard Books. Lonely and alone, Soloman Singer lives in a New York hotel for men. It’s at the Westway Cafe that Soloman, through the waiter Angel, learns to find beauty in life.

27. Rosa by Nikki Giovanni. Illustrated by Bryan Collier. Scholastic Inc. This story of Rosa {arks and her refusal to give up her seat paints a moving p0rtrait of Rosa while also giving insight into the bus driver who called the police. Besides gaining insight into Rosa’s protest, readers come to understand hw the plans for the bus boycott.

28. Rent Party Jazz by William Miller. Illustrated by Charlotte Riley-Webb. Lee & Low Books. This powerful story of family, friendship, and the bond that bring people together is a timely reminder of the responsibility we all share to help others in a time of need.

29. Henry and the Kite Dragon by Bruce Edward Hall. Illustrated by William Low. Philomel Books. In this story based on true 1920’s events, two rival groups of children representing two different cultures come face-to-face, and when they do, they find they share much more than just the same sky.

30. 365 Penguins by Jean-Luc Fromental and Joelle Jolivet. Abrams Books for Young Readers. In this delightfully original book about a mailman delivering a new penguin to a house each day of the year. readers will enjoy the family’s reactions and growing problems, learn some lessons about our warming planet, endangered species, and have a blast with mathematics, too.