Give and Take by Elly Swartz

You don't want to lose the things or people that leave imprints on your heart.--Elly Swartz Maggie: A twelve-year-old girl who describes herself as someone who cannot love in small doses. She has been missing Nana since Forgot-Me Day, hoping to adopt Izzie as her little sister for keeps, and longs for her trap-shooting team… Continue reading Give and Take by Elly Swartz

Dancing Hands: How Teresa Carreño Played the Piano for President Lincoln by Margarita Engle and Rafael López

Margarita Engle is one of my favorite poets! Elementary children love Drum Dream Girl and Bravo!. Middle schoolers love her memoirs Enchanted Air and Soaring Earth. She writes in a lyrical fashion that is so beautiful it causes your breath to catch. Dancing Hands, like her other work, does not disappoint. A picture book told… Continue reading Dancing Hands: How Teresa Carreño Played the Piano for President Lincoln by Margarita Engle and Rafael López

Our House Is On Fire: Greta Thunberg’s Call to Save the Planet by Jeanette Winter

This picture book is a perfect introduction to Greta Thunberg, the sixteen-year-old, Swedish climate activist who is making her voice heard on the global stage.  My fifth grade students connected immediately to Greta. They were inspired by her. In fact, ever since reading about her, they have been creating slideshows detailing ways that they and… Continue reading Our House Is On Fire: Greta Thunberg’s Call to Save the Planet by Jeanette Winter

If Elephants Disappear by Lily Williams

If Elephants Disappear by Lily Williams I read that Lily Williams never imagined writing a book where poop figures prominently, but in her book, If Elephants Disappear, elephants' dung plays a critical role in tropic cascade and readers are given a front row seat to its importance to the elephant ecosystem and our own survival.… Continue reading If Elephants Disappear by Lily Williams

Follow Chester!: A College Football Team Fights Racism and Makes History By: Gloria Respress-Churchwell

Our students know the stories of Wilma Rudolph, Jackie Robinson, Rosa Parks, Ruby Bridges and Martin Luther King, Jr. It’s so nice to have a fresh look at a lesser known hero named Chester Pierce. Chester was the only African American member of the 1947 Harvard University Football Team. Follow Chester is unlike many of… Continue reading Follow Chester!: A College Football Team Fights Racism and Makes History By: Gloria Respress-Churchwell

Inky’s Amazing Escape by Sy Montgomery illustrated by Amy Shimler-Saford

This engaging book cover caught my eye during a summer stroll through the picture book stacks of my favorite library. I picked it up, sat down and read all about Inky’s escape from New Zealand’s National Aquarium. When I was done, I knew I had a new mentor text to use with my fifth-grade writers.… Continue reading Inky’s Amazing Escape by Sy Montgomery illustrated by Amy Shimler-Saford

PAPER SON, The Inspiring Story of Tyrus Wong, Immigrant and Artist

Paper Son is a gorgeous, new biographical picture book written by Julie Leung and illustrated by Chris Sasaki about the life of unsung Chinese American artist Tyrus Wong. The story follows Tyrus from his immigration to the United States during the Chinese Exclusion Act, through his childhood, to art school, and to his first creative job… Continue reading PAPER SON, The Inspiring Story of Tyrus Wong, Immigrant and Artist

This is My Room! ( No Tigers Allowed) by Jennifer Richard Jacobson

This is the story of JoJo who decides to sleep in her own bedroom rather than with her older sister, Margaret.  Margaret assures JoJo that she will be back. As JoJo settles in for the night, she is visited by a variety of animals, and the story of her getting rid of the animals begins. … Continue reading This is My Room! ( No Tigers Allowed) by Jennifer Richard Jacobson