December 12, 2017

The Advocate's Toolbox

Post-Orbis Pictus Nonfiction Musings

Imagine having hundreds of nonfiction books arrive on your doorstep. A teacher’s dream come true, right? When you’re a member of NCTE’s Orbis Pictus Committee, you are living the dream as you unpack box after box of titles, ranging in audience from preschool to young adult. The NCTE book award committees are somewhat unique in […]

NCTE Children’s Book Awards

On Saturday, the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) hosted its Children’s Book Award Luncheon, at which Mary Ann and Erika, as committee chairs, announced the 2018 Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction (K-8) and the 2018 Charlotte Huck Award for Outstanding Fiction (K-8). Last week, SLJ’s “Curriculum Connections” newsletter published “The NCTE Book Awards: Opportunities for Collaboration,” […]

Windows

Windows Written by Julia Denos, Illustrated by E.B. Goodale Published by Candlewick Press, 2017 ISBN: 978-0-7636-9035-9 Grades Prek-2 Book Review Have you ever found yourself walking down a street at twilight, watching the lights pop on inside the houses and apartment buildings you pass by? As the northern hemisphere turns and twirls towards winter, autumn […]

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?” […]

Felix Yz

Felix Yz Written by Lisa Butler 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, […]

Bronze and Sunflower

Guest blogger Fang Jia jointly authored this week’s entry with Mary Ann. In China, Fang teaches Chinese language and literature. Currently, she studies Curriculum and Instruction at Boston College. Bronze and Sunflower Written by Cao Wenxuan, translated by Helen Wang, illustrated by Meilo So Published by Candlewick Press, 2017 Originally published in Mandarin, 2005 ISBN: […]

Out of Wonder

Out of Wonder Written by Kwame Alexander, with Chris Colderly and Marjory Wentworth Illustrated by Ekua Holmes Published by Candlewick Press ISBN: 978-0-7636-8094-7 Grades 3-8 Book Review “A poem is a small but powerful thing. It has the power to reach inside of you, to ignite something in you, and to change you in ways […]

Ashes

Ashes (The Seeds of America Trilogy) Written by Laurie Halse Anderson ISBN: 978-1-4169-6146-8 Grades 7 and Up Book Review The Seeds of America trilogy that began in New York City in 1776 with the National Book Award finalist Chains, and continued at Valley Forge in 1777 with Forge, concludes at the Battle of Yorktown in […]

March: Book Three – National Book Award, Sibert Medal, YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction, Coretta Scott King Author Award, Printz Award

March: Book Three Written by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, Illustrated by Nate Powell Published by Top Shelf Productions ISBN: 978-1-60309-402-3 Grades 7-Up Book Review Many Americans outside of the black community may only understand the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s through the actions of Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks. Many have never […]

Ada Lovelace, Poet of Science: The First Computer Programmer, Orbis Pictus Recommended Title

Ada Lovelace, Poet of Science: The First Computer Programmer Written by Diane Stanley, Illustrated by Jessie Hartland Published by Simon and Schuster ISBN: 978-1-4814-5249-6 Book Review “She was perfect for the job. She understood how the engine worked. She was a good writer. And she had the vision to see, better even than Babbage himself, […]

Giant Squid: Orbis Pictus Award Honor Book

Giant Squid By Candace Fleming, Illustrated by Eric Rohmann Published by Roaring Brook Press, 2016 ISBN: 978-1-59643-599-5 All Ages 2017 Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children  Book Review Giant squid remains a mystery. The first photograph of a living giant squid was not taken until 2004; the first video of a live giant […]

NCTE Charlotte Huck and Orbis Pictus Award Announcement

It is always wonderful to be at the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) annual conference, and this year was no different. We are particularly grateful that Erika and Mary Ann had the opportunity to serve on two book award committees: the Charlotte Huck Award for Outstanding Fiction for Children and the Orbis Pictus Award for […]

Snow White

Snow White Written and Illustrated by Matt Phelan Published by Candlewick Press, 2016 ISBN: 978-0-7636-7233-1 Grades 4-8 Book Review The Roaring 20s and Art Deco New York City meet the Great Depression in Matt Phelan’s new graphic novel Snow White. Phelan introduces the climax of the novel at the very beginning, revealing to readers a […]

2016 Election Resources

While teaching my course Exploring Nonfiction in the Elementary and Middle School Classroom this summer, I created this padlet page of resources on the 2016 Election. If you are a classroom teacher or school librarian trying to wrap your head around how to teach about this election, I hope these varied resources are useful to […]

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 […]

Towers Falling

Towers Falling Written by Jewell Parker Rhodes Published by Little, Brown and Company 2016 ISBN 978-0-316-26222-4 Grades 4-8 Book Review “Six weeks at a new school has changed everything. School didn’t teach me everything about 9/11. Still, I understand a lot more. I understand some of the enormous hurt to families, my family, and country” […]

A Bandit’s Tale: The Muddled Misadventures of a Pickpocket

A Bandit’s Tale: The Muddled Misadventures of a Pickpocket Written by Deborah Hopkinson Published by Alfred A. Knopf Publishing ISBN: 978-0-385-75499-6 Grades 4-8 Book Review “These days, when anyone asks, I say I’m an American, New York City-born. And why not? Because, in a way, I was born here.” Rocco Zaccaro is ripped away from […]

A Bandit’s Tale: The Muddled Misadventures of a Pickpocket

A Bandit’s Tale: The
Muddled Misadventures of a Pickpocket

Written by Deborah Hopkinson

Published by Alfred A. Knopf Publishing

ISBN: 978-0-385-75499-6

Grades 4-8

Book Review

“These days, when anyone asks, I say I’m an Ameri…

Raymie Nightingale

Raymie Nightingale Written by Kate DiCamillo Published by Candlewick Press, 2016 ISBN 978-0-7636-8117-3 Grades 4-8 Book Review  “The world went on. People left and people died and people went to memorial services and put orange blocks of cheese into their purses. People confessed to you that they were hungry all the time. And then you […]

Raymie Nightingale

Raymie Nightingale
Written by Kate DiCamillo

Published by Candlewick Press, 2016
ISBN 978-0-7636-8117-3

Grades 4-8

Book Review 
"The world went on. People left and people died and people went to memorial services and put orange blocks of cheese into their purses. People confessed to you that they were hungry all the time. And then you got up in the morning and pretended that none of it had