If there's one thing every teacher relies on, it's probably books. Fiction, nonfiction, graphic novels, picture books—no matter what genre you prefer, you probably bring books to the classroom to stimulate and inspire students, to connect to the content you're covering, and to add fun and entertainment to class discussion.
There are lots of great places to look for book recommendations. ReadWriteThink has two podcasts, for instance, that provide monthly recommendations:
Where do you go for good and dependable book recommendations? I'm hoping to gather links to great book reviews and related resources in this discussion thread. Please add your favorites resources and tell us why you like them so much!
IRA's Children’s Literature and Reading SIG book review column always has great books for everyone from kindergarteners to high school seniors. This week's column is about Flight & Things with Wings!
Here's part of the introduction:
A journey made through air and space is the definition of flight. People have always been fascinated and curious about things that can fly. From Greek mythology, Icarus tried to escape from Crete with wings made from feathers and wax. Leonardo da Vinci toyed with the idea of flying machines. Heroes of flight include the recently departed Sally Ride, as well as Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart, Beryl Markham, Eddie Rickenbacker, Chuck Yeager, and others who earned respect for their daring flights in history. Harry Potter and wizard friends could fly with the help of their quidditch brooms. Birds, insects, kites, aircraft, and space vehicles transcend earth and wind and fly into the unknown. Young readers develop this fascination with flight at an early age. The International Reading Association Children’s Literature and Reading SIG book review column this week is devoted to all aspects of flight through fact and fiction.
There are links from the review to some lesson plans as well. It's a wonderful resource.
The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) has two committees that select the best of children’s literature each year. Thirty works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry written for children in grades K-8 are selected each year as Notable Children’s Books in the English Language Arts (E, M) by a subcommittee of NCTE's Children’s Literature Assembly. The NCTE Orbis Pictus Awards for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children (G) annually recognize excellence in the writing of nonfiction for children.
The Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of NCTE (ALAN) promotes communication and cooperation among all individuals who have a special interest in adolescent literature; to present programs and conferences on this subject; to promote and increase the number of articles and publications devoted to it; and to integrate the efforts of all those with an interest in this literature. Members receive three issues annually of The ALAN Review, a journal emphasizing new books, research, and methods of teaching adolescent literature.
Several NCTE journals review new texts in every issue:
Thanks for all the additional suggestions. This thread is going to be a great resource when I'm looking for a book for a project.
I just remembered another of my favorite places for book recommendations: Teri Lesesne's blog at http://ls5385blog.blogspot.com/. You can also follow her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/professornana.
She posts several books a day. It's how I try to keep up with the new things that are published. She gets lots of advanced copies from publishers, so she has the scoop on books before I can even buy them.
Members of the International Reading Association Children’s Literature and Reading Special Interest Group explore books that made them linger in this week’s reviews:
"While some books prompt readers to race to their final pages in order to find out what happens to the protagonist or how the story ends, other books may not be as engaging or provide the same reading pleasure. Their fate may involve being left on the couch or table or even being put back, unread, on the bookshelf. Then there are those other, often rare, titles, the ones that stay with readers long after they have reached the book’s conclusion. Perhaps the characters or their actions intrigue us—or maybe we wonder about some of the issues raised or themes explored within the book’s covers. For whatever reason it may be, there are books that cause us to pause from our daily tasks or even postpone picking up the next book as we linger with the one we just finished, reading some lines again and again or simply sitting quietly and thinking about the issues raised or themes explored within those book covers."