Choice Words

In Choice Words, Peter Johnston (2004) discusses how “[language] creates realities and invites identities” (p. 9). In other words, the language we use communicates to others how we see them as individuals and as members of a larger community. In the classroom, language plays an integral role in shaping students’ identity, developing their sense ofContinue reading “Choice Words”

The Line Tender

Allen, K. (2019). The Line Tender. Puffin Books. Category: Middle-grade realistic fiction Summary: Twelve-year-old Lucy Everhart deals with unimaginable grief and loss while attempting to find solace in finishing what her marine-biologist mother started. Theme: Even loss brings new beginnings. Generalizations: death, loss, grief, family, friendship, love Potential uses in the classroom: The Line TenderContinue reading “The Line Tender”

Concrete Rose

Do you enjoy stories of personal growth and redemption? Do you like reading about authentic characters navigating real and relevant issues? If the answer is yes, prepare to get hooked on on this tale of love, friendship, and loyalty. Seventeen-year-old Maverick Carter’s got a lot going on. Not only is Mav about to start hisContinue reading “Concrete Rose”

Unspoken

Unspoken, illustrated by Henry Cole Cole, H. (2012). Unspoken: A story from the Underground Railroad. Scholastic Press. Category: Wordless book Summary: A young girl discovers a runaway slave hiding in the family’s barn and must decide what to do. Theme: Doing what’s right takes courage. Generalizations: the Civil War, slavery, the Underground Railroad, freedom, empathy,Continue reading “Unspoken”

Ghost Boys

Ghost Boys written by Jewell Parker Rhodes Rhodes, J.P. (2018). Ghost Boys. Little, Brown and Company.   Category: Middle-grade Contemporary Fiction Summary: Twelve-year-old Jerome is shot and killed by a white police officer while playing with a toy gun. As a ghost, he witnesses the emotional aftermath of his murder and realizes that “only theContinue reading “Ghost Boys”

Children of Blood and Bone

Children of Blood and Bone, written by Tomi Adeyemi Adeyemi, T. (2018). Children of Blood and Bone. Henry Holt and Company. Category: Fantasy novel Summary: Seventeen-year-old Zelie Adebola fights for the rights and preservation of her people and the magic they possess. Theme: Stand up against those who seek to oppress. Generalizations: loyalty, family, authority,Continue reading “Children of Blood and Bone”

Brown Girl Dreaming

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson Woodson, J. (2016). Brown girl dreaming. Puffin Books. Category: Autobiography or memoir Summary: Written in verse, Brown Girl Dreaming captures author Jacqueline Woodson’s memories of growing up in the south and north, as well as her family and community. Theme: The past shapes who we become. Generalizations: family, community,Continue reading “Brown Girl Dreaming”

The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage

Do you like fast-paced stories that leave you sitting on the edge of your seat? Do you enjoy fantastical tales full of secrets and suspense? If the answer is yes, then prepare to be swept away on an exciting adventure down the river Thames. Eleven-year-old Malcolm Polstead works at his parents’ inn in Oxford, England,Continue reading “The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage”

The Gardener

The Gardener written by Sarah Stewart; illustrated by David Small Stewart, S. (1997). The gardener. Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. Category: Historical fiction picture book Summary: Lydia Grace Finch is sent to help her uncle Jim in his bakery in the city. A gardener at heart, Lydia is on a mission to make her surly uncleContinue reading “The Gardener”