Annotated Bibliography Project
Zelinsky, Paul O, Amy Beniker, and John Stevens. Rapunzel. New York: Dutton Children's
Books, 1997. Print.
ISBN:0525456074; illustrated (unpaged);
witches; Caldecott Medal.
fairytale; juvenile fiction; imprisonment, theft,
Paul Zelinskyretells and illustrates the German folktale in which a sorceress keeps a beautiful
girl with long golden hair imprisoned in a lonely tower. Beautiful Italian renaissance style
illustrations compliment the text.
*Illustrationsare realistic, rich, warm-hued oil paintings- each page is a work of art
*Author’s note included at the end - explains choice’s for retelling of story
*Some images could be a bit edgy for small children
*The lexile level is 700-4thgraders
*Originally a Grimm Brother’s fairytale
*Create a Prezi featuring other renaissance style illustrations
*Compare and contrast the Grimm Brother’s version to Zelinsky’s version
*Read the book orally to class
*Write a character analysis of Rapunzel- how could she be so happy and kind when an evil witch
2. Pig- Boy A Trickster Tale from Hawai’i
McDermott, Gerald. Pig-boy: A Trickster Tale from Hawaiʻi New York: Harcourt Children's
Books, 2009. Print.
Hawaiian folktale; tricksters, pigs, Pele, folklore; preschool.
Pig- Boy is a mischievous, shape shifting trickster who gets into all sorts of trouble, but always
manages to get away with it. Colorful illustrations compliment the story nicely.
*Traditional Hawaiian trickster tale
*Gerald McDermott is an award winning author and illustrator
*Excellent example to discuss visual elements (line, color, shape, etc.)
*"The illustrations ... were done in gouache, colored pencil, and pastel on 400 lb. Arches
watercolor paper."--T.p. verso.
*Tropical colors enhance the story- Pig-Boy stands out in the royal purple
*Based on a 16,000 word epic poem for children
*Discuss visual elements found in Pig-Boy
*Research other Pacific Islander trickster tales
*Act out the story with a group
*Create your own trickster tale (for older students)
*Write a poem about Pig Boy
Wiesner, David. Tuesday. New York: Clarion Books, 1991. Print.
ISBN:0395551137; 29pp; Nearly wordless story picture book for elementary;
frogs, night, magic; Caldecott Medal.
Frogs take flight on their lily pads and cruise around town before heading back to the pond.
Humans are confused. Frogs have a blast. Illustrations are amazing. Darker color tones to
match the mystery of the night time adventure.
*Nearly wordless- A few clock times- that’s it
*Illustrations are amazing! They nearly jump off the page
*Setting details, character faces and all the littleparticulars pull the “story” together
*Colors match the nighttime mood of the story
*No deep theme to the story but the pictures make you think
*Draw “Wednesday” with a different animal…what else comes alive when people sleep?
*CompareTuesday to one of David Wiesner’s other books
*Write captions for the picture in the story
*Discuss and predict what happens when the pigs at the end of the story take flight
*Tell the story to partner aloud
4. Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears
Aardema, Verna, Leo Dillon, Diane Dillon, Warren Wallerstein, and AthaTehon. Why
Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears: A West African Tale. New York: Dial Press, 1975.
blame; Caldecott Medal.
West African folktale;
Juvenile audience; folklore, animals,
A mosquito annoys his friend the iguana by “lying” to him, which results in the iguana putting
sticks in his ears to tune him out. This causes him to ignore his friend the python, who then
thinks the iguana is plotting against him… creating a chain effect of disasters in the jungle!
*Illustrations are eye-catching and tell the story
*The illustrations were made using India ink, watercolor airbrush, and pastels along with the
cutout shapes at different angles. Very geometric
*Story contains a lot of repetition and some onomatopoeia
*Excellent “classic” story for a read aloud
*Teaches cause and effect
*Write your own tale about why something happens in nature
*Map out the climb of action to the climax and resolution of the story
*Circulate a rumor around the classroom
*Create a different cutout animal…explain where it could have come in the story
*Act out the story
5. A Ball for Daisy
Raschka, Christopher. A Ball for Daisy. New York: Schwartz & Wade Books, 2011. Print.
ISBN:9780375858611;32pp; wordless picture book; watercolor in primary colors; dogs,
balls, sadness and friendship; ages 3-7; Caldecott Medal.
This is a sweet wordless picture book about a dog that loses a ball and gains a friend.
The illustrator, Chris Ruschka, brought Daisy to life with tender, soft watercolor pictures. Small
children will love the wordless yet emotional story about a dog and her ball.
*Great example of illustrations telling the story- excellent job conveying emotion through
*White frames set of each picture and show the movement of the characters
*Appropriate for 0-7 year old children.
*Teaches a child about loss and sharing
*A Caldecott Medal winner and aNew York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book Award
*Tell Daisy’s story in words
*Share about a time when you felt like Daisy
*Create a wordless picture book with watercolors
*Predict what will happen after Daisy’s ball pops
6. The Great Ball Game
Bruchac, Joseph, and Susan L. Roth. The Great Ball Game: A Muskogee Story. New York: Dial
Books for Young Readers, 1994. Print.
ISBN:9780439323321; 31pp; a Muskogee folktale; ages 3-8;
migration; illustrations paper collage art.
ball games, animals, bats,
The Great Ball Gameis a retelling of the Muskogee folktale about why birds fly south for the
winter. In the story the bat is not picked by either side, the birds or the animals, for the great ball
game. He eventually weasels his way on to the animal side and helps them win the game. As a
penalty for losing, the birds have to leave the land for half of each year.
*Roth uses colorful, interesting collage art to enhance the story
*Bruchac isan award-winning storyteller who incorporates action, wit and folklore
*Children will enjoy the sport of stick-ball and the heroic bat who wins the game
* The story comes from an Oklahoma elder named Louis Littlecoon
*Many teachable themes: heroism, second chances, and settling conflicts through play
*Pick another natural phenomenon; create a story about why it happens that way
*Create your ownanimal collage
*Research the Muskogee culture
*Journal about a time you were not picked for the team
*Interview a science teacher about migration
7. Berry Magic
Sloat, Teri, and Betty Huffmon. Berry Magic. Anchorage: Alaska Northwest Books, 2004. Print.
ISBN: 0882405756; 32pp;
Yup’ik Eskimos; Folklore;
berries, magic, tundra;
A story about the Alaskan tundra. Long ago and for a long time there was only one kind of
tasteless berry on the tundra. This is the magical Yup’ik Eskimo story of how four tasty berries
came to be. Anana sings four girls out of her basket and they bring blueberries, cranberries,
salmonberries, and raspberries to the people of the tundra.
*Cheerful, bright, earthy illustrations compliment the text nicely
*Yup'ik Eskimo elder Betty Huffmon shared this folktale with author/illustrator Teri Sloat
*The story has a strong heroine
*Many interesting native Eskimo words included
*An Eskimo berry dessert recipe included at the end of the story
*Create the recipe at the end of the book
*Write a huckleberry flolktale-How did they get here in the Flathead Valley?
*Research the Yup’ik Eskimos
*Draw your favorite berry
*Read the book aloud in partners-practicing the Eskimo words
8. A Sick Day for Amos
Stead, Philip C, and Erin E. Stead.A Sick Day for Amos Mcgee. New York: Roaring Brook,
ISBN: 9781596434028; 32pp: fantasy picture book; ages 3-10; illustrations in delicate
woodblock print and fine pencil drawings; zookeepers, animals, friendship, sickness; Caldecott
Medal, 2011 and Charlotte Zolotow Honor Book, 2011.
A friendly,elderly zookeeper visits his animal friends every day until he comes down with a cold
and has to stay home. The animals miss him, so they take the bus to him. The illustrations are
amazing in this sweet picture book. The author Philip Stead’s wife Erin created elegant, subtle
drawings embellished with a touch of color.
*The small yet important details in the drawings amazethe reader and tell the story beautifully
*Excellent themes of friendship and loyalty
*Animal fantasy at its best
*The award-winning illustrations are soft and done in comforting blues and greens, which gives
the feel of gentleness.
*Write about a time when a friend helped you out
*Research what a zookeeper’s duties truly are
*Discuss how the illustrations affect the mood of this story (with older kids)
*Create a poem about what makes a friend
*Visit a zoo
9. The Lion & the Mouse
Pinkney, Jerry, and Aesop. The Lion & the Mouse. New York: Little, Brown and Co. Books for
Young Readers, 2009. Print.
ISBN: 9780316013567; 33pp; Aesop fable set in the African Serengeti; ages 3-10;
wordless picture book; fables, folklore, animals, friends, kindness; Caldecott Medal, 2010,
A wordless retelling of the Aesop fableThe Lion and the Mouse. Set on the African Serengeti, a
lions spares a mouse and that same mouse saves a lion. Award-winning illustrations in warm,
rich watercolor and pencil.
*The pictures are exquisitely rendered
*The colors are blended together to create an impressionistic style.
*Each brushstroke and pencil/ pen line is clearly visible-detail!
*Animal faces show a wide range of emotion
*Excellent story to begin a study of fables
*Themes of kindness, don’t judge a book by its cover and friends come in all shapes and sizes
*Compare this story to the original fable
*Predict what will happen in the story half way through
*Write the words to accompany the story
*Create a storyboard for The Lion and the Mouse
*Wordlessly act out the story
10. How I Learned Geography
Shulevitz, Uri. How I Learned Geography. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 2008. Print.
ISBN: 9780374334994; colorfulwatercolor and ink; illustrationsages 5-10; historical picture
book based on childhood memories; WWII, refugees, maps geography, hunger; Caldecott
Honor Book, 2009.
A young boy’s father brings home a map instead of a loaf of bread. The map helps the boy
escape the misery and hunger of refugee life. Based on the author’s true story. Beautiful
watercolor pictures help tell the story.
*Illustrations in watercolor and ink in a detailed folk like style-masterful choice of color
*Notes from the author at the end and one historic photograph
*Based on Shulevitz’s personal childhood memories of World War II
*Emotional topic and story told subtly
*Deep themes of war, poverty and a familie’s determination
*Make a class map to hang on the wall
*Write a travel journal entry after researching one of the countries on the map
*Talk to friend in class about a time you felt hunger
*Google Earth Turkestan in what is now Kazakhstan
*Read another book by Uri Shulevitz- compare and contrast
11. Tricksters: Native American Tales: A Graphic Collection
Dembicki, Matt. Trickster: Native American Tales : a Graphic Collection. Golden, CO: Fulcrum
Pub, 2010. Print.
ISBN: 9781555917241; 231pp; late elementary-high school readers; graphic novel; Native
American Trickster Tales; various authors and illustrators; comic form; animals, American
Indians, tricksters, fantasy.
This anthology collects over twenty trickster stories, in graphic novel format, from various
Native American traditions, including tales about coyotes, rabbits, ravens, and other crafty
creatures and their mischievous activities.Various artist and illustrators. The art ranges from
cartoony characters against simple backgrounds to realistic characters traversing elaborate
*Some tales arebetter than others
*Dark watercolor drawings make the characters menacing or serious, while cartoon like pictures
provide more whimsical, lighthearted views.
*Saturated color brings a sense of realism and vibrancy to natural settings, bathing them in
moonlight or casting them in bright, living tones.
*Some stories relate the importance of nature and preservation of tribal ethics.
*The book is culturally authentic-the stories were written by Native American storytellers
*Analyze which stories are written or illustrated the best
*Write your own trickster tale
*Research one of the stories from the anthology and find a traditional version to share with class
*Create a script for one of the stories
*Select actors and perform your script
Selznick, Brian. Wonderstruck: A Novel in Words and Pictures. New York: Scholastic, 2011.
ISBN:9780545027892; 639pp; Over 400 full-spread pencil illustrations; late elementary/junior
high juvenile fiction;historical fiction; deaf culture, families, New York History Museum, runaways; Schneider Family Book Award for Middle School Book (2012).
The stories of Ben and Rose told in pictures and words. Although the stories are set 50 years
apart, they come together beautifully in the end. The reader is transported into the deaf culture,
Northern Minnesota and New York Cities Natural History Museum during the blackout of 1977.
*Selznick uses a genre-breaking form
*Rose’s story is told through the same kind of detailed pencil drawings for which Selznick
previously won the Caldecott Medal
*Wonderstruck is not a graphic novel with multiple frames per page, but it is sequential art
*Great for reluctant readers because of the illustrations- a 3 pound book that actually doesn’t
take very long to read/see
*Themes of belonging, friendship, overcoming obstacles
*Take a virtual trip to the Natural History Museum
*Teach yourselfa sentence in sign language- then, teach it to the class
*Create your own “museum box” like Ben’s
*Research Northern Minnesota wolves
*Write part of Rose’s story (pick a section) with words instead of illustrations
13. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
Haddon, Mark. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. New York: Doubleday, 2003.
ISBN:0385509456; 226pp; small snippets of illustration; young adult (high school);
contemporary realistic fiction; autism, mystery, divorce, England; won some lesser known
awards and became a National Bestseller.
The first person narrative told from the perspective of Christopher, an autistic, English 15 year
old whose desperate search to find out who killed the neighbors dog uncovers strange and
mysterious incidents in his own life. Small, interesting math problems, maps and graphs
included in the text.
*Students who like math will love the illustrations and number discussions
*Strong, believable writing puts us into the mind of a person with autism
*Interesting structure; chapters are all in prime numbers
*Curt, emotion-free sentences still manage to convey warm felling about the character and novel
*Interesting themes about family, safety, what is normal and tolerance
*Find Swindon, England on a map
*Collect information about the autism spectrum
*Write a character sketch describing Christopher
*Explain why you think Christopher’s dad lied to him about his mom’s death
*Cast the movie for this book
14. After Tupac & D Foster
Woodson, Jacqueline. After Tupac & D Foster. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2008. Print.
ISBN: 9780399246548; 153pp; middle school readers; (dated) contemporary realistic fiction;
foster children, coming of age, African American, friendship, music; Newbery Honor Book,
Three girls bond over the rap music of Tupac. Set in Queens, New York in the 1990s. Thirteen
year old D Foster materializes on the street corner one day and captivates the attention of two
local girls. It is the beginning of a friendship that the girls believe will last forever.
*Jacqueline Woodson masterfully winds this fictional tale of friendship and loss around the last
years of life for rap phenom Tupac
*Many themes and important issues touched upon: racism, incarceration, homosexuality, and the
power of friendship.
*Thevoices of the characters are very real-strong dialogue
*Awarded a Newberry Honor in 2009
*Thewriting is very gritty and earnest- this story tugs at your heart, but in a beautiful way.
*Listen to and study Tupac Shakur’s art, poetry and music –YouTube Tupac
*Share the music or lyrics of a contemporary artist you like. Why do you like it?
*Use Google Earth to look up Queens, New York.
*Predict whatfuture holds for the girls
*Listen to the book on an audio book. Describe the characters voice
15. One Crazy Summer
Williams-Garcia, Rita.One Crazy Summer. New York: Amistad, 2012. Print
ISBN: 9780060760908; 218pp; ages 9-12 reading level; historical fiction; abandonment,
racism, African Americans, black panthers, forgiveness, sisters; Coretta Scott King Award,
Author, 2011, Newbery Honor Book, 2011, National Book Award finalist, 2010.
Set in Oakland, California during the Summer of 1968, three young girls travel from New York
City to see their mother who abandoned them over six years ago. Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern
are already reluctant to have to spend one whole month with their estranged mother but get more
than they bargained for when they are dumped at a Blank Panther summer day camp for
*One Crazy Summer has won or been given the honor book status for almost every award it was
*Draws the reader into a historical time period (1968) and into the lives of three young girls
*Accurately portrays the complex relationships between sisters
*Teaches the themes offorgiveness and acceptance
*Williams-Garcia explores the different racial attitudes that existed in the 1960's with realistic
*Explain the changes that each girl undergoes during the course of the book. Use your text.
*Research the Black Panther Movement. Does Garcia accurately describe this movement?
*Read the book aloud- have different students read the different voices
*Discuss the mom, Cecile’s, character. Why do you think she makes the choices she does?
*Write about the parting hg the girls give their mother at the end of the book. Would you have
been able to do that? Did she deserve it?
16. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Alexie, Sherman, and Ellen Forney. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. New
York: Little, Brown, 2007. Print.
ISBN: 9780316013680; 230pp; cartoon illustrations; Young adult (high school) reading level;
contemporary realistic fiction; Native American issues, alcoholism, death, bullying; A Junior
Library Guild selection, Odyssey Award, 2009, Notable Book for a Global Society award
A heartbreaking and funny story about Junior, a boy who decides to leave his reservation and
seek a better education for himself at a white school in a neighboring town. Junior’s edgy
cartoons (illustrated be Ellen Forney) help tell this poignant story.
*Some harsh content about reservation life and adolescent boy realities
*Cartoons will hook in reluctant readers
*Semi-autobiographical story that shares important social issues for life on the “rez”
*Humorous narrative style with excellent pacing and word choice
*Themes of poverty, self-confidence, hope, friendship and dealing with death
*Predict what the book will be about after the first chapter
*Analyze Junior’s character. Find 3 quotes from the book that support your analysis
*Create a Venn diagram of Junior and Rowdy
*Research a Native American tribe in our area
*Explore the Spokane Tribe of Indians Web site http://www.spokanetribe.com/
17. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon
Lin, Grace. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. New York: Little, Brown and Co, 2009. Print.
ISBN: 9780316114271; 278pp; beautiful, colored illustrations; middle grades; a mix between
fantasy and Chinese folklore; multicultural, dragons, fairy tale, China, female heroine; a
Newbery Honor book, 2010.
Inspired by folktales of China, this is the story of a young Chinese girl named Minli. She lives in
a poor village underneath a stark “fruitless” mountain and every day her mother expresses her
discontent. So Minli sets out to find the Old Man of the Moon to ask him how to change their
fortune. What follows is the story of her journey. A dragon, talking animals, and the pure
determination of a young girl combine to make this a deserving Newberry Honor book.
*Beautiful wood-cut illustrations in rich ink start off each chapter
*30 different folktale/stories woven into one
*Grace Lin does a seamless job in blending the folklore, history, fables, myths and tales of
Chinese culture and history along with the morals and themes of Minli’s story
*Excellent theme that the key to happiness is being thankful for what we have
*Critics love it and so do I
*Choose one story from the text and research whether it is a real Chinese folktale or not
*Take turns reading this book aloud- different readers for different stories
*Write your own folktale
*Explain what this story is trying to say about the relationship between poverty and thankfulness
*Create a found poem about Minli using only words and phrases from the text
18. Dead End in Norvelt
Gantos, Jack. Dead End in Norvelt. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 2011. Print.
ISBN: 9780374379933; 341pp; middle school; semi-autobiographical historical fiction;
WWII, old age, boys, death, obituaries, humor; Newbery Medal winner, 2012, Scott O'Dell
Award for Historical Fiction, 2012.
The story about young Jack Gantos.His interest in his father's Japanese souvenirs from the war
get him grounded for the entire summer. His mother instructs Jack to help an elderly lady, Mrs.
Volker, down the road as part of his punishment and Jack gradually begins to cherish his time
spent with this wise old woman. Strange things begin to happen in the town of Norvelt and Jack
and Mrs. Volker, team up to dig up the secrets behind the mysterious happenings that have
plagued this town. A story filled with boy humor and nose-bleeds.
*Interesting historical elements woven throughout the novel
*Story brings a human connection to historical events
*Descriptive train of thought writing
*Plenty of humor and mystery in this Newbery winner
*1962 comes to life (as well as many other periods told through Mrs. Volker’s perspective)
*Google Earth Norvelt, Pennsylvania
*Research Eleanor Roosevelt’s intentional communities from the 1930’s
*Describe the relationship Jack has to each of his parents
*Script out a scene to act from the novel…when Jack learns to drive would be a great one
*Write a fictional obituary with historical elements
19. Ida B
Hannigan, Katherine. Ida B: --and Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (possibly)
Save the World. New York: Greenwillow Books, 2004. Print.
ISBN: 9780060730246; 246pp; late elementary and junior high; contemporary realistic
fiction; cancer, family problems, nature, forgiveness; Parents' Choice Gold Award Winner,
The story of Ida B Applewood, a quirky, 4th grade, nature-loving girl growing up on an orchard
in Wisconsin. Everything is perfect in Ida B’s world until her mom develops cancer. As an only
child and homeschooled kid, Ida B’s world is rocked when she is sent to public school and part
of her family’s orchard is sold off to pay for the medical bills. Ida B. changes from a happy-golucky kid to an angry, depressed tween. With the help of a caring, patient teacher and Ida. B’s
own self-actualizations, she manages to come back to herself and heal.
*Ida B is agreat character, believable yet quirky and playful- a heroine
*First person narrator captures Ida B’s voice perfectly
*Unexpected insights, doesn’t shy away from tough topics, cancer, anger, depression
*Rich, descriptive language
*Amazing themes of forgiveness, overcoming problems, nature appreciation and love
*Find 3 places where Ida B uses personification in the text
*Journal about a time when your heart turned into a “sharp, black stone that was small enough to
fit in the palm of my hand. It was so hard nobody could break it and so sharp it would hurt
anybody who touched it.”
*Write about a time when you felt like Ida B about school as a"Place of Slow but Sure BodyCramping, Mind-Numbing, Fun-Killing Torture."
*Pick a partner and tell him or her the story of the last time you said, “I’m sorry.”
*Look up the term hyperbole and then find one in the text.
Law, Ingrid, and Ingrid Law. Savvy. New York: Dial Books for Young Readers, 2008. Print.
ISBN: 9780803733060; 342pp; fantasy; a few minor illustrations; late elementary and
junior high school readers; fantasy, family tragedy, coming of age, adventure; Newbery Honor
The adventures of Mibs Beaumont, whose thirteenth birthday has revealed her "savvy"--A
magical power unique to each member of her family--just as her father is injured in a terrible
accident. Mibs grows up and learns to control her savvy on a wild adventure on a pink bus.
*Newberry Honor Winner, Mythopoeic Fantasy Award Winner,
*Excellent figurative language-phrases such as pushing-pulling waves, itch and scritch of
birthday buzz, or a gaggle of flat-footed goslings make the writing enjoyable to read
*Speaks to the importance of family, friends, and individuality
*Strong coming of age tale with a female protagonist
*Awesome theme about blocking out the negative voices in our heads
*Write a description of your ideal savvy and then tell what real savvy you have
*Draw a tattoo for Mibs
*Find your favorite simile in the novel and tell why you like it (Rain pelted us like gravel thrown
by a playground bully...)
*Predict what the next book,Scumble, will be about
*There are many types of conflict in the novelLester vs. himself, Mibs vs. Ashley and Emma,
Rocket vs. society-name 3 more
21. Here’s a Little Poem
Yolen, Jane, Andrew Peters, and Polly Dunbar. Here's a Little Poem: A Very First Book of
Poetry. Cambridge, Mass: Candlewick Press, 2007. Print.
ISBN: 9780763631413; 105pp; poetry; preschool- 1st grade reading; adorable illustrations on
every page; daily rituals, young children, poetry.Award winning author.
A collection of poems for young children with the various themes of self, family, going outside,
and when it is time for bed. Captures a toddler’s sense of wonder in day-to-day activities. Lovely
illustrations by Polly Dunbar help celebrate the text of the poetry.
*Whimsical illustrations are integrated into every poem
*Personaleveryday topics would appeal to listeners
*Different styles of poetry in the collection
*Poems are short enough to keep the attention of young children
*Selections from some of the finest creators of children's poems
*Write a poem for a daily activity not mentioned in the book
*Read poems aloud
*Act out a poem
*Create a dance for a poem
*Memorize a stanza of your favorite poem from the collection
Clements, Andrew, and Brian Selznick. Frindle. New York, N.Y: Simon & Schuster Books for
Young Readers, 1996. Print.
ISBN: 9780689806698; 105pp; full page black and white illustrations; contemporary realistic
fiction; upper elementary; the power of words, dictionaries, creativity and imagination, studentteacher relationships; over 20 awards.
Smart, 5th grade student, Nick Allen, is dreading Mrs. Granger his new tough language arts
teacher who has an obsession for the dictionary until he hatches a plan to create a new wordfrindle! The word doesn’t just take off at his school it sweeps the country. A clever book about
the power of words and the determination of a boy.
*Kids love it-great for reluctant readers
*Strong themes: the power of words, creativity and imagination, freedom of speech
*Excellent illustrations from Selznick add to the humor
*Won multiple awards from states as well as the 1997 Christopher Award
*Create your own word for a word that already exists
*Interview an older family member about a word you made up when you were little
*Draw an advertisement for a frindle
*Journal about a time when you had a challenging teacher and how you handled it-what positives
came out of it?
*Locate a problem in your school and come up with a creative solution to solve it
Lupica, Mike. Heat. New York: Philomel Books, 2006. Print.
ISBN: 9780399243011; contemporary realistic fiction; upper elementary/middle school;
orphans, baseball, brothers, pitching, Cuba, sports; Rebecca Caudill Young Reader's Book
Award Nominee, A Junior Library Guild selection.
A great sports story from best-selling author Mike Lupica. Cuban orphan and immigrant
Michael Arroyo is a 12 year-old pitching phenom. He lives under the shadow of Yankee
stadium and encounters trouble when a rival team questions his age and he can’t produce the
*Baseball kids will love it-others will like it too, but might not get all the baseball jargon
*Great theme about never giving up and staying positive
*Logical plot that builds to end and makes you want to keep reading
*Reluctant readers will enjoy it
*Find Cuba on a map
*Write about the frustration Michael must have felt not being able to play baseball. Have you
ever had something taken away from you that you loved that much?
*Describe Michael and Manny’s relationship. What makes it so special?
*Play some baseball
24. Belle Boy
Fuller, Anne. Belle Boy: A Sister in the Rebel Ranks : a Novel. Omaha, Neb: Fuller Minds, 2010.
ISBN: 9780982743010; 132pp; middle and high school grade levels; historical fiction;
coming of age, Civil War, the South, women soldiers.
Samantha Anne cuts her hair and dresses up like a boy to join the Confederate army in an
attempt to find her beloved brother, Johnny who has gone missing in a battle. Sammie learns
what it is like to be a soldier and gets to come home in the end.
*Interesting perspective of battle from a woman’s point of view
*Students might need some pre-reading activities to learn more about the Civil War
*Text would be a great compliment to a social studies unit on the Civil War
*Themes of family, war and choices
*Write ajournal entry describing whether you would have made the same choices as Sammie
* Research one of the battles Sammie fights in
*Find a novel told from a Yankee boy’s perspective and read it. Compare.
*Take a digital field trip to one of the battle sites
*Write the next chapter for Sammie
25. The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins
Kerley, Barbara, Brian Selznick, and David Saylor. The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins: An
Illuminating History of Mr. Waterhouse Hawkins, Artist and Lecturer. New York:
Scholastic, 2001. Print.
ISBN: 9780439114943; 32pp; intermediate picture book for middle level readers; uniquely
illustrated; biography, historical non-fiction; dinosaurs, Waterhouse Hawkins, models,
London, museums: Caldecott Honor Book, 2002.
The true story of Victorian artist Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins, who built life-sized models of
dinosaurs in the hope of educating the world about what these awe-inspiring ancient animals.
Caldecott-worthy illustrations by Brian Selznick make this book truly memorable.
*Great for intermediate readers and dinosaur lovers!
*Colorful illustrations accurately show the time period, the dinosaurs and Hawkins
*Make a model of a dinosaur
*Research the Victorian time period
*Explain why “Boss” Tweed might have destroyed Hawkins dinosaurs in New York
*Make a drawing showing what the American dinosaurs in Central Park might have looked like
*Look up when the first dinosaur skeleton was completed
26. The Book Thief
Zusak, Markus. The Book Thief. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2006. Print.
ISBN: 9780375831003; 552pp; one illustrated story for a few pages; junior and high school
readers; historical fiction; WWII, death, Jewish, foster families, Germany, books; Michael L.
Printz Honor for Excellence in Young Adult Literature, 2007 (among others)
Death helps narrate this classic 1939 Nazi Germany award-winning novel. Liesel Meminger is a
13-year-old girl stealing books to survive the horror around her. Her loving accordion playing
foster dad helps her learns to read the books she steals. She shares her books with the Jewish
man in hiding in their basement. A book that stays with you long after you’ve put it down.
*Thought-provoking historical fiction at its best
*Excellent writing brings lovable and terrible characters to life.
*Interesting, unique formatting throughout the novel. Chapter tags, and Death’s bold
*Some people might be put off by Death throwing in spoilers along the way
*Many awards- Michael L. Printz Honor boing one of the most important
*Watch Schindler’s List and compare
*Choose your 3 favorite quotes from the novel and explain what makes them memorable
*Create a list of vocabulary words from the novel
*Debate about the concept that people inherently good/bad – use quote from the novel to support
*Research with a partner one of the following: Hitler Youth, United German Girls, Mein Kampf,
27. Esperanza Rising
Ryan, Pam M. Esperanza Rising. New York: Scholastic Press, 2000. Print.
ISBN: 9780439576178; 262pp; late elementary –high school; multicultural historical fiction;
Mexico, California, unions, strikes, immigration, death, racial tension; Award winner.
Esperanza only knew the rich lifestyle of the affluent Mexican until her father is killed and her
house burns down. She and her mother are forced to move to the poor immigrant community of
California. Esperanza learns to survive and cope in her new setting.
*Could provide insightful talks with kids about racism
*Great themes aboutstarting over-change, hope and family
*PuraBelpreÌ Author Award, 2002
*Bring one of the fruits Esperanza learns to harvest to class
*Write an alternate ending to the story
*Research strikes or the Great Depression
*Learn some Spanish
*Journal about the biggest change you have ever gone through and how you coped with that
Korman, Gordon. Schooled. New York: Hyperion Books for Children, 2007. Print.
ISBN: 9780786856923; 208pp; contemporary realistic fiction; middle and high school
readers; hippies, home schooling, bullies, grandmothers, Rebecca Caudill Young Reader's Book
Capricorn Anderson has never watched television, tasted a pizza, or even heard of a wedgie. He
has been home schooled his whole life. When his hippie grandmother lands in the hospital, Cap
is forced to move in with a guidance counselor and attend the local middle school. Cap is
unprepared for what awaits him in public school.
*Interesting alternating perspectives
*Great for reluctant readers
*Mixes humor with more serious themes of family, identity, and cultural values
*Best selling author- if a student liked this book he or she could pick up others by him
*Explain how this book (and Cap) teaches us about tolerance
*Write a found poem about Cap
*Share a story with a friend about a time you were bullied or witnessed bullying
*Talk about what you would do if a kid like Cap showed up in school
Telgemeier, Raina. Smile. New York: Graphix, 2010. Print.
ISBN: 780545132053; 214pp; color illustrations; middle and high school; semi
autobiographical realistic fiction graphic novel; coming of age, teeth, beauty, self esteem; Red
Dot Award and YALSA Great Graphic Novel for Teens nominee.
The story of author/illustrator RainaTelgemeier’s coming of age… through her dental work.
After a 6th grade Girl Scout expedition, Telgemeiger falls and knocks out her front teeth. She
recounts the next 4 years of dental surgeries, braces, mean girls and falling in love.
*Very popular with teenage girls
*Captures the highs and lows of being a teenager through excellent comic illustrations
*Author illustrated-mostly true story
*This ALA Notable Children's Book is the winner of the 2011 Eisner Award for Best Publication
for a Teen Audience and was a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book as well as a New York
Time's Editor's Choice book -recommended as an essential purchase for any library serving
children and teens.
*Great themes aboutfitting in, embracing who you are and Girl Power!
*Pick your favorite part and extend the text
*Illustrate your own autobiographical cartoon
*Journal about a time when you felt insecure like Raina
*Read other autobiographies and compare it to Smile
*Write a memoir about a time you had an accident
30. Romeo and Juliet
Coville, Bruce, Dennis Nolan, and William Shakespeare. William Shakespeare's Romeo and
Juliet. New York: Dial Books, 1999. Print.
ISBN: 9780803724624; 38pp; colored illustrations; picture book; middle and high school;
families, death, classic literature; well reviewed.
A simpler prose version of the famous play by William Shakespeare. Includes wonderful
*Great foryoung audiences (or lower readers) who are experiencing Shakespeare for the first
*Rich, romantic paintings
*True to the original version
*Includes a beautiful foldout of the balcony scene
*Includes many original phrases from the play
*Read with young children to expose them to the story of Romeo and Juliet
*Turn part of the story into a play script
*Act out your play
*Compare parts of the picture book to the original play