Best Books
for
Children and
Young Adults
Best Books
A guide to some of the best
books published for young
people (K-12) in the last ten
years. (1996-2006)
Best Books
All titles included have one at
least one state, national, or
international award.
Most have won numerous
awards.
Best Books
Uses in the classroom across
many subjects are included
for each title as well as web
addresses for instructional
ideas, and appropriate grade
levels.
Picture Books
• The Gardener – Sarah Stewart
(Grades 3-6)
– Caldecott Honor Book
1998
– Chosen for “Literature
from the Garden”
list
Picture Books
The Gardener – Sarah Stewart
Special Features:
Written entirely in letter format.
Featured in program called “Literature in
the Garden”
www.kidsgardening.com
Picture Books
The Gardener – Sarah Stewart
Uses:
Language Arts – Use as an example of
letter writing
Science – Study of plants
Use as a science/literature connection
Grow plants in pots
Character education – Making the best
of a difficult situation, Kindness,
Thoughtfulness, Hard work
Picture Books
Tops and Bottoms – Janet Stevens
(Grades 2-4)
– Caldecott Honor Book
(1996)
– American Horticultural Society
2005 “Growing
Good Kids”
– Bill Martin Jr.
Picture Book Award
Picture Books
• Tops and Bottoms – Janet Stevens
Special features:
Vertical orientation of artwork to illustrate theme
Uses:
Character – Using your head and hard work to solve
your problems
Laziness never pays off
Science – How food is provided
Language Arts – Sample of a trickster tale in
folktale unit
Picture Books (Folktale)
• One Grain of Rice – Demi
(Grades 2-6)
Show Me Readers Award
(Missouri)
Black-Eyed Susan Award
(Maryland)
Capital Choices Booklist
Picture Books (Folktale)
• One Grain of Rice – Demi
Special Features:
Luxurious authentic-looking illustrations
Uses:
Social Studies – Study of India
Character education – Generosity, Keeping
your word
Mathematics – Multiplication
Picture Books
• Noah’s Ark – Jerry Pinkney
(Grades 2-12)
– Caldecott Honor Book
(2003)
– 5 time Caldecott and
Coretta Scott King
Award winner
Picture Books
• Noah’s Ark – Jan Brett (Grades 2-6)
• Use as a comparison to Jerry Pinkney’s
version
– Compare artistic
styles as well as
approach to content
Picture Books
Noah’s Ark– Jerry Pinkney
Special features:
Art work - Accuracy
Uses:
Art: Have students illustrate Bible stories
Science: Look at scientific studies of the ark.
Bible: Research more about Noah’s Ark . Use as
illustration of God’s provision for those who love him.
Picture Books
Noah’s Ark– Jerry Pinkney
Uses:
Noah's Animals: A Webquest For Fifth Graders
http://education.iupui.edu/webquests/noah/noah.htm
Noah's Ark An Ecological Webquest for 7-12th grade
http://eduscapes.com/caldecott/03d.htm
Ancient Flood Stories
http://www.nationalgeographic.com/xpeditions/lessons/1
7/gk2/floods.html
Picture Books
• Thank You Mr. Falker – Patricia Polacco
(Grades 3-8)
– Parent’s Choice Award,
– Life work award
• 1992 Boston Area
Educators Award for
Social Responsibility
Picture Books
Thank You Mr. Falker – Patricia Polacco
Special Features:
Patricia Polacco’s artwork
Based on real-life experience
Uses:
Language Arts – Encourage slow readers
Art - Have students illustrate own
experiences.
Character education - Encourage those with
difficult challenges in their life.
Picture Books
Thank You Mr. Falker – Patricia Polacco
Related websites:
Ldonline.org – Website about learning disabilities.
Includes first person essays by people with firsthand experience with learning difficulties
patriciapolacco.com – Author’s own website with
biographical information and introduction to
works
Realistic Fiction
• Rules of the Road – Joan Bauer
(Grades 8-12)
– 1998 Los Angeles Times
Book Award
– ALA Notable Book
– ALA Best Book for
Young Adults
– Golden Kite Award
Realistic Fiction
• Rules of the Road – Joan Bauer
Uses: Bibliotherapy
Dysfunctional families
Dealing with an alcoholic parent
Teenage driving
Cross-generational relationships
Character Qualities
Courage
Resiliance
Ingenuity
Taking responsibility
Sense of humor
Realistic Fiction
• Pictures of Hollis Woods– Patricia Reilly Giff
(Grades 5-8)
Newbery Honor Book 2003
ALA Notable Children’s
Book
ALA Best Book for
Young Adults
Christopher Award
Realistic Fiction
• Pictures of Hollis Woods– Patricia Reilly Giff
Special features:
Available in paperback
Dell Yearling edition includes extensive teacher’s
guide
www.randomhouse.com/teachers
Uses: Themes –
Belonging
Friendship
Hope
Family
Truth
Cross-generational relationships
Realistic Fiction
Frindle – Andrew Clements
(Grades 5-8)
– William Allen White
Award (Kansas)
– Rhode Island
Children’s Book Award
– Rebecca Caudill Award
(Kentucky)
Translated into 9 languages
Realistic Fiction
Frindle – Andrew Clements
Italian
U. K.
Japanese
Hungarian
Korean
Spanish
German
Portuguese
Realistic Fiction
• Frindle – Andrew Clements
Special features: Available in paperback
Website: www.frindle.com
Themes:
Humor, Taking responsibility for actions
Developing one’s gifts
Importance of maintaining a standard
Student-teacher relationships
Uses:
Read aloud and discuss (Who’s right)
Language: Suggest new names for existing products
Students develop research related to word origins
Realistic Fiction
• Granny Torrelli Makes Soup – Sharon Creech
(Grades 4-8)
– Rebecca Caudill nominee
– Georgia Children’s
Book Award nominee
– South Carolina
Children’s Book
Award nominee
Realistic Fiction
• Granny Torrelli Makes Soup – Sharon Creech
Special features:
www.sharoncreech.com
First person narrative
Inclusion of Italian words and phrases
Inclusion of reader’s guide at website:
www.sharoncreech.com/novels/grannytorelli_guide
Realistic Fiction
• Granny Torrelli Makes Soup – Sharon Creech
Uses:
Gifted students – Examine writing style, use of
fragments, character development through
dialogue and description
Bibliotherapy – Bailey is legally blind; jealousy
Warning: lots of fragments – Creech writes from
heart, not the English textbook
Fantasy
• The Iron Ring – Lloyd Alexander
(Grades 6-12)
– ALA Best Books for
Young Adults
– ALA Notable Book
– Parent’s Choice Award
– Booklist Top 10 Fantasy
Novels for Young Readers
Fantasy
• The Iron Ring – Lloyd Alexander
Special features:
Glossary and list of characters
Author’s note connecting story with
traditional literature of India
Map of territory covered
Humor
Available in paperback
Fantasy
• The Iron Ring – Lloyd Alexander
Uses:
Social Studies – study of India (language,
religion, climate, animals, plants, folklore
Language Arts - Vocabulary building: Creative
writing
Character education – Honor, courage, duty,
taking responsibility, respect for another
culture,
Fantasy
• Time Stops for No Mouse – Michael Hoeye
(Grades 8-12)
– Michael Printz Award
• (Adolescent)
Fantasy
• Time Stops for No Mouse
Special features:
Map of the area of adventure, with inserts
Humor/ Adventure
Uses:
Entertainment
Reluctant readers
Humor
Practice in making predictions
Practice in using logic
Fantasy
Perloo the Bold – Avi
(Grades 8-12)
Black-eyed Susan Award
(Maryland)
Nutmeg Children’s Book award
(Connecticut)
Sunshine State Award
Great Stone Face Award
Fantasy
• Perloo the Bold - Avi
Special features:
Available in paperback
The sayings of Mogwat the Magpie
“ To see the world with the eyes of others is to
stand on a new mountain.”
“A life without challenge is a life not lived.”
“Only the dead have no choice.”
“The future begins in the past
Fantasy
Perloo the Bold - Avi
Uses:
Health/Psychology – Importance of
individuality
Social Studies – Importance of open
communication between cultures
Character qualities – Courage, Wisdom,
Perseverance, Friendship
Fantasy
• Inkheart – Cornelia Funke
(Grades 8-12)
– Teens Top 10 Award
– Colorado Blue Spruce
Award
IMPAC Dublin Literary
Award
Soaring Eagle Award
Fantasy
Inkheart – Cornelia Funke
Special features:
Strong message about the power of books
and reading in our lives
Quotes from a wide range of literary works,
both adult and children’s literature
Soon to be a major motion picture
Available in paperback
Fantasy
Inkheart – Cornelia Funke
Uses:
Gifted students – Match quotes to content of chapters
Why did Funke choose this quote for this chapter?
Can you think of another quote that might be just
as significant?
Regular students – Read aloud and make predictions
Creative writing – Choose an already familiar book
and write what would happen if a character
escaped from its pages. What could be done to get
him/her back?
Fantasy
Inkheart – Quote
“It’s a good idea to have your own books with you in a
strange place,” Mo always said. He himself always took at
least a dozen…
“If you take a book with you on a journey,” Mo had said when
he put the first one in her box, an odd thing happens: The
book begins collecting your memories. And forever after you
have only to open that book to be back where you first read
it.
It will all come into your mind with the very first words: the
sights you saw in that place, what it smelled like, the ice
cream you ate while you were reading it…yes, books are like
flypaper – memories cling to the printed page better than
anything else.”
Fantasy
Inkheart – Quote
He was probably right, but there was another reason
why Meggie took her books whenever they went away.
They were her home when she was somewhere strange.
They were familiar voices, friends that never quarreled
with her, clever, powerful friends-daring and
knowledgeable, tried and tested adventurers who had
traveled far and wide.
Her books cheered her up when she was sad and kept
her from being bored…”
Historical Fiction
• A Single Shard – Linda Sue Park
(Grades 4-8)
– Newbery Winner
2002
Historical Fiction
• A Single Shard – Linda Sue Park
Uses:
Art – Visit pottery studio and then make own–
study Korean art
Social Studies – Study Korean History and
geography; discuss apprentice system
Historical Fiction
• A Single Shard – Linda Sue Park
Uses, contd,:
Language Arts – Read Korean folktales
Psychology – Living with disabilities; discuss
homelessness
Character – Faithfulness and determination
http://eduscapes.com/newbery/02a.htm
Historical Fiction
• Girl in a Cage – Jane Yolen (Grades 6-10)
– YALSA Best Books
for Young Adults 2003
– State Awards from:
• Pennsylvania and Nevada
• Ohio
– State Nominations from:
• New Hampshire
• Maryland
• Louisiana
Historical Fiction
• Girl in a Cage – Jane Yolen
Special features:
Time line of historical events of time period
Appendix “What is True in This Story”
Uses:
Social Studies – History of conflict between England and
Scotland
Research Middle Ages – Food, clothing, housing, music,
economy, sports, architecture, etc.
Biographical study of real lives of main characters
Historical Fiction
• Girl in a Cage – Jane Yolen
Web sites:
History for Kids – The Middle Ages
www.historyforkids.org
The Time Machine - Journey to the Middle Ages
www.activehistory.co.uk
www.socialstudiesforkids.com
Character education – How should a person act when
unjustly persecuted?
Marjorie models spunk, determination and loyalty
Historical Non-fiction
• Surviving Hitler: A Boy in the Nazi Death Camps –
Andrea Warren
(Grades 7-12)
– Robert F. Siebert Award
(2002)
– William Allen White Award
– VOYA Nonfiction Honor book
– ALA Notable Children’s
Book
– Children’s Literature Choice
Historical Non-fiction
• Surviving Hitler: A Boy in the Nazi Death Camps – Andrea
Warren Grades 6-12
Special Features:
Supplementary material on concentration camps
List of print and non-print resources for further study
Uses:
Social Studies: Study of World War II
Language Arts: Compare the story to other World
War II biographies
Character education: Determination, Ingenuity,
Forgiveness
Historical Non-fiction
• Childtimes: A Three-Generation Memoir – Eloise
Greenfield
(Grades 5-12)
- Notable Children’s Trade
Book in Social Studies
(NCSS/CBC)
- Carter G. Woodson
Outstanding Merit Book (NCSS)
- Notable Children's
Book of 1979 (Library of Congress)
Historical Non-fiction
Childtimes: A Three-Generation Memoir – Eloise Greenfield
Special Features:
Wonderful stories of three generations of her
family
Family met life’s challenges with courage and
mutual respect
Told from a child’s point of view, small everyday
events hold center stage.
Difficulties described, but not dwelt on
Family love and loyalty from one generation to the next
Illustrations by Jerry Pinkney & family photographs
Historical Non-fiction
• Childtimes: A Three-Generation Memoir – Eloise
Greenfield
Uses:
Social Studies: American social history from
1800s to 1950s, Study of race relations
Psychology : Family relationships, Crossgenerational relations
Character education: Loyalty, Courage,
Steadfastness,
Descargar

Best Books - [email protected] University