My Classroom Bookshelf

These are books that I hope to have in my own classroom some day.

The Mitten by Jan Brett

— feeling big smile

This book is about a little boy who wants more than anything in the world for his grandmother to make him a pair of white mittens for his birthday. His grandmother reluctantly makes him the mittens. However, it was on the condition that he does not lose them. Tragically, he drops one of them in the forest. Then several different kinds of wild animals snuggle up within the mitten to get warm. Eventually all of the animals leave the mitten. Much to the pleasure of the boy, he finds the lost mitten. This is a wonderful story. It could be used in the classroom accompanied by an actual reenactment of the story. I have seen it done before and the children absolutely loved it. This book has a lexile level of 800L. So for recreational reading students should be in 1st or 2nd grade. It could be used as a classroom reading as well for younger students. 

Horton Hears A Who by Dr. Seuss

— feeling big smile
Horton Hears a Who! - Dr. Seuss

This book is about an elephant, Horton, who hears a voice coming from a tiny speck of dust. He realizes that there are creatures living on the speck. He tries his best to convene those around him that there are creatures living on it. Sadly, the beings around him did not believe him and ultimately attempt to destroy the speck out of pure cruelty. Eventually the creatures living on the speck make enough noise that the creatures of the forest hear them. Thus, they are safe again. This book is a great recreational read for children. It is also a great book to use during Dr. Seuss week at school. This book has a lexile level of 490L, so children in the 1st and 2nd grade could read it independently. 

Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

— feeling amazing
Because of Winn-Dixie - Kate DiCamillo

This book is about a young girl who moved to a new place with her father. The girl, India Opal Bologna, finds a dog at Winn-Dixie. She claims the dog as hers and takes him home. The dog, Winn-Dixie, assists Opal in many adventures and discoveries about he community around her. Opal makes many new discoveries about her neighbors that she had previously not known. She discovers the importance of learning about others' lives before she makes a judgement about them. People are the way they are for a reason. Although we may not know that reason, it is important to to judge others. You never know what they have been through. This book could defiantly be used in the classroom to encourage the class to get to know each other. You never know where a great friendship could lay. This book has a lexile level of 610L, so students in the 4th or 5th grade could read it.


Bridge To Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

— feeling beaten
Bridge to Terabithia - Katherine Paterson

This book is about a boy and girl who become friends. They form a friendship unlike any other. To escape life, they then come up with a fictional land that they call Terabithia. At the end of the book, the little girl dies in a tragic accident while trying to go to Terabithia. The boy then learns to appreciate friendship, how to deal with a tragic lose, and how to stand up for one's self. This book is a wonderful teacher of the previous three lessons. Many children will go through a tragic lose at some point or another. This book is a great example of how to deal with that lose. This book has a lexile level of 810L, so students around the 5th or 6th grade should read it.

Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann

— feeling smile
Officer Buckle and Gloria - Peggy Rathman

This book is about an officer who does safety speeches at schools for school children. One day he is assigned a police dog named Gloria. She accompanies officer Buckle to the speeches. Normally, students are bored by them. However, this time students are highly enthusiastic because unbeknownst to the officer, Gloria acts out all of the safety rules behind his back. Which upsets officer Buckle. He wanted the students to pay attention to him, not Gloria. In the end though, officer Buckle likes doing speeches with Gloria. This book is a great teaching tool for students to learn about getting along with new people. In the beginning the officer was skeptical about working with Gloria. Then he realizes that they really can work together to spread safety awareness. This book has a lexile level of 510L so students in 1st or 2nd grade could read it.

Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sedak

— feeling crazy rabbit
Where The Wild Things Are - Maurice Sendak

This book is about a little boy who misbehaves by acting like a "wild thing." The parents get fed up by his bad behavior that they send him to his bedroom without supper. He was upset about this. So he traveled to another place by sea. This place is where the Wild Things live. He rules over them because he was the wildest of them all. He later travels back home to eat supper. He seems to realize that being a "wild thing" was not all it was cut out to be. This book could be used in the classroom to teach about bad behavior. The lexile level is AD740L so children around the 1st or 2nd grade could read it.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

— feeling big smile
The Very Hungry Caterpillar - Eric Carle

This book is about a caterpillar who eats many different food items.This book is highly predictable and fun for young children to read. This book would be excellent to help young children learn about different food items as well as the words used to represent food items. This text could also be used to help children understand the concepts of metamorphosis. This book has a lexile level of AD460L so this text would be appropriate for Pre-K and under.

A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon

— feeling happy
A Bad Case of Stripes - David Shannon

This book is about a girl who does everything her friends tell her to do. She does the things that the other children do, even if she does not like it. Well one day she wakes up to find that she is covered in stripes. The book goes on to tell the reader about the different physical abnormalities that occur. The main idea behind the story is that it is great for a person to just be themselves and not what peers think they should be. This is a great book to teach the children on individuality and self-esteem. The lexile level is AD540L so students should be around the 1st or 2nd grade for independent reading.

Among The Barons by Margaret Peterson Haddix

— feeling amazing
Among the Barons - Margaret Peterson Haddix

This is the fourth book of the Shadow Children series. It revisits the character Luke, aka Lee Grant, and continues his fight as a third child. The name he is living under, Lee Grand, is the dead son of a prominent family. Luke then goes to live with the Grand family, whom he is highly suspicious and weary of. The plot deepens at this point in the series with this novel. Luke is also a lot different than when he was first introduced in book one. This book could be used more towards recreational reading than anything else. However, it still has academic aspects such as the issue of population police and problems and concerns that arise due to dictatorship nations. The lexile level is 650L so this book should be used in the 6th grade and above.

Among The Betrayed by Margaret Peterson Haddix

— feeling amazing
Among the Betrayed - Margaret Peterson Haddix

This book is the third novel of the Shadow Children series. While the first two books are from the viewpoint of a boy named Luke, this one is different. It is tolled through the viewpoint of a girl named Elodie Luria, who goes under the assumed name Nina Idi. This character was arrested and imprisoned along with several other suspected "shadow children." In order for her to be spared, she must get the other children to confess to being third born. This book is just as intriguing as the first and second book. This book teaches the reader about what it means to fight for a cause that one believes in. This is also relevant to today's time. The most recent events I can think of is the controversy over the President and gender laws. Many people feel strongly for or against both items. Students will need to start learning what it means to believe in something and fight for that belief. The book provides an excellent basis for building the foundation for understanding what it means to believe and fight for something. Despite this lesson not necessarily being academically biased, it teaches about the importance of a person's ethical and personal beliefs. This book has a lexile level of 690L so it should be used in the 6th grade and above.

Among The Impostors by Margaret Peterson Haddix

— feeling gear
Among the Impostors - Margaret Peterson Haddix

This is the second book of the Shadow Children series. It is about Luke Garner's struggle to survive as an outlawed third child or "shadow child" and his fight against the government. During this book, Luke assumes a new identity as Lee Grant. While under this new identity, he portrays a student at a school for boys. While there, he is still fighting against the government. Much like the first book of the series, Among The Hidden, I think this book could go along with learning about the world and other cultures. Like the point I made in my previous review of the first book in the series, many countries today have population laws. One of those countries is Kenya. One of said population laws include how many children a woman is allowed to have during her lifetime. The idea behind their population laws is to improve the quality of life for the people of its nation. Like in the book, the government has a noble reason for imposing these types of laws. However, many people may disagree with the government imposing laws that could be considered somewhat invasive. This book could be used as an excellent tool in instigating higher thinking skills that require students to question their environment. Because of this, the teacher needs to be aware of the students', as a whole classroom, ability to use this type of higher level thinking. The lexile level for this book is 620L so it should be used in the 6th grade and up.

Among The Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix

— feeling amazing
Among the Hidden - Margaret Peterson Haddix

This book takes pace in a country where they are going through a great depression. In response to the food shortage due to this depression, the government has put into law that third children are illegal. The enforcement of this law requires the killing or imprisoning these third children or "shadow children." This is the first book of a seven book series that follows the lives of several "shadow children." This book follows the life of Luke Garner. Due to the laws, he is forced into hiding from everyone. One day, he decides to take a stand and fight for his right to live. This means coming out of hiding and trying to survive out on his own. The book is a wonderful read. This series has stuck with me all since I first read it in elementary school. It truly is memorable. Although most people would consider this book to be completely fictional and that nothing like this could ever happen, they would be wrong. Even today, this book could be relevant. For example, there is a second child ban in China. Although there are exceptions from this law, the fact is that it is still law. Children, particularly girls and disabled children, are often abandoned or killed by their parents. It is due to this law. This text, despite being fictional, could be relevant in the learning of other cultures that may contain dictatorships that may impose harsh laws such as the third child ban. It is a plus that the book is actually very interesting. This book has a lexile level of 800L so it should be used for the 6th grade and up.

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor

— feeling beaten
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry - Mildred D. Taylor

This book is part of a several book series on the Logan family. The book takes place during The Great Depression in the deep south. It is about an African American family and their struggle against racism. The main character, Cassie, has to learn the "do's" and "don'ts" that society requires. Because the book is shown through a child's perspective, it really questions and displays the types of injustices that were a common occurrence for the time period. The book may show injustices that people may not normally think about or know to think about. This book is a great example for what life was like as well as what types of social struggles occurred at the time. This book would be a great text to use a reinforcement read for history class for the study of The Great Depression, Black History Month, and feelings on personal heritage. The lexile level is 920L so it could be used around the 5th or 6th grade.

Harriet The Spy by Louise Fitzhugh

— feeling beat brick
Harriet the Spy - Louise Fitzhugh

This book is a story about a girl named Harriet and her trouble with empathy. The girl genuinely cannot feel this emotion. She gets into some trouble when misplaces her notebook. Within this notebook is her feelings and thoughts about everyone she comes into contact with. Which some of what is written would be considered unkind. The reason why she gets into some trouble is because her friends find her notebook and they read what she has written about them. Although she is forced to apologize and tell everyone that she did not mean what she wrote about them, her apology was completely insincere. She did not think she had done anything wrong because her thoughts and feelings are her own. She later learns that it is okay to feel and thing they way you do. However, sometimes it is best to keep it to yourself because it may cause conflicts. This book is a little controversial for me. Children learn that they have to be nice to their peers. However, they are not taught what to do if they genuinely think negative things about a particular person. They are taught to tell the truth. The controversy arises when the truth is negative towards a person. I think this book would be great to have as recreational reading for the classroom. However, it would be a great sample to read for emotions and what are appropriate ways to handle them. The lexile reading level for this book is 760L so it should be used around the 6th grade.

Number The Stars by Lois Lowry

— feeling hypnotized
Number the Stars - Lois Lowry

This book takes place during WWII. It is about Annemarie, a non Jewish girl, who takes in her Jewish best friend. Annemarie's family is known as the Johansens. The young girl's friend is using the identity of the family's previously deceased daughter. Whenever there is a question concerning the girl's identity, the Johansens show the birth certificate and baby photographs of their deceased daughter. This book highly resembles The Diary of Anne Frank, which as we all know is a true story of a girl who lived during WWII. Number The Stars is another great insight into a life of hiding and fight for life. This was a very memorable story. I actually recall reading this very book for recreational reading. Now looking back, I wish my teachers had done something with this book for academic purposes. A teacher could use this book during literature to reinforce studding about WWII. The lexile reading level for this book is 670L but for academic readings it may be best used for the 5th grade.

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

— feeling shocked
The Giving Tree - Shel Silverstein

This book is about a boy and his relationship with a talking tree. The tree gives everything she can to the boy in order to make him happy. The extent that the tree goes through to achieve this goal is what intentionally shocked me. The plot showed the book moral in a very unique way that really sticks to the reader. It teaches about unconditional love a parent may have for their child, which is a wonderful thing to teach and learn about. It would be great to use in a lesson about something being unconditional. This book would also be great in demonstrating time progression due to the fact that the boy ages throughout the story. For instance, at the end of the story the boy is no longer a child but an old man. Despite the fact that the character was now old, the character is still referred to as "boy" or "the boy." This really reinforces the fact that the character is still the same person despite appearances. Thus, time progression. The lexile level is 530L so students should be around the 2nd grade for independent reading.