Using Books

Bringing books and people together.

The schools that need libraries the most


A few months ago, fellow Lolly’s Classroom blogger Randy Ribay made a compelling argument about why schools still need libraries and the wonderful librarians who keep them running smoothly. I agree wholeheartedly with his conclusion that “a school without a library is like a body without a soul.” Further, I believe that lack of access […]

Books mentioned in the September 2015 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book

Economics and money Adler, David A. Prices! Prices! Prices!: Why They Go Up and Down Gr. K–3, 4–6     32 pp. Holiday     2015 ISBN 978-0-8234-3293-6 Be Smart About Money and Financial Literacy series Gordon, Sherri Mabry Be Smart About Money: Money Management and Budgeting Middle school, high school     48 pp.   Enslow    2014 Library binding ISBN 978-0-7660-4292-6 […]



Albee, Sarah Why’d They Wear That? Middle school, high school    192 pp.     National Geographic    2015 Albee comprehensively and conversationally examines how fashion has shaped history, and vice versa. Organized chronologically, the text explains how a trend or clothing item originated and what function it served, with numerous accompanying illustrations and photos; side boxes provide […]

Inventions and innovations


Abramovitz, Melissa Amazing Feats of Biological Engineering Middle school, high school    112 pp.     ABDO/Essential Library    2014 Carmichael, L. E. Amazing Feats of Civil Engineering Middle school, high school    112 pp.     ABDO/Essential Library    2014 Smibert, Angie Amazing Feats of Aerospace Engineering Middle school, high school    112 pp.     ABDO/Essential Library    2014 Swanson, Jennifer Amazing […]

Stories behind the stories

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Bird, Betsy, Danielson, Julie and Sieruta, Peter D. Wild Things!: Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature Middle school, high school    277 pp.     Candlewick     2014 Sieruta, a Horn Book mainstay before his unexpected death in 2012, is joined by Bird and Danielson for a lively historical survey of scandals and secrets from the children’s-book biz. Sandwiched […]

Social revolutionaries

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Alko, Selina The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage Gr. K–3    32 pp.     Scholastic/Levine    2015 Richard Loving (white) and Mildred Jeter (black) fell in love and married, then were arrested for miscegenation. Their 1967 Supreme Court case legalized interracial marriage. Alko does a mostly admirable job of shaping the story (some terms […]

Economics and money


Adler, David A. Prices! Prices! Prices!: Why They Go Up and Down Gr. K–3, 4–6     32 pp. Holiday     2015 A boy (and his dog) sets up a lemonade stand, selling his product over several days. The laws of supply and demand play out in solid, specific ways, and concepts of fixed and variable costs and […]

Off to a fresh start


Hello dear education community. I’m back! Last year I was quite silent. This was due in part to the fact that I had moved to a new school. But mainly it was because I was simply at a loss for what to say. My previous school was strictly disciplined to the point where students were […]

Updated Spanish-English bilingual booklist

dominguez_maria had a little llama

The books below, recommended by the Horn Book Magazine and Guide, were published within the last five years. While some titles contain only a sprinkling of Spanish vocabulary, many are fully bilingual. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion. For more Spanish-English bilingual books, click here. Preschool Suggested ages level […]

Intentions and He Said, She Said

alexander_he said, she said

I have written before about our summer program* with Boston Green Academy, and we just finished our two-week institute with ninth and tenth graders from BGA and my students from Boston University. For this summer’s core text, we chose the book He Said, She Said by Kwame Alexander, and it has been fun to watch […]