Thursday, March 17, 2016

SOLC 2016 17/31: Sharing Booklove!

Today I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice" 
to the Slice of Life (SOL) community.
Thanks to Stacey, Tara, Betsy, Dana, Beth, and Anna
for hosting this meeting place each day in March
and for nurturing our writing lives.

One of my favorite book resources and my favorite baby shower gift for many years was the Bank Street Book, Choosing Books for Kids:  Choosing the Right Book for the Right Child at the Right Time.  There was much to love about this book.  It was organized by Books for Babies, Books for Toddlers, and then by two  year increments up until age 12 (except for Books for Fives who received their own chapter).  I loved the organization of the chapters which always began with a focus on the age group before broadening out to share books by topics and then always ended with Reminders for Choosing Books for (insert age group here) Year Olds and then Ten Books Every (insert age) Year Old Should Know.  For years, I wanted them to update the book, even going so far as to call them about it once.  And then in 2010, they began publishing a Best Children's Book of the Year list. And last week the Best Children's Book of the Year, 2016 Edition became available.  

I clicked immediately on the Twelve to Fourteen booklist to see which of my favorites from the past year made the list:
Nimona - Still in my want-to-read stack
Goodbye Stranger - Yes! One of our Mock Newbery books (added to the KCLS list by me)
The Honest Truth - Recently finished!  It's on the March Book Madness list, set in the NW 
The Seventh Most Important Thing - WooHoo!  Another one of our Mock Newbery books added to the KCLS list by me
The Disappearance of Emily H - read last spring at the insistence of a book club member
The Sword of Summer - on our March Book Madness list & just picked up from the holds shelf at the library yesterday  (One of our book club members who has read ALL the Rick Riordan books, says it's his BEST book ever!)
Echo - Woot!  Another one of our Mock Newbery books
A Night Divided - on our March Book Madness list, recently picked up from my holds shelf and loaned to a book club member before I got to read it
The War that Saved My Life - Hurray!  This one won our Mock Newbery contest.
My Seneca Village - read just this year, love Marilyn Nelson
I Will Always Write Back:  How One Letter Changed Two Lives - checked out on Tara's recommendation, but returned unread, time to request this one again
Drowned City:  Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans - a moving graphic novel

And then I click on the Nine to Twelve booklist:
Listen Slowly - Yes!  On our KCLS Mock Newbery list
The Penderwicks in Spring - love this series, but haven't read this one yet
Crenshaw - read it this fall
Sunny Side Up - graphic novel on our March Book Madness list
Full Cicada Moon - love this book, should have been on our Mock Newbery list
Stella by Starlight - love this book, on our Mock Newbery list, added to KCLS list by me
Roller Girl graphic novel, currently making the rounds in our book club
Lost in the Sun - read last year, almost made our Mock Newbery list
The Thing about Jellyfish - Yes!  Another title from our Mock Newbery list
Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer - took this to the farm in KS last summer, great-nieceTerra read it and recommended it to me,  an epistolary novel
Enchanted Air:  Two Cultures, Two Wings, a Memoir - picked up from holds shelf and  in my want-to-read pile
Enormous Smallness:  A Story of E.E. Cummings - perfect nonfiction poetry book to share during National Poetry Month
Voice of Freedom:  Fannie Lou Hamer:  Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement - don't miss this three time award winner, a stunning book of poems and gorgeous collage that celebrates the life of Fannie Lou Hamer
Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom:  My Story of the 1965 Selma Voting Rights March - read this early this year after it won a Sibert Honor award.  

If you've never explored The Best Children's Books of the Year selected by the Children's Book Committee at the Bank Street College of Education, do yourself a favor and stop by their site today. The books I've read and plan to read are just a smattering of what's available for middle schoolers. The booklist includes a Fourteen and Up category, an age group not included in the book I loved back in the 80's.  Special icons on the lists indicate books for Read Aloud, Mature Content, and Graphic Novels.   Enjoy and share this valuable resource with fellow teachers, librarians, parents and grandparents.  


  1. You are one well-read lady! I've read several, but not as many as you. I love book lists, so I shall check this one out. Thanks!

  2. You're awesome! Thanks for sharing this list and the website. I was glad to see I've read some of the books on the list and there are many new I'm going to be checking out.

  3. That's a wonderful list - aren't we lucky to be able to share these with our kids?!

  4. I love being in this community...I am always learning something exciting!

  5. This is a fabulous resource. Thanks so much for sharing, Ramona!

  6. I've never heard of this before! But I need to! I have only read about half of these!

  7. I'm so glad you brought this to my attention. I can't wait to check it out. I'm also going to have to check out many of the titles you have mentioned. There are many "new to me" books on your list. Thanks, Ramona.

  8. Thanks Ramona, Our school had this list because our former head came from Bank Street, but I haven't had anything recent. Thanks for the lists, too. Great books there.

  9. my daughter went to the Children's School at Bank Street in the '70s up to 1986, and this book was first published the fall after she graduated. I wonder if the two-year age ranges that you mention are connected to the fact that the school didn't have grades, but each class always had two ages, e.g., 6-7s, 7-8s, 9-10s, etc. -- up to the last year, for the 13s, which was spent largely prepping the kids for applying to high schools. And I'm guessing there were no books for 14-up in the first book because the School for Children didn't include high school. I wonder if any of her teachers were consultants.