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Finding good books throughout the year

How will you continue to find great books for your students? Below you will find links to a number of websites that may prove helpful in your search for top quality texts for your students. Visit them periodically for suggestions for fabulous books to use all year long. (Better yet, subscribe via RSS or sign up for their email newsletters and you’ll be updated automatically whenever there’s new content.)

Reading Rockets, reviewed here by TeachersFirst, is affiliated with WETA, the public television station in Washington, D.C., with funding from the U.S. Department of Education. Teachers, administrators, librarians, and parents will find timely topics related to literacy, themed booklists, and seasonal book recommendations. Their extensive “Award Winners” link brings you to lists of well known and lesser known awards and notable books recognized by organizations such as the National Council for the Social Studies, the National Science Teachers Association, the International Reading Association and the American Library Association. This site is truly one-stop shopping for highly recommended books!

Read Kiddo Read, reviewed here by TeachersFirst, was created by author James Patterson when he realized that his young son Jack wasn’t choosing to read on his own as a fun activity. Patterson set out to find (and then write) books that kids wanted to read and return to again and again. There is an impressive set of reviewers for the books featured on the site, including teachers, librarians, and folks from publishing and bookselling circles. The site also includes lesson plans for many of the reviewed titles. You can watch an interview with James Patterson about ReadKiddoRead here.

Barb Langridge is the woman behind abookandahug, reviewed here by TeachersFirst. A librarian and bookseller, Barb reviews children’s books for WBALTV in Baltimore and has a cable television show called Books Alive, featuring interviews with authors and illustrators. Her site is searchable by category, grade level, and keyword. She offers advice on Books for Girls and Books for Boys, and many author interviews are available at the site.

If you’ve been teaching for a while you’ve probably heard of Jim Trelease’s Read Aloud Handbook (and its updates). The handbooks have provided teachers and parents with excellent recommendations for reading to children for over thirty years. Now semi-retired, Trelease maintains a website with reviews of books published since the last edition of his handbook in 2013.