Resources: Children’s Literature & Teaching

Created for teacher ed students at Michigan State University…

Blogs – a great way to join a community of fellow teacher/readers and keep up with children’s & YA books

100 Scope Notes
Children’s Literature news and reviews by fellow Michigan resident & librarian Travis Jonker

A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy
“Looking for a place to talk about young adult books? Pull up a chair, have a cup of tea, and let’s chat.”

A Year of Reading
“Two teachers who read. A lot.”

American Indians in Children’s Literature
“American Indians in Children’s Literature (AICL) provides critical perspectives and analysis of indigenous peoples in children’s and young adult books, the school curriculum, popular culture, and society. Scroll down for links to book reviews, Native media, and more…”

Battle of the Kids’ Books
“School Library Journal’s Battle of the Kids’ Books is a competition between 16 of the very best books for young people of the year, judged by some of the biggest names in children’s books.” Starts in late January- early February each year for the books from the previous year.

Bookshelves of Doom
Book news & reviews, both children’s & YA literature included

The Brown Bookshelf
“The Brown Bookshelf is designed to push awareness of the myriad of African American voices writing for young readers. Our flagship initiative of is 28 Days Later, a month-long showcase of the best in Picture Books, Middle Grade and Young Adult novels written and illustrated by African Americans.”

Children’s Book-A-Day Almanac
“Daily children’s book recommendations and events from Anita Silvey. Discover the stories behind the children’s book classics . . .The new books on their way to becoming classics . . .And events from the world of children’s books—and the world at large.”

Collecting Children’s Books
“I’m not an “expert” on collecting children’s books — just someone with a hobby. This is a place for discussing older children’s books, as well as sharing info and opinions on new books that might become collectable in the years ahead.”

“A source for conversations, publishing information, writer resources & inspiration, “bookseller-librarian-teacher appreciation, children’s-YA book news & author outreach” by author Cynthia Leitich Smith

Educating Alice
“I’m Monica Edinger and this blog of mine is about teaching, my life’s work; literature, especially that created for children; history, especially as it is taught to and learned by children…”

Fuse #8
“Elizabeth Bird is currently a children’s librarian at the Children’s Center at 42nd Street of the New York Public Library system. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she’d love to tell you about but that she’s sure you’d find more interesting to hear of in person.”

Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery
A co-authored blog that considers possible contenders for the Newbery Medal.

The Horn Book Blogs
Home to three different blogs covering a wide range of topics including books that may (or may not) be contenders for the Caldecott this year, reviews of books that don’t make it into the print journal, and thoughts & musings by the  Editor.

I’m Here. I’m Queer. What the Hell Do I Read?
“So who is this blogsite for? I think it’s for teens (queer or not), for librarians, for teachers, for booksellers, for people with teens in their lives and for anyone interested in YA books with GLBTQ characters and themes. What books are already out there? What’s new? Your answers are here.”

Interesting Nonfiction for Kids (I.N.K.)
“Here we will meet the writers whose words are presenting nonfiction in a whole new way. Discover books that show how nonfiction writers are some of the best storytellers around. Learn how these writers practice their craft: research techniques, fact gathering and detective work. Check out how they find unusual tidbits, make the facts interesting and write something kids will love to read. Explore how photos and illustrations are integrated with the text to explain an artist’s vision of the world. Consider what subjects are flooding the market and what still needs a voice. Rethink nonfiction for kids.”


Nerdy Book Club
If you love books, especially those written for children and young adults, then you are an honorary member of The Nerdy Book Club. Like us, you probably always have a book along to read, a title to recommend, and time to talk about works held dear. This online space was designed to give us a home to share that love of reading with others as well as to organize voting and announcing winners of our First Annual Nerdies Book Awards.”

Neil Gaiman’s Journal
Author Neil Gaiman’s blog

The Nonfiction Detectives
“One blog. Two librarians. Hundreds of reviews of nonfiction books for children.

Mitali’s Fire Escape
Author Mitali Perkins’ blog, “a safe place to chat about books between cultures”

“One of the bestselling preschool books of recent times was Walter the Farting Dog. At the same time, the American Library Association named as one of its best books Michael Rosen’s Sad Book, a book in which Mr. Rosen talks about his despair over the death of his son. I believe that, for most of us, what we want lies somewhere between a flatulent canine and overwhelming grief.”

Read, Write, Reflect
“Exploring literacy and reflection in the fifth grade classroom.” 

Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast
Also known as “Seven Imp”, this blog has interviews with authors and illustrators as well as reviews.

“I am a husband, father of three (all under the age of 5), and a fourth grade teacher. After following and reading some really great blogs about reading and teaching reading, I thought it was time to start blogging as a way to reflect on my journey as a teacher of readers.”

Teach Mentor Texts
“a blog that focuses on sharing books that can be used to promote all areas of literacy!”

Watch. Connect. Read.
“I am a K-5 teacher-librarian who works diligently to put the right book in every child’s hand. Book trailers are one way to connect readers with books.”


there are many children’s literature people on twitter (including me @TeachChildLit)

#titletalk – the last Sunday of each month, use tweetchat to follow (don’t need a twitter account), remember that there will be an archive so you don’t need to catch everything the first time around. Lead by Donalyn Miller & Colby Sharp




Professional Organizations

NCTE – National Council of Teachers of English
CLA – Children’s Literature Assembly
IRA – International Reading Association
MRA – Michigan Reading Association

Journals* –

The Horn Book (my favorite)
Book List / Book Links (ALA publications)
School Library Journal
Language Arts (NCTE publication)
The Reading Teacher (IRA publication)

*MSU students: our libraries subscribe to these in print or online (sometimes both). To find them electronically, use the title and search by “periodical title”.


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