Here is my recommended bibliography of children's literature titles. I approached it a slightly different way. I know I say this a lot, but after working in a bookstore, you definitely get a feel for what kids these days are reading. So my list reflects just some of the favourite books out there that children these days are choosing to read:
Goin' Someplace Special
Patricia C. McKissack
Ok, I am going to contradict myself a bit here. I just mentioned that these are books that children are reading now, but this was the book that I picked for my multicultural book assignment. This book is set in the Southern United States during the 1950s and time of segregation. 'Tricia Ann, the main character, ventures out on her own to her favourite place. Along the way, she is met with many opposing forces due to the colour of her skin, but ultimately she reaches her Someplace Special, the public library, where all were welcome.
I think that this book would be appropriate for around Grade 4. It seems as if the concept would be too difficult for younger grades to understand and by Grade 4, students in BC are identifying issues or problems throughout history. This book may be a good lead-in when discussing North American History in Social Studies.
This book is one of my favourites. It stars Christopher, a mischevious little boy who decides that he is going to make fake cookies out of clay to surprise his family into thinking that they are real. But what goes around comes around and one day at school his teacher has a surprise something for Christopher as well!
I think that this book would be appropriate for K-1. I actually read it to my K-1 class last year for my practicum and they LOVED it! It actually helps students with their repetition techniques without them even realizing because some words throughout the book are used more than once and that encourages the children to participate in the reading process on their own by knowing what is coming up.
Giggle, Giggle, Quack
This book is also another favourite and I also chose it for my read-aloud that I will be doing in class. In this book, Farmer Brown leaves his brother, Bob, in charge while he goes on vacation, not realizing the farm animals have special plans for Bob. This book is also suitable for a K-1 class and it can help the students with predicting because there are many instances in the book where the students could guess what animal will be portrayed next and what they will make Bob do. It's so fun and the kids will definitely get a kick out of it...giggle, giggle, quack, giggle, moo, giggle, oink!
Love you forever
"I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, As long as I'm living, My baby you'll be."
Who doesn't remember this book? This book is still a favourite of so many people, regardless of their age. In a nutshell, it is a book about the love that a parent feels for their child-forever. Even when the child is grown with a child of his own, he still know of his mothers love. I think this book is appropriate for all ages, but school-wise, it would probably be for about grades k-2. However, even though it is a wonderful story, it would be best to check the demographics of the class before reading them a story like this. Some of the students may never have known what's it's like to have a parent's love, so as teachers, we have to be sensitive to that issue. Still, it is such a great book, and one that I will always admire and like!
The Berenstain Bears books
I just chose this one as an example of the berenstain bears books. These books could probably be listed under the "contemporary realistic fiction." These books deal with real issues, such as learning about strangers or such things as manners. These books would be appropriate once again for a k-2 class because that is the age in which these students should be learning about life issues. These books definitely make it easier for a teacher to approach such topics. It follows the BC IRPs because it can allow for student to recount what a story was about and how to relate it to areas in their own life as well.
Harry Potter Series
Ok, I'll be honest, I put this representation of this series in here because I love reading Harry Potter. I think they are a fantastic set of books and they really did get children reading again. I'm sure many of you are familiar with the trials and tribulations of the young wizard during his days at Hogwarts. Although these books are in the 8-12 section of the bookstore, I would suggest that children not start reading them until they are 11 or 12. Especially the last couple of books, which get increasingly darker as Harry deals with more of life's issues. I think that adults should definitely have them on their "to-read" lists for sure. If I was to use Harry Potter in school, I would probably wait until about grade 6 or 7 before I used it. Then I would probably base a novel studies unit around it. All in all, this is a great series and I can't wait for her to finish writing her next book!
Ok, so that is my list. I hope you took away something from it. These books are excellent and I definitely recommend that you try some out in your next(and last!!) practicum! Bye for now