“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” Henry Brooks Adams
Some of my favorite Children’s Books: Themes
Themes are a great way to connect to the interests of our students. This list is shared with inspiration from Page Ahead, a Washington State organization whose Mission is “Guided by the fact that literacy is essential to lifelong success, Page Ahead provides new books and develops reading activities that empower at-risk children” (I have been a volunteer with Page Ahead since 2010, providing interactive storytimes to Pre-K Head Start and Kindergarten children. This organization ROCKS! Feel free to make a donation to Page Ahead to help get even more books in the hands of at-risk children)
Theme: Being Me
Theme: Books and Reading
Theme: Growth Mindset
Mary Cay Ricci (2013) defines a growth mindset as “a belief system that suggests that one’s intelligence can be grown or developed with persistence, effort, and a focus on learning.”
Dr. Carol Dweck describes mindset as a simple idea: In a fixed mindset, one believes their talents and abilities are “fixed” traits. Belief: Talent alone creates success, without effort. Time is spent documenting instead of developing
In a growth mindset, one believes that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work. Brains and talent are just a starting point. A growth mindset creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishments
The following is a selection of books for the Theme of Growth Mindset:
Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman
Resistance and perseverance, success despite opposition
Making a Splash – GoBrain! Growth Mindset for Kids by Carol E. Reiley Hard work and effort really can lead to success as two siblings find out
Miss Malarkey Leaves No Reader Behind by Kevin O’Malley Finding the right book for every student
Mistakes That Worked by Charlotte Jones Fascinating stories behind mistakes like popsicles and potato chips. Hilarious cartoons and weird facts!
Moondance by Frank Asch Bear learns to challenge negative beliefs and follow his desire
Oh, The Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss The importance of staying determined
Regina’s Big Mistake by Marissa Moss A young girl learns that making mistakes is okay
Sally Jean, the Bicycle Queen by Cari Best Determination is needed to learn to ride a bike
Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun. Having the Courage to Be Who You Are by Maria Dismondy Lucy is one of a kind and she learns to have the courage to make a good choice. Doing the right thing and being proud of yourself, even when you are faced with challenges, is empowering.
Thanks For the Feedback, I Think (Best me I can be!) by Julia Cook RJ is doing well and also needs to work on some things. He learns how to respond appropriately to different kinds of feedback.
Thank you, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco Persistence and determination in learning to read
The Empty Pot by Demi Persistence and tenacity are recognized more than lack of production
The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes by Mark Pett and Gary Rubinstein Learning from your mistakes can be an enjoyable task!
The Kid Who Invented the Popsicle and other Extraordinary Stories Behind Everyday Things by Don L. Wulffson 114 everyday inventions and the fun stories behind them in anecdotal, fun-to-read text
The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires The story of a little girl and her canine friend in a clever story about perspective and perseverance
The Name of the Tree by Celia Barker Lottridge Bantu folktale – the animal that tries the hardest, not the one endowed with the greatest talents, helps solve a problem.
The Power of Self-D: Willie Bohanon & Friends Learn the Power of Self-Determination by Kip Jones Graphic novel/comic book style about the power of self-determination as the key to success
The Short Tree and the Bird That Could Not Sing Bouncing back from feeling inadequate
The Tortoise and the Hare by Various Authors Slow and steady wins the race
The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle Spider works very hard to create his web
Wilma Unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph Became the World’s Fastest Woman by Kathleen Krull Perseverance
Would You Rather… by Various Authors You can be both…Consequences of the choices we make…
Your Fantastic Elastic Brain Stretch It, Shape It by JoAnn Deak Trying new things without giving up is like lifting weights for your muscles
Theme: Favorite Short Story Collections
Best Shorts: Favorite Stories for Sharing Edited by Avi, & C Shute Newbery Medal–winning author Avi selected short stories in a variety of genres, about loyal pets, rogue waves, ghosts who use cell phones, and more.
Scholastic Read-Aloud Anthology Grades 5 & Up by Janet Allen and Patrick Daley short, captivating read alouds to keep your kids on the edge of their seat.
Woman Hollering Creek: And Other Stories by Sandra Cisneros Sandra Cisneros has the amazing ability to choose the most moving vocabulary. As a storyteller, she experiments with bold prose. Each story is written in a individual literary voice and style.
Shelf Life: Stories by the Book by Gary Paulsen Newbery Honor author Gary Paulsen asked prominent authors to write an original story; the only restriction was that each story was to include mention of a book. This is a collection of ten original stories, with proceeds of the sale of the book to benefit ProLiteracy Worldwide, an international network whose mission is to change lives through literacy.
Read All About It! by Jim Trelease Great read-aloud stories, poems, & newspaper pieces for preteens and teens. Various genres represented
For more of My Favorite Children’s Picture and Chapter Books, Middle Grade and YA – Click on Blog Posts Favorite Children’s Books, Favorite Middle Grade Books, and Favorite Teen Novels