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Reading & Language Arts

recommended books archive

20th Century Children's Book Treasury, The

Authored By: Janet Schulman and Simon Boughton, editors

Published: September 1998

This anthology contains 44 of the best-loved stories of the century, including "Amelia Bedelia", "Make Way for Ducklings", "Where the Wild Things Are", and "Guess How Much I Love You". Schulman and Boughton group the stories for readers of different ages and include brief biographies of 62 authors and illustrators.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

9 Magic Wishes

Authored By: Shirley Jackson and Miles Hyman

Published: September 2001

One strange day a magician grants a young girl nine wishes. She doesn't make mundane wishes either. She asks for an orange pony with a purple tail, a squirrel with a nut with a Christmas tree inside, and other similarly unusual things. When she decides she doesn't need a ninth wish, the magician leaves it on a rock for someone else to find. First published in 1963, this new edition of Jackson's story is illustrated by her grandson.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

AA Is for Aardvark

Authored By: Mark Shulman and Tamara Petrosino

Published: November 2005

This is an alphabet book with a surprise. Each featured word contains a double letter, as in aardvark. The illustrations contain many other double letter words.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

All Q, No A: More Tales of a 10th-Grade Social Climber

Authored By: Lauren Mechling and Laura Moser

Published: June 2006

Winter vacation is over and Mimi is back in Baldwin School. She’s ready to spend time with friends and make time with Max, but an assignment for the school paper creates more than a few problems in this comedy of manners.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Altoona Baboona

Authored By: Janie Bynum and Jane K. Bynum

Published: March 1999

Readers who love Curious George will also like Altoona Baboona, a female version of the popular chimp who will appeal to both boys and girls.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Amber Spyglass, The

Authored By: Philip Pullman

Published: October 2000

This novel for young adults concludes Pullman's "His Dark Materials" trilogy. Lyra and Will journey to a world where no living soul has gone with help from Iorek Byrnison, the armored bear, and two Gallivespian spies. Readers should not expect a light-hearted tale.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

America the Beautiful

Authored By: Katharine Lee Bates and Chris Gall

Published: April 2004

Gall celebrates one of our treasured songs in bold, bright art. Illustrations resembling block prints give us striking images of the United States from beginning to recent past.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Animal Stackers

Authored By: Jennifer Belle and David McPhail

Published: April 2005

In an acrostic, the first letter of each line spells another word. In this collection of twenty-six short, fun poems, the initial letters are stacked like alphabet blocks and spell the names of animals. McPhail's illustrations are engaging.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Anna the Bookbinder

Authored By: Andrea Cheng and Ted Rand

Published: March 2003

Anna's father is a bookbinder. He stitches pages in books by hand. Not everyone is willing to wait for their books to be bound properly. Even Papa's best costumer threatens to take his business elsewhere if his three volumes are not ready in three days. When Papa leaves his workshop to be with Mama and the new baby, Anna decides she must help.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Another Perfect day

Authored By: Ross MacDonald

Published: September 2002

Just when Jack, chief flavor tester for the World's Best Ice Cream Company, thinks life can't get better, things start to get strange. His suit turns into pink baby clothes. A frilly bonnet appears on his head. His jet becomes a tricycle. Bewildered, Jack is rescued by his alter ego, a small boy with a teddy. Bold, bright illustrations resembling super hero comics from the 1930s add humor to this variation on the 'and then I woke up' tale.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Antarctic Antics: A Book of Penguin Poems

Authored By: Judy Sierra, Jose Aruego, and Ariane Dewey

Published: April 1998

Children age 4-8 will love this poetic and artistic tribute to penguins. The thirteen poems will help young readers learn about the habitat and behavior of penguins, laughing all the while.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Art of Spelling: The Madness and the Method, The

Authored By: Marilyn Vos Savant

Published: August 2000

Like it or not, good spelling makes a good impression. This book for middle schoolers and up examines the history of English spelling, cautions spellers about the use of spell-checkers, and suggests ways to improve spelling. It includes diagnostic tests, tips, and lists of frequently misspelled words.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Artemis Fowl: The Eternity Code

Authored By: Eoin Colfer

Published: May 2003

Artemis is to Harry as the Rolling Stones were to the Beatles. In this installment, Artemis has promised his newly reformed father that he will give up his life of crime-at least after one last big deal. Artemis has stolen fairy technology to build a computer so fantastic it makes human technology obsolete. When he tries to sell it, he runs into big trouble. Butler is mortally wounded and even Captain Holly Short might not be able to help.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Aunt Claire's Yellow Beehive Hair

Authored By: Deborah Blumenthal and Mary Grandpre

Published: May 2001

After Annie's family eats dessert, they push back their chairs and talk about people she only knows from photographs. She wants to know more so one rainy day she and Grandma Marilyn collect family photos and other things to help remember the past. They assemble a scrapbook, and Annie labels each item. This book would make an ideal introduction for a unit on family history in language arts or social studies.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Baghead

Authored By: Jarrett J. Krosoczka

Published: September 2002

On Wednesday when Josh decides to wear a brown paper bag on his head, everybody tells him he can't do that, but he does, even at school and at soccer practice. Only at dinner when his little sister asks why he's wearing a bag, does Josh confess that he tried to cut his own hair. On Thursday, Josh's sister has another idea.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Bark, George

Authored By: Jules Feiffer

Published: June 1999

When his mother asks him to bark, George, a pup, can meow, quack, and oink, but not arf. What's wrong with George? Young children and older readers will love Feiffer's tale of a dog with an unusual problem and an exasperated mother.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Basho and the Fox

Authored By: Tim Myers and Oki S. Han

Published: September 2000

In this beautifully illustrated tale for 4-8 year olds, the 17th century Japanese poet Basho is challenged by a fox to write one good haiku. If he can, then Basho can have all the sweet cherries on a tree near his hut. Basho believes himself to be a great poet, but the fox insists even fox pups can match his skill. What makes a good haiku? The conclusion provides an amusing answer. Han's watercolors recall Japanese prints.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Because of Winn-Dixie

Authored By: Kate Dicamillo

Published: March 2000

Opal's mother left when she was three. Lately, ten-year-old Opal has been thinking about her mother, but her father won't even talk about her. When Opal adopts a stray dog, she finds herself making friends and discovers, as does her father, that despite grief, there is still much to be grateful for. This book is for readers 9-12.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Beetle Boy

Authored By: Lawrence David

Published: February 1999

Inspired by Franz Kafka's "The Metamorphosis," David tells the story of Gregory, a second grader, who wakes up one morning as a beetle. K-3rd graders will be on the edge of their seats trying to uncover why Gregory's parents, teachers and classmates do not notice his transformation.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Before We Were Free

Authored By: Julia Alvarez

Published: August 2002

It is 1960, and twelve-year-old Anita de la Torre lives in the Dominican Republic where everyone lives in fear of the secret police. Friends and family have left the island. Her uncle disappeared. Anita's father keeps getting mysterious phone calls, and she discovers he is part of a plot to kill the dictator. Like it or not, the day arrives when Anita realizes she must escape.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Being Logical: A Guide to Good Thinking

Authored By: D.Q. McInerny

Published: August 2004

With Strunk and White’s Elements of Style as an inspiration, the author has provided a concise and clearly written guide to good thinking. In five sections, McInerny explains what is required for logical thought. He explains the basic principles of logic, the construction of sound argument, and the sources of illogical thinking. He concludes with menagerie of common fallacies. All abstract concepts are made clear with concrete examples.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Beloved Dearly, The

Authored By: Doug Cooney

Published: June 2001

Ernie has a great scheme for earning money: pet funerals. He has a winning team. Dusty paints boxes. Tony digs holes. And Swimming Pool cries convincingly and at will. Business booms until Ernie loses Swimming Pool in a labor dispute. Business is business until Ernie's dog dies.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Bertie's Picture Day

Authored By: Pat Brisson and Diana Cain Bluthenthal

Published: September 2000

Bertie wants to look good, or as his teacher says "spiffy," for his second grade class photo, but by the time he sits for it, he has a square hole where four front teeth used to be, a black eye, and a haircut only a younger sister could give. Still, Bertie makes the best of it.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Best Newspaper Writing: The Nation's Best Journalism

Authored By: Keith Woods, Editor

Published: August 2003

Examples of commendable writing appear in sections covering deadlines and non-deadlines, short pieces, diversity, editorial, commentary, and photojournalism. Each section includes the winner of the American Society of Newspaper Editors Competition and two finalists. A Journalist's Toolbox is an index that cross references the pieces to aspects of the writing process. A CD-ROM containing winners and finalist entries in the photojournalism category in included.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Beverly Billingsly Borrows a Book

Authored By: Alexander Stadler

Published: April 2002

Beverly is thrilled when she uses her new library card to check out a book on dinosaurs, but when she forgets to return the book on time, she fears an astronomical fine or jail. Her mother and an understanding librarian reassure her that an overdue book is not a major crime.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Big Bad Wolf and Me, The

Authored By: Delphine Perret

Published: August 2006

On his way home from school the hero of this graphic chapter book for new readers meets Bernard, the big bad wolf, though the wolf is more forlorn than big and bad. He just can’t scare anyone. The boy wants to help so he takes Bernard home and hides him in his closet. Bernard’s first concern, however, is filling his stomach. Beginning readers and others will appreciate the comic book layout.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Big Trip, The

Authored By: Valeri Gorbachev

Published: March 2004

Pig wants to go on a trip, but Goat warns of possible disasters for every means of transportation. Only when Pig is ready to abandon his plans does Goat craftily suggest that taking a friend might be a solution.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Bip in a Book

Authored By: Marcel Marceau, Bruce Goldstone, and Steven Rothfeld

Published: October 2001

Bip has been Marcel Marceau's character since the 1940s. In this wordless picture book, Bip discovers that he is trapped inside alternating black and white pages of a book. While exploring the space, Bip loses his crumpled trademark hat but eventually recovers it when he breaks through one page into another.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Biscuits in the Cupboard

Authored By: Barbara Nichol

Published: December 1998

Elementary school kids will love to read poetry after reading this amusing collection of canine poems written entirely from a dog's point of view. To make this book even more of a hit, the pages are filled with funny, cartoon-like illustrations.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Blue Fingers: A Ninja's Tale

Authored By: Cheryl Aylward Whitesel

Published: March 2004

The popular image of the ninja from martial arts movies is largely fanciful. The reality, however, is just as fascinating. This historical novel, set in 16th century Japan, is about a young boy kidnapped into a ninja clan and compelled to learn ninjutsu, the art of stealth, or die. This action packed story should appeal to all readers. Female ninja were called kunoichi.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Blue Lipstick: Concrete Poems

Authored By: John Grandits

Published: May 2007

Jessie does weird things to her hair. She plays cello and volleyball. She doesnÂ’t like pep rallies, adults who don't listen, and lame homework assignments. Jessie writes poetry and provides a glimpse of an independent high school girlÂ’s inner and outer lives. GranditsÂ’s concrete poems will give your eyes, hands, and sense of humor a workout.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Boy on Fairfield Street, The

Authored By: Kathleen Krull, Steve Johnson, and Lou Fancher

Published: January 2004

Ted Geisel's parents wanted him to be a doctor, but Ted, who became Dr. Seuss, loved doodling, and animals, and humor. Not many people appreciated his vision or encouraged him. He took one art class and quit when his teacher complained that he broke the rules. His Dartmouth classmates voted him "Least Likely to Succeed." This biography of Dr. Seuss describes his life up to his first small triumphs. An author's note outlines his more familiar and successful career and lists his works.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Boy Who Cried Fabulous, The

Authored By: Leslea Newman and Peter Ferguson

Published: March 2004

Roger finds everything around him so interesting that he is always late. FABULOUS is the word he uses to describe all he encounters. His desperate parents decide the word fabulous is the cause of their son's tardiness and forbid him to use it, but Roger manages to find marvelous, wonderful, and glorious synonyms. In the end, Roger's parents can't resist his enthusiasm.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Boy Who Loved Words, The

Authored By: Roni Schotter and Giselle Potter

Published: March 2006

Selig is a collector—not of shells, stones, or feathers, but of words. He likes the way they sound, taste, and feel. He writes each new word on a slip of paper and stuffs it in a pocket, in his shirt, even under his hat. Selig has a passion for words, but when some people begin to call him an oddball, he learns he needs a purpose too.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Boy, The Bear, The Baron, The Bard, The

Authored By: Gregory Rogers

Published: October 2004

When a boy kicks his soccer ball through a boarded-up window of a theater, he follows it inside. He rummages in chests and puts on a costume. He hams it up, until stepping through the curtain, he finds himself in Elizabethan London. As he wanders, he befriends and frees a caged bear and an imprisoned baron awaiting execution. He alienates Shakespeare when he blunders into one of his plays. The angry Bard pursues him page after page. This wordless picture book is full of fun and historical details—not one complete set of teeth in the entire Globe audience.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Bradbury Chronicles: The Life of Ray Bradbury, The

Authored By: Sam Weller

Published: April 2005

Bradbury may be America’s best known science fiction writer. His books include Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, I Sing the Body Electric, Something Wicked This Way Comes, and more, many of which have been made into movies. This biography tries to make sense of a SF writer who never learned to drive a car and refused to use computers.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Brand X: The Boyfriend Account

Authored By: Laurie Gwen Shapiro

Published: October 2006

In this comic novel an aspiring journalist, 16 year-old Jordie gets an internship with an ad agency. She’s happy for the “real world” experience and likes her colleagues, the creatives, but Jordie is not convinced their plan to market her to the hottest guy in her grade is a such good idea.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Bremen Town Musicians: And Other Animal Tales from Grimm, The

Authored By: Doris Orgel and Bert Kitchen

Published: October 2004

This collection contains six tales with several illustrations each. Both author and illustrator have included notes to the reader. The book concludes with a note about the Grimm brothers.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Brianna, Jamaica, and the Dance of Spring

Authored By: Juanita Havill and Anne Sibley O'Brien

Published: March 2002

Brianna and Jamaica both want to be the butterfly queen for their dance recital but are assigned roles as flowers. Brianna's older sister Nikki is chosen to be butterfly queen. When Nikki gets sick, Brianna has a chance to dance the part but then falls sick as well. When they recover, the sisters triumph over their disappointment by staging their own smaller recital.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Bud, Not Buddy

Authored By: Christopher Paul Curtis

Published: September 1999

Readers aged 10 and over will enjoy this Oliver-Twist type story set in the Great Depression. Bud, an orphaned runaway, copes with the adult world through his numbered "Rules and Things." His few treasures from his former life with "Momma," are kept in a battered suitcase. One, a flyer advertising a musical group, leads him on a fantasy journey to an amazing reality. This book is a 1999 Parent's Choice Gold Award winner.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Buffalo Tree, The

Authored By: Adam Rapp

Published: September 1998

This fast paced novel for students grade 7 and up, explores 13-year-old Sura's struggle to survive his six-month sentence at a juvenile detention center. Despite the use of slang, this is a story with wide young audience appeal.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Bull's-Eye: A Photobiography of Annie Oakley

Authored By: Sue Macy

Published: October 2001

Macy's biography of Annie Oakley provides a detailed account of her life and career. Highlights of the book are the many full-page archival photos, contemporary illustrations, maps, and reproductions of programs. One two-page spread shows Annie prepared to shoot an apple off her dog Dave's head. Dave, one cool dog, sits placidly on a stool. An author's note addresses questions of detail, such as the spelling of her last name and her true birth date. An appendix lists print, video, and Web resources, as well as museums.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Burger Wuss

Authored By: Matthew T. Anderson

Published: August 1999

Young adults will roar with laughter while reading this poignant tale of love, betrayal, and revenge from the author of Thirsty, a dark comedy about suburban vampires.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Buttons

Authored By: Brock Cole

Published: March 2000

When her well-fed husband pops his britches buttons and they burn in the fire, a mother sends her three daughters out into the world to find replacements. One searches for a rich husband to buy them, one joins the army because uniforms have plenty of buttons, and one runs around in a field holding her apron to catch any that should fall from the sky. Who succeeds? Children 4-8 and older will love the conclusion to Cole's wonderfully illustrated tale.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Calling Doctor Amelia Bedelia

Authored By: Herman Parish and Lynn Sweat

Published: July 2002

Once again, Amelia misunderstands nearly everyone. In this adventure, Mr. Rogers takes Amelia to her doctor's appointment. When she arrives, she is asked to help out in the office until the doctor returns. The fun starts when Mrs. Bender phones complaining of hives. Of course, Amelia believes she means beehives and asks her to bring honey.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Calvin and Hobbes: Sunday Pages 1985-1995

Authored By: Bill Watterson

Published: September 2001

Aspiring cartoonists and fans will relish this look at Watterson's creative process. Watterson has written an introductory essay and comments for selected Sunday strips. Each strip includes black and white original and the full color final.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Carlo Likes Reading

Authored By: Jessica Spanyol

Published: September 2001

Carlo is a giraffe that likes to read. On each two-page spread, Carlo appears in familiar locations: the bedroom, bathroom, market, and more. Items commonly found there are labeled.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Castle of Books

Authored By: Bernard Clavel and Yan Nascimbene

Published: January 2002

Benjamin's poet father has collected so many books that walking from room to room is difficult. When Benjamin decides to build a castle, he thinks the books are perfect and won't be missed, but his father, searching for the right word for his 4512-verse poem, absentmindedly removes book after book with disastrous results. Nascimbene's illustrations are striking.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Cat Jumped In!

Authored By: Tess Weaver and Emily Arnold McCully

Published: November 2007

When someone left a kitchen window open, Cat jumped in. And once inside, Cat being a cat, manages to make a lot of mischief. McCullyÂ’s watercolors capture the familiar antics of cat on a great explore.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Charlie's Raven

Authored By: Jean Craighead George

Published: September 2004

Acting on a Teton Sioux belief told to him by his classmate Singing Bird, Charlie steals a Raven nestling to help heal his grandfather. In raising Blue Sky, Charlie learns about Native American myth, Raven biology, and the interactions between species. George includes a glossary of Raven vocabulary.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Chess! I Love It! I Love It! I Love It!

Authored By: Jamie Gilson

Published: March 2008

Richard likes playing chess even when he loses, but heÂ’s not especially excited to be part of a team of four to go to the tournament. HeÂ’s not confident heÂ’ll play well the other team. HeÂ’s not happy about his teammate either: Patrick the Pest who thinks himself a champ.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Child's Calendar, A

Authored By: John Updike and Trina Schart Hyman

Published: September 1999

Updike's poems and Hyman's paintings celebrate the twelve months of the year. Find surprises in the familiar: "the radiator purrs all day," "the sun is nervous as a kite," "the breezes taste of apple peel," "frost bites the lawn," and "the stripped and shapely maple grieves the loss of her departed leaves." This book is perfect for children 4-8, and older.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Chill Wind

Authored By: Janet McDonald

Published: October 2002

Aisha is a nineteen-year-old mother of two who is informed that her welfare check will cease in 60 days. Until that moment, Aisha's idea of the good life was to let the system take care of her. No one can or will help her out of her fix. She does not want to scrub subway cars or sweep streets. Maybe her future lies in a TV ad for BIGMODELS.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Cinderella's Dress

Authored By: Nancy Willard and Jane Dyer

Published: October 2003

This verse retelling of a familiar fairy tale is told from the point-of-view of two magpies that hold the secret to Cinderella's future happiness. Willard provides poetry and rhyme without the sing-song.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

City of the Beasts

Authored By: Isabel Allende

Published: October 2002

Alexander, fifteen years old, joins his magazine reporter grandmother on a search for the Yeti of the Amazon. Alexander and Nadia, the daughter of the expedition's doctor, are led by the invisible People of the Mist into the heart of the rainforest and discovery.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Constellations: A Glow-in-the-Dark Guide to the Night Sky

Authored By: Chris Sasaki and Alan Flinn

Published: June 2006

This introduction focuses on the myths and legends associated with 19 of the constellations of the Northern Hemisphere. Each two-page spread provides a star pattern and stories. The book concludes with three constellation activities. Each activity lists materials needed and steps to follow.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Counting Caterpillars and Other Math Poems

Authored By: Betsy Franco

Published: October 1998

Rhyming makes counting cool in this fun book for readers K-3.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Crafty Art of Playmaking, The

Authored By: Alan Ayckbourn

Published: May 2003

This practical guide was written by the author of The Norman Conquests as well as about 60 other plays. If theater is in your blood, Ayckbourn's book gives advice in the form of 100 obvious rules arranged in two sections for the playwright and the director.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Crossing

Authored By: Philip Booth and Bagram Ibatoulline

Published: October 2001

"Stop. Look. Listen." so starts Philip Booth's poem. Watch as a steam engine pulls a long line of freight cars through Big Ear. Count the boxcars, gondolas, cattle cars, and tankers. Read the names: Erie and Wabash, B&O, and Santa Fe. Ibatoulline's wonderfully detailed illustrations set the poem in the years when cars had running boards and men and women wore hats.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Dancing in Cadillac Light

Authored By: Kimberly Willis Holt

Published: March 2001

When Jaynell's grandfather buys a 1962 emerald green Cadillac convertible, he starts teaching her how to drive and at night turns on the headlights so she can dance in the light. Set in the late 60s in small town Texas as the first men landed on the moon, this novel examines a young girls dreams and a grandfather's legacy.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Darby

Authored By: Jonathon Scott Fuqua

Published: April 2002

The year is 1926, and Darby Carmichael is nearly nine when her best friend Evette suggests that she become a newspaper reporter. Her first story for the Bennettsville Times is about toads. Her second is about her blind Great Uncle. But the beating death of an African American boy provokes Darby, a white girl, to write a story that angers a lot of neighbors in her small South Carolina town.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Dating Hamlet: Ophelia's Story

Authored By: Lisa Fiedler

Published: November 2002

The Osbournes are a functional family compared to the royals of Shakespeare's Denmark. Told by Ophelia, this fresh look at the rottenness in Denmark incorporates Shakespeare's characters and language, yet offers some life-affirming solutions to complex problems.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Day, a Dog, A

Authored By: Gabrielle Vincent

Published: April 2000

Originally published in Europe in 1982, this wordless picture book by the author/illustrator of the Ernest and Celestine books is about a day in the life of an abandoned dog. Vincent's stark pencil sketches tell an uncommonly honest story about an unwanted pet's search for a friendly face. Although intended for children 4-8, this book is for all ages.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Death Sentences: How Clichés, Weasel Words and Management-Speak Are Strangling Public Language

Authored By: Don Watson

Published: May 2006

Are enemy soldiers degraded or killed? Do you make commitments or promises? Does your teacher expect to see your output or your homework? Language can illuminate or obscure. In the spirit of George Orwell, the author serves up abundant examples of claptrap in public speech from business, politics, the military, education, and media. A glossary provides translation exercises.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Delights & Shadows

Authored By: Ted Kooser

Published: May 2004

Ted Kooser is a retired life insurance executive who lives in Nebraska. He has written ten books of poems and in August was named the 13th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. His most recent collection is rooted in the backyards, parlors, and flea markets of the Great Plains. His language is as familiar and surprising as a jar of old shirt buttons.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Developing Literacy in Preschool

Authored By: Lesley Mandel Morrow

Published: June 2007

This guide provides current information on language and literacy instruction, including inclusion and English-language learners. It will help new teachers gain the knowledge and skills needed to foster language and literacy development in pre-kindergarten students. It features developmentally appropriate activities designed to create a supportive, literacy-rich preschool environment. Teachers will find strategies, organizational tips, management techniques, and realistic examples.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Do You Speak American?

Authored By: Robert MacNeil and William Cran

Published: December 2004

American English is now the dominant version of English around the world, but what is American English? Is there an American version of the King’s English, perhaps the President’s? In this companion to their PBS television series, the authors take a linguistic journey across the U.S. and observe American English as it is spoken from Valley Girl to Ebonics, from Maine to California. This is one wicked cool book, fer sher.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Doll People, The

Authored By: Ann M. Martin, Laura Godwin, and Brian Selznick

Published: August 2000

Annabelle is an eight-year-old china bisque doll who has lived for over a hundred years in the same doll house, without much happening, until a family of plastic dolls, the Funcrafts, move in. The Funcrafts refuse to follow the Doll Code of Honor, which protects the secret lives of dolls. For readers 8-12, this novel is generously illustrated.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Double Pink

Authored By: Kate Feiffer and Bruce Ingman

Published: October 2005

Madison’s first word is “pink.” As she grows older, she becomes obsessed with the color pink—a pink dress, a pink hat, a pink bedroom. She is determined to make her corner of the world entirely pink, double pink. One day she goes too far and colors herself pink and her mother cannot find her.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Dracula

Authored By: Bram Stoker, Michael Mucci, Ben Caldwell, Bill Halliar

Published: January 2008

This graphic retelling of Bram StokerÂ’s classic tale of the undead features plenty of action and atmospheric illustrations.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Duck for President

Authored By: Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin

Published: March 2004

Duck is tired of cutting the grass and grinding espresso beans for Farmer Brown. He announces an election and wins Farmer Brown's job, but soon discovers being farmer isn't any easier. He runs for governor and then president before deciding he was better off on the farm. Lewin's illustrations provide a lot of fun. Sharp eyes will spot presidential poses and antics.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

E. E. Cummings: A Poet's Life

Authored By: Catherine Reef

Published: January 2006

This illustrated biography of e.e. cummings (1894-1962), one of AmericaÂ’s most distinguished and distinctive poets, examines his life, poetry, prose, and art. The book contains many photographs, drawings, and complete poems.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Eats, Shoots & Leaves: Why, Commas Really Do Make a Difference!

Authored By: Lynne Truss and Bonnie Timmons

Published: July 2006

Correctly placed commas help remove uncertainty from printed language. Putting a comma in a different position or removing it completely can produce an unintended and humorous meaning. Truss provides thirteen pairs of sentences that illustrate the power of a small punctuation mark to control meaning. This book will be great fun for teacher and students.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Elevator Family, The

Authored By: Douglas Evans

Published: May 2000

When the Wilson family arrives in San Francisco, they can't find a room, so for three days they live in a hotel elevator. Needless to say, they meet quite a few people, some nearly as eccentric as they. This brief novel is for readers 9-12.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Elsie Times Eight

Authored By: Natalie Babbitt

Published: September 2001

Elsie's fairy godmother means well, but she has a habit of misunderstanding. When she makes eight Elsie's, the once quiet neighborhood becomes noisy and the neighbors complain. All is made right in the end, with the help of Elsie's cat, who knows the real Elsie.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Elvis Lives: And Other Anagrams

Authored By: Jon Agee

Published: April 2000

Anagrams, words and phrases made from rearranging the letters of other words or phrases, can be a stitch, as wordniks 9-12 will find in this book. Agee's cartoons perfectly complement the humor of anagrams like "The best things in life are free" and "Nail-biting refreshes the feet."

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Emily's Art

Authored By: Peter Catalanotto

Published: May 2001

A contest judge speaks glowingly of Emily's painting of a rabbit until she learns Thor is Emily's dog. "I hate dogs," she says and awards first prize to a picture of a butterfly. "I love butterflies." Crushed, Emily vows never to draw again, until a friend asks for help drawing a dinosaur.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Extraordinary Adventures of Ordinary Boy, Book 1: The Hero Revealed, The

Authored By: William Boniface and Stephen Gilpin

Published: June 2006

He’s the only person in Superopolis without super powers. “He’s so ordinary,” said his mother. He’s Ordinary Boy! But even an ordinary boy can be a hero. He helps stop the evil genius Professor Brain-Drain from sucking the brain power from his victims. The illustrations are fun. Gilpin portrays Brain-Drain wearing a colander on his head.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Fergus Crane

Authored By: Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell

Published: March 2005

Fergus attends school aboard the clipper ship Betty-Jeanne. His teacher may be more than he seems, at least his gold earring and habit of calling students “me hearty” might suggest it. When the Betty-Jeanne sails with his classmates on board, Fergus gets unexpected help to rescue them. Riddell’s drawings add great fun.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Fight for English: How Language Pundits Ate, Shot, and Left, The

Authored By: David Crystal

Published: January 2008

What is proper English usage? Questions of acceptability have been argued for a thousand years. Noted linguist David Crystal examines the evolution of English and the people who have tried to shape the language in their own image but have failed. His short, informal chapters make this a good introduction to a study of English and helps put questions of proper spelling and grammar into perspective.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Fine, Fine School, A

Authored By: By Sharon Creech and Harry Bliss

Published: Published July 2001

The Principal, Mr. Keene, says he has fine students, fine teachers, and a fine, fine school, so to make life even finer, he requires that school continue on Saturdays then Sundays then holidays, and finally all year long. Only Tillie finds a way to convince the zealous Mr. Keene that not all learning happens in the classroom. This is an amusing story of a good idea taken to its illogical extreme. Bliss's illustrations provide plenty of visual humor.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Flocabulary: The Hip-Hop Approach to SAT-Level Vocabulary Building

Authored By: Blake Harrison and Alexander Rappaport

Published: April 2006

Use hip-hop to make learning vocabulary fun with this CD and workbook. Twelve songs define 500 SAT-level words. Each chapter contains lyrics, definitions, synonym matching exercise, multiple choice sentence completion questions, and a short reading comprehension exercise.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Flotsam

Authored By: David Wiesner

Published: September 2006

A boy finds a camera that has washed up on the beach. When he has the film developed, he discovers wondrous photos of an alien underwater world. One photo especially captures his interest. It shows a young girl holding a photo of a boy holding a photo of another boy holding a photo and so on. How many photos within the photo are there? It takes a microscope to answer that question. This is a wordless book.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Flying Bed, The

Authored By: Nancy Willard and John Thompson

Published: March 2007

Guido and his wife Maria were bakers in Florence, and though they worked long hours, they were poor. Guido did not have his fatherÂ’s talent for baking. To make ends meet, Guido slowly sold their furniture until at last he sold their bed. Maria threatened to return to her father if Guido did not buy a replacement. Neither Guido nor Maria could imagine how their fortunes would change with the bed Guido found. ThompsonÂ’s illustrations are a highpoint in this fabulous story.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Founding Fish, The

Authored By: John A. McPhee

Published: October 2002

In spring, shad that have matured in the ocean return to their home rivers to spawn. John McPhee has written an investigation into the biology and historical significance of the American Shad. George Washington was a commercial shad fisherman. Even Thoreau and John Wilkes Booth make an appearance in this book. It's not all science and history either. The book opens with a two and a half hour battle between McPhee and a four and a half pound shad.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Four Little Old Men: A (Mostly) True Tale from a Small Cajun Town

Authored By: Burton P. Brodt and Luc Melanson

Published: November 2005

How do four old Cajuns spend their days? No one wants them to work because they tend to make a mess. Rocking on the porch quickly becomes a bore. They decide to play bouree, “a Cajun card game, a sort of combination of bridge, poker, and hog-calling.” But then it starts to rain… Readers and listeners, adults and children will love the humor in tale and illustrations. This will make an excellent read aloud selection.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Fred Stays with Me!

Authored By: Nancy Coffelt and Tricia Tusa

Published: June 2007

Sometimes the narrator stays with her mom. Sometimes she stays with her dad. But Fred, her dog, always stays with her. Fred is a rascal. He barks at other dogs, and he chews socks. When her parents say they can't live with Fred, the narrator reminds them that Fred lives with her.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Games With Books: 28 of the Best Children's Books and How to Use Them to Help Your Child Learn-From Preschool to Third Grade

Authored By: Peggy Kaye

Published: March 2002

Picture books and chapter books provide the context for the educational games in this resource for parents, teachers, and even older siblings. Users will find activities for old favorites like Pippi Longstocking and more recent ones like Martha Blah Blah. Each chapter is devoted to one book, summarizing the story and introducing three or four games to develop reading, writing, math, and conceptual skills.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Gardener's Alphabet, A

Authored By: Mary Azarian

Published: April 2000

Do you know what a xeriscape is? Look through Mary Azarian's new alphabet book and find out. This book is a collection of words associated with different kinds of gardens in the four seasons. The full-page, colored woodcuts offer a lot for preschoolers and beginning readers to study.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Gathering Blue

Authored By: Lois Lowery

Published: October 2000

This novel for young adults is set in the future. Kira lives in a society that has little use for imperfection, and she is physically flawed. Called before the Council, she expects the worst but discovers her talents are needed.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Gellhorn: A Twentieth Century Life

Authored By: Caroline Moorehead

Published: October 2003

Martha Gellhorn (1908-1998) journalist and novelist covered every major war from the Spanish Civil War to the end of the Cold War. She knew Eleanor Roosevelt, H.G Wells, and Robert Capa, the combat photographer, and many others. She endured a brief marriage to Ernest Hemingway. She excelled in a profession dominated by men.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Gift of the Crocodile: A Cinderella Story, The

Authored By: Judy Sierra and Reynold Ruffins

Published: November 2000

This version of a familiar story has its origins in the Spice Islands of Indonesia. Children 4-8 will be surprised how this version differs from the Grimm Brother's version. They will be especially surprised at the identity of the fairy godmother.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her

Authored By: Melanie Rehak

Published: September 2005

The same dime-novel genius who created the Hardy Boys was responsible for the successful Nancy Drew series. The author examines Edward Stratemeyer’s creation focusing on the women writers behind the pseudonym Carolyn Keene: Mildred Wirt Benson and Harriet Stratemeyer Adams and shows how Nancy Drew evolved from 1930-70 to meet the changing image of femininity.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Going Home, Coming Home/Ve Nha, Tham Que Huong

Authored By: Truong Tran and Ann Phong

Published: September 2003

When Ami Chi visits Vietnam for the first time, she is confused. Her parents call it home, but she considers herself an American. One day she meets a young Vietnamese girl who helps her discover an appreciation of her parent's culture and her own heritage. This picture book is told in English and Vietnamese.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Goose Chase

Authored By: Patrice Kindl

Published: March 2001

The narrator of this fantasy is 14-year-old Alexandria Aurora Fortunato, a goose girl, who has been given three magical gifts. As the novel opens, she languishes in a tower prison while two rivals, King Claudio and Prince Edmund, ogle her from below. One is cruel, the other a fool. Her only chance is to escape, and so she does with the help of her twelve geese.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Great Pig Search, The

Authored By: Eileen Christelow

Published: September 2001

Bert and Ethel's pigs escape from the back of their truck. A few weeks later they receive a postcard from Florida with a one-word message: OINK. When Bert and Ethel decide to take a bus to Florida, Ethel wants to sun on the beach. Bert wants to search for his pigs. After all, he raised the ungrateful swine. Poor Bert lands in jail when he attacks an innocent woman with a bow in her hair. Young readers will have fun seeing what Bert and Ethel miss.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Greatest Skating Race: A World War II Story from the Netherlands, The

Authored By: Louise Borden and Niki Daly

Published: September 2004

It is 1942 and in Nazi occupied Holland, young Piet Janssen dreams of competing in the Elfstedentocht, a 200 kilometer skating race. When a friend’s father is arrested for having a radio transmitter, Piet’s grandfather asks him to lead the man’s children to relatives in Belgium. This is an exciting story with wonderful colored pencil and watercolor illustrations. The author has included notes on the Elfstedentocht and skating.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Guts: The True Stories Behind Hatchet and the Brian Books

Authored By: Gary Paulsen

Published: January 2001

Have you read Paulsen's adventure books about Brian Robeson and wondered how much of the stories really happened? In this book, Paulsen answers that question by relating some of the truth behind the fiction. Comparing the facts of a moose attack and its fictionalized account will provide insight into a writer's art.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Halibut Jackson

Authored By: David Lucas

Published: February 2004

Shy Halibut Jackson makes suits that help him blend in with his surroundings. He has a suit for the park, a suit for shopping, a suit for the library. Invited to attend a party at the palace, he designs a suit to hide amid the glitter and baubles only to discover when he arrives that it is a garden party. Halibut's spectacular appearance brings attention and reward.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Happy Hocky Family Moves to the Country, The

Authored By: Lane Smith

Published: May 2003

The Hocky family has moved to a new house in the country. Actually, it is a very old house. It is a fun house too. When it rains outside, it rains inside. Kids and older readers will laugh at the unexpected challenges the Hocky's meet in their first year: raiding squirrels, skunks, bad smells on shifting winds, poison ivy, and more.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Harlem Stomp! A Cultural History of the Harlem Renaissance

Authored By: Laban Carrick Hill

Published: January 2004

The Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s was a flourishing of African American culture. This lavishly illustrated book describes the social conditions that fostered the period and examines figures in art, music, literature, politics, and thought. Sidebars provide explanations of Harlem jive, jazz, artifacts, and more.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Harriet, You'll Drive Me Wild!

Authored By: Mem Fox and Marla Frazee

Published: April 2000

Harriet doesn't mean to spill juice or dribble jam on her jeans or drip paint on the carpet. And her mother doesn't mean to yell and yell and yell when Harriet knocks the feathers out of her pillow. Readers 4-8 and their parents will understand how hard it is not to make mistakes when you're young and even when you're an adult.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Authored By: J. K. Rowling

Published: July 2000

It's Harry's fourth year at Hogwart's, and Lord Voldemort is getting stronger. As J.K. Rowling promised, this book is darker than those before it, and longer. Readers 9-adult, make sure you give yourself enough free time to finish the book. You won't want to put it down.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Authored By: J.K. Rowling

Published: September 1999

In their third year at Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry, Harry, Ron, and Hermione face danger once again when Sirius Black, the heir apparent to Lord Valdemort, escapes from the fortress of Azkaban. Ages 9 and up.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Heat Wave

Authored By: Eileen Spinelli and Betsy Lewin

Published: July 2007

Before air conditioning, people had different ways of keeping cool on summer days and nights. Visit Lumberville during a week-long heat wave.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Heaven Eyes

Authored By: By David Almond

Published: Published April 2001

Erin and January are damaged children. Both have lost their parents. When they run away from White Gates, they ride a raft down river and meet Heaven Eyes, a girl who can see through the darkness in the world and find the joy. Only Heaven Eyes can help the damaged children find happiness.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Here Comes Mother Goose

Authored By: Iona Archibald Opie and Rosemary Wells

Published: October 1999

This lap-sized volume, for preschoolers and up, contains 56 rhymes, some familiar, like "Old King Cole" and "I'm a Little Tea Pot" and some not, like "My Ma's a Millionaire" and "I'm Dusty Bill." Wells's full-page illustrations will give readers and listeners plenty to look and laugh at. Wait till you see the pugnacious Dusty Bill.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Hero of Ticonderoga, The

Authored By: By Gail Gauthier

Published: Published March 2001

Therese Le Clerc doesn't do well in school. She doesn't get invited to the right parties. She doesn't like the way she looks. Then she is chosen to give an oral report on Ethan Allen, first leader of the Green Mountain Boys, winner of the battle of Ticonderoga, and local boring dead guy. She resists at first but eventually finds a way to succeed and shine.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Hiding the Elephant: How Magicians Invented the Impossible and Learned to Disappear

Authored By: Jim Steinmeyer

Published: November 2003

In 1918, Harry Houdini made a live elephant disappear before an audience at New York's Hippodrome. Houdini was considered a terrible stage magician by his peers. How did he do it? Steinmeyer reveals the techniques behind a half century of illusionary art and provides vivid portraits of the top showmen. The book includes photos and diagrams.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

High as a Hawk: A Brave Girl's Historic Climb

Authored By: T. A. Barron and Ted Lewin

Published: May 2004

Eight-year-old Harriet sets out to honor her mother's memory by climbing Long Peak in the Rocky Mountains. With a guide, she endures oxygen deprivation, blisters, sudden snow squalls, and fatigue to climb the 14, 255 foot mountain. Her guide Enos Mills was instrumental in the area being named a national park. Lewin's watercolors are filled with the beauty of the Rockies and the drama of Harriet's climb.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Hogula, Dread Pig of Night

Authored By: Jean Gralley

Published: October 1999

Gralley's first book for readers age 4-8 is a delightful tale of unlikely friendship. Hogula, the vampire pig, lives atop Grimy Pork Chop Hill and can send children to sleep with a snort from his snout; but he's lonely, until he meets Elvis Anne at the mall on Halloween.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Hole in My Life

Authored By: Jack Gantos

Published: March 2002

Gantos, author of the popular Joey Pigza novels, was a twenty-year-old aspiring writer desperate for adventure and college money when he agreed to help sail a 60-foot boat loaded with hashish from the Virgin Islands to New York City. His pay was to be $10,000. His payoff was a six-year jail sentence. In prison, Gantos kept a journal between the lines of the Brothers Karamazov. This is a true tale of redemption.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Holes

Authored By: Louis Sachar

Published: September 1998

Winner of the 1999 Newbery Medal for Children's Literature and the 1998 National Book Award for young people's literature, Sachar tells the humorous, yet moving story about Stanley Yelnats who is wrongfully accused of a crime he did not commit. Stanley is then sent to a juvenile detention center where his daily job of digging holes in the ground helps him to uncover his family history with each hole he digs.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Hot City

Authored By: Barbara Joose and Gregory Christie

Published: June 2004

Mimi and Joe try to find something to do on a hot summer day in the city. They spy on the blah blah ladies, eat snow cones, and finally go to the library. Inside it is cool, and Mimi and Joe read books about princesses and dinosaurs and dream. Christie’s painterly illustrations contrast the hot street and the cool library interior.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Hot Day on Abbott Avenue

Authored By: Karen English and Javaka Steptoe

Published: May 2004

It is a sweltering day and best friends Kishi and Renee are not talking to each other. Kishi bought the last blue ice pop from the ice cream man. Kishi won't apologize and Renee won't forgive, until the sounds of double-dutch rhymes engage them in activity together. When the ice cream man comes this time, Kishi shares the last blue pop with Renee.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

How I Became a Pirate

Authored By: Melinda Long and David Shannon

Published: September 2003

His father is trying to set up a beach umbrella and his mother is smearing the baby with sunblock when the pirates come, so Jeremy Jacob joins Braid Beard's ragged crew in their search for the perfect place to bury a chest of treasure. When they encounter a storm, Jeremy decides pirating isn't the life for him and ingeniously convinces the crew to take him home. Young pirates will find plenty of nautical lingo and visual humor, including Shannon's trademark gnarly teeth.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

How to Be a Pirate

Authored By: Cressida Cowell

Published: July 2004

In this second installment of the memoirs of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third, famous Viking hero, dragon-whisperer, and sword fighter, Hiccup and his pet dragon, Toothless, search for the lost treasure of Grimbeard the Ghastly and fight with Alvin the Treacherous. Young swashbucklers will find plenty of pictures and fun.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

How to Help Your Child with Homework: The Complete Guide to Encouraging Good Study Habits and Ending the Homework Wars

Authored By: Jeanne Shay Schumm

Published: January 2005

This revised and updated edition is directed to students six to thirteen and their parents, but would make a great resource for teachers as well. The book opens with general tips for homework helpers and homework troubleshooting, and then gives specific advice for reading, writing, math, science, social studies, testing and reports, technology, and games. The last chapter lists further reading and helpful organizations, and provides useful tools.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

I Dream of Trains

Authored By: Angela Johnson and Loren Long

Published: September 2003

The son of a black Mississippi sharecropper toils in the cotton fields and dreams of a better future promised by the whistle of the legendary Casey Jones's north-bound train. When Jones is killed in an accident, the boy's father assures him that there will be other trains. This is a beautifully illustrated tale of dreams, heroes, and memory.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

I Was a Rat!

Authored By: Philip Pullman and Kevin Hawkes

Published: February 2000

Answering a late night knock at their door, a childless cobbler and his washerwoman wife find a small boy standing in the moonlight. The boy insists he was a rat. He eats like a rat, sticking his face in a bowl of warm bread and milk, and tears the bed sheets to shreds, but he is wearing a pageboy's uniform. Readers 9-12 will enjoy this fairy tale and satire of city hall, the law, police, and a press that portrays him as "The Monster of the Sewers."

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

I'm an English Major Now What?

Authored By: Tim Lemire

Published: March 2006

Do you plan to major in English in college? English majors can teach, of course, but there are a lot of other career opportunities in journalism, magazines, publishing, freelancing, corporations, advertising, public relations, and more. Steven Spielberg was an English major. Appendices cover job hunting, resumes, recommended reading, writing experience, and creative ambitions. This book belongs in every high school guidance office.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

I'm So Bored Doodle Notebook, The

Authored By: Susan McBride

Published: May 2006

This book looks like one of those composition books that suddenly appear like mushrooms in all the stores right before school starts. But don’t be put off. It’s anything but another comp book. Take it on a road trip, to camp, to the orthodontist’s office and doodle, scribble, and create. At a loss for ideas? Each page has a prompt or information about an artist or both.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Idiot Proof: Deluded Celebrities, Irrational Power Brokers, Media Morons, and the Erosion of Common Sense

Authored By: Francis Wheen

Published: June 2004

The great thinkers of the Enlightenment believed that truth could be discovered by deduction or observation and that truth could transform life. In ten chapters, the author dissects what he calls the Counter-Enlightenment idiocy rampant in current public life—politics, education, diplomacy, medicine, business, and the media. He takes aim at folly on the left and right and leaves no stone unthrown.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

If Mom Had Three Arms

Authored By: Karen Kaufman Orloff and Pete Whitehead

Published: March 2006

When the young narrator asks his grocery laden mother to carry his backpack, she answers “I only have two arms!” What if she had three, or six, or twenty? Each two-page spread pictures the narrator’s mother with an additional arm enabling her to do fantastic things. The sharp-eyed reader will find other examples of each number in Whitehead’s colorful cartoon-like illustrations.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Immortal Dinner: A Famous Evening of Genius and Laughter in Literary London, 1817, The

Authored By: Penelope Hughes-Hallett

Published: September 2002

On December 28, 1817, the painter Benjamin Haydon invited John Keats, William Wordsworth, Charles Lamb, and Tom Monkhouse to a dinner party in his London studio. On the wall hung Haydon's huge, unfinished canvas "Christ's Entry into Jerusalem," which incorporated the likenesses of Keats, Wordsworth, Hazlit, and others. Later they were joined by John Landseer, John Kingston, and Joseph Ritchie, a surgeon who carried a copy of Keats's Endymion during his African explorations. It was an evening of talk about poetry and art that turned unexpectedly comic when a tipsy Lamb, exasperated by the obtuse questions of Kingston, recited nursery rhymes until he was dragged from the room.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

In English, Of Course

Authored By: Josephine Nobisso and Dasha Ziborova

Published: March 2002

English is a second language for everyone in Josephine's class. Josephine is from Italy, and when she tries to describe Naples, her limited English vocabulary and her teacher's question about a farm lead her far from her city and its Roman ruins. Despite the misunderstanding, she learns new words. This humorous and warm-hearted tale provides insight into the frustrations experienced by anyone trying to learn a new language.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Inventing Elliot

Authored By: Graham Gardner

Published: March 2004

When fourteen year old Elliot enters Holminster High, he is determined to reinvent himself. Not wanting to be the victim he was in his last school, he acts tough. His ruse is so convincing he impresses the Guardians, an upper class gang obsessed with Orwell’s 1984. Elliot soon discovers that with the Guardians even favorable impressions present dangers.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Invisible Princess, The

Authored By: Faith Ringgold

Published: December 1998

Written with Coretta Scott King, readers age 6-8 will enjoy this full color, original African-American fairy tale set during the time of slavery. Students will be moved as the Invisible Princess, a hidden child of slavery, ultimately leads her people to freedom.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Jack Plank Tells Tales

Authored By: Natalie Babbitt

Published: May 2007

Jack Plank, a failed pirate, is put ashore by his shipmates to look for another job, but he fails again and again to find work suited to his gentle spirit. Every evening at Mrs. DelFresnoÂ’s boardinghouse he entertains the other boarders with stories of why farming, baking, fishing, and goldsmithing are not right for him. But just when heÂ’s ready to return to the sea, Jack discovers his true calling.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Joseph Had a Little Overcoat

Authored By: Simms Taback

Published: November 1999

This picture book for 4-8 year olds, first published in 1977, was republished with new illustrations in 1999 and won the Caldecott for 2000. Based on a Yiddish folk song, it tells the story of Joseph, who makes a jacket from a tattered coat, a vest from the ragged jacket, and so on, until he is left with just enough material to make a button. Follow the transformation from coat to button, and beyond, through Taback's die-cut illustrations. Have fun searching the pictures for other literary and cultural references too.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Journey Around New York from A to Z

Authored By: Martha Zschock and Heather Zschock

Published: April 2002

This alphabet book explores the five boroughs of New York City. Detailed full-page illustrations highlight major attractions, while smaller inserts and marginal notes and drawings identify more. The book opens with a map of NYC that locates twenty-eight sights. The former site of the World Trade Center is identified and discussed.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Just a Minute

Authored By: Bonny Becker and Jack E. Davis

Published: September 2003

Any kid who has ever had to wait while a parent shopped will understand Johnny MacGuffin's horror at being stuck once again in Bindle's Department Store. "But you take forever," he cries as his mother disappears up an escalator. "I'll be fossilized." His imagination runs at full speed as seasons, years, a lifetime races past. Finally, Johnny's mother returns. Is he safe? No way. She has miles to shop before she sleeps.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Kate and the Beanstalk

Authored By: Mary Pope Osborne, Giselle Potter

Published: October 2000

As the title suggests, this is a retelling of the familiar beanstalk tale. This time when the hero, Kate, climbs the beanstalk, braves the appetite of the giant, and saves her mother and herself from starvation, an unusual twist justifies the thieving. This picture book is for children 4-8.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Kate Culhane: A Ghost Story

Authored By: Michael Hague

Published: August 2001

After stepping on a freshly filled grave, Kate is compelled to free the man in it. She carries him on her back into the village in search of food, the blood of three young men. Resourceful, Kate manages to outwit the dead man and ensure her own future happiness. A good read aloud book for Halloween, though not for the very young.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Ken's Great Adventure

Authored By: Klaus Merz and Hannes Binder

Published: October 2005

Ken has painted his helmet to look like a globe. He sets off on his scooter imagining a journey north to the Pole and around the world and back to his own house in time for dinner. Binder’s energetic scratchboard illustrations are in black and white. The only color is Ken’s red shirt.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Kick in the Head: An Everyday Guide to Poetic Forms, A

Authored By: Paul B. Janeczko (Compiler) and Chris Raschka

Published: March 2005

If you are teaching a unit on poetry to elementary or even middle school students, this anthology is an excellent resource. Janeczko has collected examples of twenty-nine forms from couplet to villanelle and beyond. Many are humorous. Some are moving. None are sappy. He includes notes on forms.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Kindergarten Literacy

Authored By: Anne McGill-Franzen

Published: December 2005

To know where to begin teaching literacy we need to know what children can already do. The author presents assessment from letter-sound identification to word reading, tells how to plan literacy activities based on assessments, and describes literacy practices for developing readers and writers. The book includes many illustrations.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

King of Shadows

Authored By: Susan Cooper

Published: November 1999

Troubled Nat Field falls ill in London while preparing to perform as Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream. He wakes to find himself in 1599 acting in the original Globe Theatre beside William Shakespeare. How can he return to his own time? Can Shakespeare help? This novel by Newbery winner Susan Cooper is for ages 9-12.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Kite Rider: A Novel, The

Authored By: Geraldine McCaughrean

Published: July 2002

To foretell the success of the voyage, the evil first mate forces Haoyou's father to fly a huge kite before the ship sails. Twelve year old Haoyou witnesses his father's death. Determined to prevent the first mate from marrying his mother, Haoyou becomes a kite rider. Eventually, Haoyou joins a traveling circus and reaches the court of the Kublai Khan. This action-packed novel is set in 13th century China.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World, The

Authored By: A.J. Jacobs

Published: October 2004

Jacobs set out to read the Encyclopedia Britannica from cover to cover, all 33,000 pages. Why? It was there. And because he wanted to finish what his father had started. His father stopped in the B volume, near Borneo. Follow this modern Quixote on his mad quest for knowledge, as he tests his own stamina and the patience of his family and friends.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Koi and the Kola Nuts: A Tale from Liberia

Authored By: Verna Aardema and Joe Cepeda

Published: October 1999

Originally published in 1960, this revised and newly illustrated version for children 4-8 tells how the youngest son of a chief, cheated of his inheritance, leaves his village to explore the world. His kindness to animals along the way is repaid when he tries to win a bride and a kingdom by performing impossible feats. Aardema's inclusion of words mimicking actual sounds, as always, makes this the perfect book to read aloud.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Language Police: How Pressure Groups Restrict What Students Learn, The

Authored By: Diane Ravitch

Published: April 2003

According to the author, what began as an effort to be sensitive to race and gender has evolved into an "increasingly bizarre policy of censorship." Take for example, California's decision to ban The Little Engine That Could because it was male. Bias and sensitivity committees have helped shape standardized tests and textbooks to the detriment of education. The book includes a glossary of words, usages, stereotypes, and topics banned by major publishers. As an antidote to the thin literary gruel served by many school text publishers, the author has included a list of classic literature.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Last Holiday Concert, The

Authored By: Andrew Clements

Published: October 2004

Mr. Meinert, the chorus teacher, has been told that because of budget cuts his job has been eliminated, so when 6th grader Hart Evans shoots him with a rubber band, he goes ballistic. Meinert tells the 6th graders that if they want to put on a holiday concert, they’ll prepare for it on their own. And Hart isn’t happy either when he’s elected new chorus director.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Learning to Read in the Computer Age

Authored By: Anne Meyer and David Rose

Published: May 1999

This book may help educate teachers about the uses of computers for the teaching of reading. The authors present a wealth of information about computers and the process of learning to read. Plus, they draw connections between computers, theories of the brain, and the teaching of reading skills and strategies.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Leaving Home: Stories

Authored By: Hazel Rochman, editor

Published: May 1998

Readers grades 9-12 will find much food for thought and feeling in this anthology of sixteen short stories by acclaimed international authors like Toni Morrison, Amy Tan, Gary Soto, Norma Fox Mazer, and Sandra Cisneros. Each story touches on the theme of leaving one's parents and home, and the journey from adolescence to adulthood.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq, The

Authored By: Jeanette Winter

Published: January 2005

As war in Iraq loomed, Alia Muhammed baker, the librarian of Basra, tried to protect the books in her library. When the officials refused to help her move them, she took the risky step of moving them herself. The war came. To save the remaining books, she asked friends to to move 30,000 books, just in time. This picture book tells an exciting story and celebrates a courageous librarian.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Library of Alexandria, The

Authored By: Kelly Trumble and Robina MacIntyre Marshall

Published: November 2003

It was the most famous library in history and a center of learning in the ancient world. It may have had more than 500,000 books. This illustrated history examines the city of Alexandria; its library; contributions to astronomy, geography, mathematics, and medicine by those who studied there; and the library’s ultimate destruction. It features maps and a glossary of name sand terms.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Listen Up! : Spoken Word Poetry

Authored By: Zoe Anglesey

Published: April 1999

Editor Zoe Anglesey compiles the spoken words of many of today's best open-mic poets from all over the United States. Anglesey combines the poetry with insightful interviews with the artists, commentaries on the art of performance, and candid photographs.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Literacy Work Stations: Making Centers Work

Authored By: Debbie Diller

Published: May 2003

Reinforce literacy skills with work stations. Diller shows you how to set up and maintain literacy work stations. Chapters explain how to introduce more than twelve stations, list the materials needed, tell how to differentiate and assess, and more. The book features many photos of stations in action and provides reproducible teacher resources.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Little Cliff's First Day of School

Authored By: Clifton L. Taulbert and Earl B. Lewis

Published: July 2001

Everyone is excited about Little Cliff's first day of school, everyone except Little Cliff. He doesn't want to give up his toys, his favorite tree, or his #3 washtub to work, work, work. Only after his great grandmother walks him to school does he learn school might be fun. Anyone who has ever done anything reluctantly will empathize with little Cliff. Lewis's watercolors add just the right touch of humor.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Loathsome Dragon, The

Authored By: David Wiesner and Kim Kahng

Published: April 2005

When Margaret is turned into a dragon by her jealous stepmother, only her brother has the power to release her from the spell. The wicked stepmother tries to prevent Margaret’s rescue by placing obstacles in her brother’s path.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Love That Dog

Authored By: Sharon Creech

Published: July 2001

A sensitive teacher helps a young boy learn to appreciate the power of poetry and to express his grief over the death of his dog. In Creech's latest novel, itself a series of poems, the narrator responds to poems by William Carlos Williams, Blake, Frost, and others and reflects on the nature of poetry.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Mad Libs on the Road

Authored By: Roger Price and Leonard Stern

Published: May 1999

Just in time for that (adjective) family vacation! Kids will (verb) when they get their hands on the newest volume of the popular Mad Libs word games. They won't even know they're learning grammar while they create (adjective), zany stories about roadside diners, historical markers, and more!

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die

Authored By: Chip Heath and Dan Heath

Published: January 2007

Why do some ideas stick and others not? The authors examine "sticky" ideas and explain how you can make your ideas stickier. The book provides plenty of real world examples from Hollywood to Charities. The book includes an easy reference guide to the elements of stickiness.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Mailbox Magic

Authored By: Nancy Poydar

Published: September 2000

Mail comes every day but not for Will. He writes himself a letter, but when the postman delivers it, he knows what it is. It's not the same. After Will discovers that the tops of three boxes of Magic Charms will pay for a personalized cereal bowl, he starts eating. This picture book is great fun for children 4-8 or anyone else who doesn't get mail. Bills don't count.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Man on the Moon: A Day in the Life of Bob

Authored By: Simon Bartram

Published: August 2002

Bob is the man in the moon. Each day he rockets to work, picks up trash left behind by others, and entertains rockets filled with tourists. When people are ask Bob about aliens, he patiently explains there are none, but you will learn Bob doesn't know everything. Bartram's illustrations provide plenty of laughs.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Measle and the Wrathmonk

Authored By: Ian Ogilvy

Published: September 2004

Measle Stubbs lives with his nasty guardian, Basil Tramplebone who is a Wrathmonk, a warlock gone mad. One day, Basil shrinks Measle and puts him on his model train set where Measle discovers six other humans and a dog. Together they figure out how to survive and eventually triumph.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride

Authored By: Kate Dicamillo and Chris Van Dusen

Published: May 2006

Every Saturday after lunch, Mr. Watson takes Mercy for a ride in his convertible. Mercy wants to drive, but pigs can’t drive. One Saturday when Mr. Watson is distracted by an unexpected passenger, Mercy takes the wheel with comic results. Short chapters and Van Dusen’s bright illustrations will satisfy beginning readers.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Mind's Eye

Authored By: Paul Fleischman

Published: September 1999

Stuck in a nursing home with a severed spinal cord, orphaned 16-year-old Courtney has every right to be miserable. Can her imaginative 88-year-old roommate Elva succeed in pulling her out of despair? Find out in Paul Fleischman's quiet, moving drama, Mind's Eye.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Minnie and Moo and the Musk of Zorro

Authored By: Denys Cazet

Published: September 2000

Minnie and Moo are two cows tired of sitting around waiting to be hooked up to an electric milker. Fortunately, Moo is a reader, and her latest book, The Musk of Zorro, suggests a solution. Soon Minnie and Moo are swashbuckling through the barnyard as Juanita del Zorro del Moo and Dolores del Zorro del Minnie, mistaking a rooster for a fox and two pairs of long underwear for the bad guys. Beginning readers will love this addition to the Minnie and Moo series.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Molly Rides the School Bus

Authored By: Julie Brillhart

Published: April 2002

Molly is nervous because it's her first day of school and her first day to ride the school bus. When she discovers that her Teddy Willy has fallen out of her backpack, she feels especially lonely until Ruby, a forth grader, finds and returns him. Molly learns that big kids are nice and that riding the bus is fun. The book concludes with Ruby's ten rules for riding the school bus.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Monsters: Mary Shelley and the Curse of Frankenstein, The

Authored By: Dorothy Hoobler and Thomas Hoobler

Published: May 2006

One suitably stormy night in 1816, Lord Byron challenged his circle of friends to write ghost stories. Mary Shelley, eighteen and wife of poet Percy Shelley, produced Frankenstein. John Polidori, Byron’s doctor, wrote the first vampire novel, The Vampyre. This group biography examines the unconventional lives and untimely ends of this influential literary coterie.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Moon, The

Authored By: Robert Louis Stevenson and Tracey Campbell Pearson

Published: August 2006

This Stevenson poem from A ChildÂ’s Garden of Verses celebrates a full moon and the world it shines on as a father and child take a late journey on land and water. See how many nocturnal animals you can find.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Most Perfect Spot, The

Authored By: Diane Goode

Published: May 2006

One morning Jack invites his mother for a picnic. He knows the most perfect spot. When they set out for Prospect Park, all goes well, at first, but - suddenly - who knows why things go awry. A spill in the lake, clods of mud kicked up by passing horses, rain and more test their patience. In the end, they do find the most perfect spot, but there's a surprise.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Mountain Pose

Authored By: By Nancy Hope Wilson

Published: Published April 2001

Ellie never knew her grandmother so she is puzzled when her grandmother dies and leaves everything to her, including the farm and a collection of old diaries that might reveal family secrets. Why was Uncle Lyman left nothing but an empty cedar chest? If you like cracking codes, try your hand at Sarah Evans's coded diary.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

My First Day at Nursery School

Authored By: Becky Edwards, Anthony Flintoft

Published: July 2002

It's her first day in nursery school, and the narrator doesn't want her mother to leave her in a strange room with a strange person, until she discovers all the fun things to do. At the end of her activity-packed day, she doesn't want to leave.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

My Kindergarten

Authored By: Rosemary Wells

Published: July 2004

Join Miss Cribbage's students for a year of activities from Back to School Night in September to Clean-up day in June. Wells provides plenty of rhymes, songs, color, ideas, and fun. This is a perfect book for the new student and kindergarten teachers.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

New Essentials for Teaching Reading in PreK-2: Comprehension, Vocabulary, Fluency

Authored By: Paula Moore and Anna Lyon

Published: September 2005

This guide for teachers is in two sections. The first examines recent research in comprehension, vocabulary, and fluency instruction. The second suggests ways teachers can put that research into practice.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

New York's Bravest

Authored By: Mary Pope Osborne and Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher

Published: August 2002

Mose was a New York City fireman. He was eight feet tall. His hands were as big as Virginia hams. His arms were so strong he could swim the Hudsonin two strokes. For years, when others ran from danger, Mose ran in. After he disappeared in a hotel fire, rumors about him persisted until one old fireman suggested Mose lived on in all of them. This tall tale tribute to New York City firemen really celebrates all firemen. Johnson's and Fancher's dynamic illustrations will recall Thomas Hart Benton.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

No Time Like Show Time

Authored By: Michael Hoeye

Published: September 2004

Hermux Tantamoq is a watchmaker and mouse who solves mysteries. In his third case, Hermux is called by the most famous muse in show business, Fluster Varmint, when his life is threatened.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Nonsense!

Authored By: Edward Lear and Valorie Fisher

Published: November 2004

Lear’s limericks are classic examples of nonsense verse. This selection of fifteen has 3D multimedia illustrations. Definitions of the occasional difficult word are provided in the illustrations. A biographical sketch of Edward Lear and a map of Europe locating the scenes of the limericks are included.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Not a Copper Penny in Me House

Authored By: Monica Gunning and Frané Lessac

Published: January 1999

This 1994 NCTE Notable Children's Book is now available in paperback! Readers age 7-10 will delight in the vibrant rhymes and paintings depicting one child's island life in the Caribbean.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Olivia

Authored By: Ian Falconer

Published: October 2000

Olivia, an energetic piglet, wakes up and doesn't stop doing things until she wears everyone out, including herself. Children 4-8 will have no trouble identifying with Olivia as she tries on all her clothes, or frightens her little brother Ian to get some privacy, or paints a blank, white wall to prove she's as good as Jackson Pollack. Falconer's use of perspective and expression are marvelous. Wait till you see Olivia sitting for a plate of spaghetti and meatballs.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Olivia . . . and the Missing Toy

Authored By: Ian Falconer

Published: October 2003

Olivia's favorite doll has disappeared, and Perry, the family dog, has something to do with it. Love, loss, anger, and forgiveness are all here. Adults will recognize two different parenting philosophies. Falconer provides plenty of laughs for kids and adults.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Olivia Forms a Band

Authored By: Ian Falconer

Published: June 2006

Olivia's family is going to watch the fireworks. Her mother is packing a picnic. Olivia is disappointed when she learns there won't be a marching band. She tries to recruit her family, but all refuse so she decides to make her own one-pig-band. End of story? No way. This tale has as many twists as Olivia's and Falconer's hilarious illustrations too.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

On My Island

Authored By: Marie-Louise Gay

Published: April 2001

The young hero of this amusing tale lives on a tiny island "all alone," with a wolf, two cats, three ants, and a bat. He complains that nothing ever happens, but a sea serpent circles the island, cowboys swim past on the backs of porpoises, volcanoes erupt, and elephants parachute into the sea, always when he's not looking. This is an energetically illustrated story about boredom and imagination.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

On Sand Island

Authored By: Jacqueline Briggs Martin and David A. Johnson

Published: August 2003

Young Carl wants his own flat-bottomed pound (pronounced "pond" by the locals) boat like those used by his father and other fisherman on Lake Superior. Short lyric chapters in blank verse tell how he realizes his dream by retrieving boards from the lake and trading labor for supplies and expertise. Johnson's muted ink and watercolor illustrations are memorable.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

One of Those Days

Authored By: Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Rebecca Doughty

Published: May 2006

Some days just rot. It rains when you want to play baseball. You get underwear for your birthday. Your best friend acts like a beast friend. But even a bad day turns to night, and after every night comes a new day, and a fresh start. Doughty’s illustrations perfectly capture kids’ exasperated expressions.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Out of the Dust

Authored By: Karen Hesse

Published: December 1998

This Newbery Medal winner explores the life and times of a teenage girl struggling to help her family survive the dustbowl years of the Depression. Hesse organizes this book like entries in a diary, chronologically by season in a series of thoughtful and touching poems. Middle schoolers will be captivated as Billy Jo reveals the hardships of her life and this period in history.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place, The

Authored By: E.L. Konigsburg

Published: February 2004

After Margaret Rose Kane is rescued from a particularly unpleasant summer camp, she is happy to spend the rest of the summer with her great-uncles, but Morris and Alexander have their own trial to endure. Their artwork, three towers in the backyard, has been declared a neighborhood blight. Margaret Rose is determined to help.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Parsifal's Page

Authored By: Gerald Morris

Published: March 2001

The prospect of spending his life a blacksmith like his father bores Piers so he jumps at a chance to become a questing knight's page. When Parsifal kills the knight, Piers has no choice but to follow him. Parsifal seems an odd character and doesn't act knightly, but soon Piers learns there is more to knighthood than armor and jousts. Together they embark on a questfor the Holy Grail.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Perfectly Martha

Authored By: Susan Meddaugh

Published: March 2004

Martha's back. In this story, Meddaugh's talking dog turns detective when she investigates Otis Weaselgraft's Perfect Puppy Institute. Overnight, dogs are transformed into obedient animals. The PPI seems too good for humans to be good for dogs. Sure enough, Weaselgraft’s methods are questionable, and thanks to Martha, the fraudulent trainer is finally collared.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Philosophers' Club, The

Authored By: Christopher Phillips and Kim Doner

Published: September 2001

Engaging children in Socratic dialogues is one great way to help them become more tolerant and critical thinkers, so argues the author of this book. This may be especially important in periods of conflict. An introduction describes how to engage in Socratic dialogue. The body of the book models Socratic dialogues centered on ten questions, including: What is violence?, Is it possible to be happy and sad at the same time?, Why do we ask questions?, and Why are we here? Readers should not expect answers. As the author explains, it is the questioning that is important.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Pig Named Perrier, A

Authored By: Elizabeth Spurr and Martin Matje

Published: April 2002

Owned by famous movie star Marbella, Perrier was one pampered potbellied pig, but still he sensed something was missing. When Marbella takes him to her country place, Perrier discovers happiness in a neighboring barnyard. Marbella doesn't understand. It's not easy being a young pig. Verbal and visual humor make this book a winner.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Pio Peep!: Traditional Spanish Nursery Rhymes

Authored By: Alma Flor Ada and Vivi Escriva

Published: March 2003

This bilingual collection includes rhymes and songs from Spain, Mexico, and other Spanish speaking nations. The English renditions are not literal translations but “poetic re-creations” preserving the “essence of the originals.” Those of you who remember the Elephant Show will recognize a couple of the songs.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Pirate Meets the Queen, The

Authored By: Matt Faulkner

Published: May 2005

Granuaile O’Malley, or Granny, was born in Ireland in 1530. She was the daughter of the chief of the O’Malleys. She could have followed in her mother’s footsteps. She was married against her wishes to a chief. But, Granny took after her father and turned to piracy. When her pirate son is captured by the English, she goes to London to see Queen Elizabeth. The two strong personalities become friends.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Pirate Primer: Mastering the Language of Swashbucklers & Rogues, The

Authored By: George Choundas

Published: March 2007

The author culled print resources, mostly novels; films and TV programs; and one amusement park attraction (can you guess which one?) to compile this lexicon and grammar of piratical speech. Part one provides words and phrases under different headings such as greeting or retorts. Part two addresses the grammar of correct pirate speech. This section can provide a fun and instructive contrast to the Standard English taught in the classroom. Three appendices cover stock phrases, sounds, and pirate company articles.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Plain Style: A Guide to Written English

Authored By: Christopher Lasch

Published: June 2002

The late Christopher Lasch taught history at the University of Rochester. Discouraged by the dismal quality of student writing, he set out to improve it with a brief guide, much in the spirit of George Orwell and E.B. White. Sections cover elementary principles of literary composition, grammar, characteristics of bad writing, words often misused and mispronounced, and proofreaders' marks. This posthumous edition is the first published and includes a biographical essay.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Pobby and Dingan

Authored By: Ben Rice

Published: September 2000

Kellyanne's playmates, Pobby and Dingan, may be imaginary, but their accidental abandonment in her father's opal mine has real consequences, for Kellyanne, her brother, her parents, and the town of Lightning Ridge, New South Wales. This brief novel, 94 pages, is about the power of imagination. Be advised: the narrator is a young boy in a frontier setting, and some of the language might offend some readers.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Poet Slave of Cuba: A Biography of Juan Francisco Manzano, The

Authored By: Margarita Engle and Sean Qualls

Published: April 2006

Manzano (1797-1854) was a slave who taught himself to read and write and became famous for his poems in Cuba’s colonial slave society. His autobiography is the only known account of Latin American slavery. Engle tells his story in poems in alternating voices. The book is illustrated and has a historical note.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Poetry for Young People: William Blake

Authored By: John Maynard, Editor and Alessandra Cimatoribus

Published: April 2007

Blake wrote for young and old. This illustrated selection of shorter poems from Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience and excerpts from longer works will serve as a good introduction to the poet and artist. The book opens with a biographical essay and includes examples of BlakeÂ’s illustrations.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Polkabats and Octopus Slacks: 14 Stories

Authored By: Calef Brown

Published: May 1999

Young children will have plenty of laughs and giggles when they read these original, nonsensical stories, told with rhyming poems and wonderfully vivid pictures.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Pretty Salma: A Little Red Riding Hood Story from Africa

Authored By: Niki Daly

Published: April 2007

Though Granny cautions Salma not to talk to strangers when she goes to the market, she does, and Mr. Dog tricks her into giving up her food, scarf, sandals, and her wrap-around skirt. When Salma enlists her grandfatherÂ’s help, Mr. Dog learns a lesson, and so does Salma. Daly provides plenty of verbal and visual humor.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Prince across the Water

Authored By: Jane Yolen and Robert J. Harris

Published: October 2004

Scotland dreamed of being free of England’s tyranny. When Prince Charles returns to reclaim the throne of Scotland, Duncan and Ewan rally to his aid, as do many other Highlanders. The Battle of Colloden in 1746 dashed all hopes of Bonnie Charlie’s return, but is not the end of Duncan’s adventure.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Prince of Butterflies, The

Authored By: Bruce Coville and John Clapp

Published: April 2002

Disoriented because a once familiar countryside has been bulldozed, migrating monarch butterflies seek help from eleven-year-old John Farrington. The monarchs transform him, and he leads them to a resting place. The story follows Farrington as he grows up and becomes an activist for Monarchs. This beautifully illustrated tale blends fantasy and reality.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Princess Diaries, The

Authored By: Meg Cabot

Published: October 2000

One day Mia Thermopolis is a New York City high school freshman and the next a princess of Genovia. Suddenly people who wouldn't look at her ask her out on dates. Is she happy? No way! Who'd want to be Princess Amelia Mignonette Grimaldi Thermopolis Renaldo? This novel in diary form is for young adults.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Raft, The

Authored By: Jim Lamarche

Published: April 2000

Nicky isn't happy to be sent to spend the summer with his grandmother, an artist and self-proclaimed "river rat," but when he finds a raft and starts to explore the river, he discovers that he and his grandmother have a lot in common, including a love of nature and a talent for art. Readers 4-8 will love the realistic paintings of forest and river wildlife.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Ramona's World

Authored By: Beverly Cleary

Published: August 1999

Newbery Medal-winning author Beverly Cleary brings readers her first Romana Quigly story in 15 years. Romana is now 9 years old, and she's determined to have the best year in school ever.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Red Book, The

Authored By: Barbara Lehman

Published: September 2004

In this wordless adventure, a young girl finds a picture book in the snow as she walks to school. She has picked up no ordinary book. As she leafs through the pages, she views a young boy on a tropic island turning the pages of a similar book with a girl in a classroom. Suddenly, the reader and the read are aware of each other. Lehman’s beautiful illustrations and intriguing premise will appeal to all ages.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Red Is a Dragon

Authored By: Roseanne Thong and Grace Lin

Published: September 2001

Told in verse, this book of colors focuses on elements of Chinese culture and objects familiar to all young people. An appendix provides information on unusual words.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Redemption

Authored By: Julie Chibbaro

Published: May 2004

The Baron forced twelve-year-old Lila's father to leave England to go to a colony in the New World. When she and her mother are persecuted for their religious beliefs, they set sail hoping to find him and hope. On the voyage she befriends Ethan, the son of the Baron who exiled her father. Plenty of adventure awaits Lily, including capture by Native Americans.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Rhyolite: The True Story of a Ghost Town

Authored By: Diane Siebert and David Frampton

Published: April 2003

When prospectors arrive in 1904, coyotes watch from the nearby hills, and when the boom ends and the town is abandoned in 1919, coyotes sing to the moon. Told in rhyming couplets and illustrated with woodcuts, Rhyolite traces the rise and fall of a gold rush boom town.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Roller Coaster

Authored By: Marla Frazee

Published: April 2003

Have you ridden a roller coaster? Can you remember the first time you did? Frazee's humorous look at an exciting, sometimes scary, first ride is itself a roller coaster ride. Follow the riders as they climb, plummet, spin, and whiz through emotions. See who wants to ride again.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Rooster and the Fox

Authored By: Helen Ward

Published: February 2003

Ward retells the familiar tale about a fox and a vain rooster who saves himself when he appeals to the fox's vanity. Ward's realistic illustrations make this version especially attractive. Particularly the attention she has given to the barnyard animals. She includes a final discussion of the story, based on Chaucer's The Nun's Priest's Tale, and a key to the rare breeds pictured in the book.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Sail Away, Little Boat

Authored By: Janet Buell and Jui Ishida

Published: December 2005

A boy and girl launch a toy sailboat in a brook. Follow the boat downstream past a changing landscape and varied wildlife to the ocean where the boat is finally picked up by a group of children.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood

Authored By: Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Published: August 2004

Violence, racism, and the Vietnam War color this ill-starred love story set in a small town New Mexico. Sammy falls for Juliana in the summer before his senior year and loses her almost immediately when she is killed in a domestic argument. What follows is a young Chicano’s odyssey in 1960s America.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Sammy Keyes and the Hollywood Mummy

Authored By: Wendelin Van Draanen

Published: February 2001

In this installment in the Sammy Keye's series of mysteries, Sammy takes a bus to Hollywood to help her star-struck mother. When she arrives, she finds her mother in worse shape than she could imagine, and after her mother's main competition for a big part is murdered, Sammy doesn't know if her mother is next or if she did the deed.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Science of Superheroes, The

Authored By: Lois H. Gresh and Robert Weinberg

Published: September 2002

This entertaining study assesses the quality of science portrayed in popular comic books: Superman, Fantastic Four and Incredible Hulk, Batman, Aquaman and Submariner, Spiderman, Green Lantern, Antman and Atom, Flash, the X-Men, and Donald Duck.. The chapter on X-Men provides a discussion on evolution and creationism. Fans who feel comic books don't get the respect they deserve might be exasperated by the authors' contention that the truest science was found in the Donald Duck comics created by Carl Barks.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Search and Destroy

Authored By: Dean Hughes

Published: December 2005

Rick enlists in the Army in 1969. He volunteers for jump school and joins a Ranger company when he reaches Vietnam. As part of a six man team, he travels deep into enemy territory to ambush the North Vietnamese. He survives. Others do not. Sent home after being wounded, he discovers that his family and friends can’t understand his experience. This novel provides a convincing depiction of war and its aftermath.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Season for Mangoes, A

Authored By: Regina Hanson and Eric Velasquez

Published: April 2005

Sareen is nervous about talking in front of so many people at her grandmother’s “sit-up,” the Jamaican tradition celebrating a life that has just ended. She wants to share her stories, but she is afraid she will cry. As she waits for her turn, others tell stories recalling Nan’s generosity and humor. When Sareen’s turn comes, she warms to her sympathetic audience.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Seasons, The

Authored By: John N. Serio and Robert Crockett

Published: October 2005

Each section of this anthology of poems opens with a group of haiku celebrating a season. The poems that follow are sometimes more formal rhyming poems and sometimes free verse. Young readers and listeners will find striking images, colorful language, and humor. Crockett’s impressionistic illustrations help establish mood.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Sector 7

Authored By: David Wiesner

Published: September 1999

An artistic boy on a class trip to the Empire State Building befriends a small cloud and is carried to Sector 7 where clouds are made and assigned. Bored with humdrum cloud styles, the young clouds are delighted when the boy suggests a change by drawing pictures of exotic sea creatures. But not so those in charge. Caldecott winner Wiesner's wordless picture book will appeal to ages 4-8.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Sense Pass King: A Story from Cameroon

Authored By: Katrin Tchana and Trina Schart Hyman

Published: October 2002

Before she was one, she could walk and talk. By the time she was two, she could speak the seven languages of the seven villages and talk to the animals. At three, she could cook for her parents. Amazed by her cleverness, the villagers call her Sense Pass King. The jealous king tries to get rid of her, but Sense Pass King proves that she is indeed smarter than he.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Seriously Funny: The Rebel Comedians of the 1950s and 1960s

Authored By: Gerald Nachman

Published: April 2003

Nachman examines the life and work of some of comedy's most famous names. Working in nightclubs, radio, TV, and movies, some have left a lasting mark, some have proved to be +as ephemeral as their politician targets. Chapters treat individuals or groups related by medium or message.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Shakespeare

Authored By: Michael Wood

Published: October 2003

Wood gives form to the scant facts we know about Shakespeare by recreating the world he lived in. Meet the friends and rivals. Walk the streets. Survive the plots. This companion to the BBC special is filled with photographs, art, artifacts, and maps.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Shakespeare: His Work and His World

Authored By: Michael Rosen and Robert R. Ingpen

Published: November 2001

This dramatically illustrated biography presents the England Shakespeare inhabited. Sections deal with society, theater, the Globe, his work, his will, and his legacy. Many quotes from the plays appear as sidebars. All are cited. The book includes an annotated bibliography.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Sholom's Treasure: How Sholom Aleichem Became a Writer

Authored By: Erica Silverman and Mordicai Gerstein

Published: March 2005

If you’ve seen Fiddler on the Roof, then you’re familiar with the stories of Sholom Rabinowitz or Sholom Aleichem. Silverman’s biography focuses on his childhood experiences and how they shaped his desire to become a writer. Gerstein’s illustrations capture the humor of a “monkey” who learned how to make people laugh.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Shooting for the Moon: The Amazing Life and Times of Annie Oakley

Authored By: Stephen Krensky and Bernie Fuchs

Published: September 2001

In Annie Oakley's day, a woman who could shoot well was a rarity, so she must have opened some men's eyes when she shot playing cards from her husband's hand while standing on the back of a running horse. This picture book biography tells how Phoebe Ann Mozee, a poor Ohio girl, grew up to be a legendary sharpshooter and star in Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West Show.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Sign Painter, The

Authored By: Allen Say

Published: October 2000

One morning, a young boy knocks on a sign painter's shop window and asks for a job. The boy proves that he knows how to paint, and the man hires him. When they are commissioned to paint a series of billboards in the desert, the boy dreams of art, but the job calls for a woman and one word: Arrowstar. The story takes a mysterious turn when they reach the site of the last billboard. Allen Say has written a haunting picture book for children 4-8 and older.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Sing a Song of Piglets: A Calendar in Verse

Authored By: Eve Bunting and Emily Arnold McCully

Published: September 2002

Piglets work and play in snow and sun. Bunting's verse and McCully's energetic piglets make this celebration of months and seasons a sure winner for young listeners and readers.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, The

Authored By: Ann Brashares

Published: September 2001

The stories of four adolescent friends are linked by a pair of thrift shop blue jeans. Lena, Tibby, Bridget, and Carmen embark on the most important summer of their lives with a pair of noble but unassuming pants and ten rules for their use.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Sit on a Potato Pan, Otis: More Palindromes

Authored By: Jon Agee

Published: April 1999

What's a palindrome, your 3-5th graders ask? Simply open up Agee's third book on palindromes and your students will be laughing out loud and begging to write their own! The premise of this edition is a mother reading her two children a "lame" book. As she reads, the fun most certainly finds its way into the classroom as students see the hysterical cartoons and hear the wonderful play on words.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Snowmen at Night

Authored By: Caralyn Buehner and Mark Buehner

Published: September 2002

In this verse tale, the Buehner's explain why your snowman often looks disheveled the morning after you build him. Snowmen don't just stand out in the cold. They know how to party. Don't forget to study the illustrations carefully. Mark Beuhner has hidden all sorts of surprises on each page.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

So Sleepy Story

Authored By: Uri Shulevitz

Published: August 2006

Who hasn’t been awakened in the night by one noise or another? In this story, a sleepy house and all within are roused by music then fall back asleep when it passes. Shulevitz has personified every object in his illustrations, even the curtains look startled.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Sophie's Masterpiece

Authored By: Eileen Spinelli and Jane Dyer

Published: April 2001

Sophie is no ordinary house spider. She's an artist who dreams of weaving a masterpiece, and as artists do, suffers many disappointments. She means to brighten the lives of the residents of Beekman's Boardinghouse with her work, but all they see is an ugly, nasty spider. Finally, old and feeble, Sophie encounters a woman who doesn't object to a spider being in her knitting basket and who is about to have a baby. Sophie sets out to weave a blanket for the new baby.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Sound of Colors: A Journey of the Imagination, The

Authored By: Jimmy Liao

Published: March 2006

A girl who has lost her sight sets out on a journey to find some things she needs. She travels alone on subways to imaginary landscapes full of color, shape, pattern, and texture. Liao’s watercolors are an adventure.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Sounds of Poetry, The

Authored By: Robert Pinsky

Published: September 1998

In this gentle journey, poetry is explained in non-technical terms. Pinsky focuses on what to look for and listen to when reading poetry. Pinsky also discusses accent and duration, syntax and line, like and unlike sounds, and blank verse and free verse, illustrating them with the work of famous poets of the English language.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Speak

Authored By: Laurie Halse Anderson

Published: October 1999

Since the beginning of the school year, high school freshman Melinda has found that it's been getting harder and harder for her to speak out loud, and the reasons why are many. Find out why by reading this stunning and sympathetic tribute to the teenage outcast. The triumphant ending is cause for cheering.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Spinners

Authored By: Donna Jo Napoli

Published: August 1999

Donna Jo Napoli is a master of retelling fairy tales in an insightful, unique manner. In Spinners, she twists "Rumpelstiltskin" into a complex, lovely tale in which the traditional hand-wringing, straw-spinning victim is transformed into a strong and resourceful survivor. Now that's happily ever after.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Stop Pretending: What Happened When My Big Sister Went Crazy

Authored By: Sonya Sones

Published: October 1999

In a sequence of short, intense poems based on the author's own experiences, a 13-year-old girl suffers through her shifting feelings about her sibling's mental illness. When her sister goes crazy, the narrator must cope with her grief stricken family as friends abandon her. Blank verse poems tell this emotional story very well, and readers may even be inspired to write their own stories.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Stories for Young People: Leo Tolstoy

Authored By: Donna Tussing Orwin, Editor, and Herve Blondon

Published: December 2005

Tolstoy is famous for writing colossal novels, but he also wrote short stories. The five stories in this collection take the form of folk tales and consider forgiveness, greed, love, morality, and wisdom.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Stories of English, The

Authored By: David Crystal

Published: September 2005

For every person who speaks Standard English, a hundred do not, and a hundred more speak other varieties as well as the standard. So notes David Crystal in his introduction to the newly published paperback edition. This more inclusive history of the English language tells what has been neglected in other books as well as telling the standard story. Crystal looks at dialects from around the world and provides examples from popular culture and literary classics.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Story of Stone, The

Authored By: N.M. Browne

Published: October 2005

Nela’s father is the Chief Findsman, an archaeologist searching for ancient secrets in the ruins of Scraal. When he asks Nela to hold a recently discovered palm-sized black stone, she appears to have another of her seizures. It reality she has been in a trance and has seen her civilization’s past, a past that may become her future.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Strange Stories for Strange Kids

Authored By: Art Spiegelman and Francoise Mouly, editors

Published: September 2001

You may meet the stranger side of some of your favorite writers and illustrators in this collection edited by Spiegelman and Mouly. The book features sixteen bizarre tales in bright, bold comic book form by Ian Falconer, Crockett Johnson, Maurice Sendak, and more. This book won't appeal to everyone. Falconer's little girl is no Olivia. The opening story stars a boy with a finger up his nose, but you'll be surprised what he digs out.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Stray Dog, The

Authored By: Marc Simont

Published: January 2001

A scruffy stray dog wins the hearts of a picnicking family, so when they return to the park the next weekend, they wait for him to reappear. And he does, pursued by a dogcatcher. Children 4-8 and their parents will enjoy this story about a little dog and big hearts. Simont's illustrations add subtle humor.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Stray Voltage

Authored By: Eugenie Doyle

Published: October 2002

Ian Daley is in 6th grade and lives on a farm in northern Vermont. When his mother leaves, she gives Ian a kitten to keep him company, but Little Guy hardly makes up for the loss. His father is gruff. Life on the farm becomes even harder when an ice storm brings down power lines. A sympathetic teacher and writing help Ian to cope.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Supporting Children with Speech and Language Impairment and Associated Difficulties

Authored By: Jill McMinn

Published: June 2006

Teachers, classroom assistants, and parents working with children with speech and language impairments will find information, guidance, and examples of holistic practice in this second edition. The first six chapters examine how speech and language difficulties may present themselves. The following chapters provide a reproducible assessment pack, format for individual education plans, and guidelines for working with parents. A set of appendices supply more information and reproducible resources.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Swindled! The 1906 Journal of Fitz Morgan

Authored By: Bill Doyle

Published: March 2006

Fourteen year old Fitz Morgan is taking the train from New York to San Francisco. It’s 1906 and the train races across the continent at 30 miles per hour. Fitz’s ambition is to become a detective, so when passengers sicken from cyanide poisoning, he and a friend, Justine Pinkerton (yes, that Pinkerton) get to work to solve the crime.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Sylvia Long's Mother Goose

Authored By: Sylvia Long

Published: October 1999

Long has illustrated eighty-three familiar and not so familiar rhymes and connected each of her illustrations to the one that follows with a visual element. For example, Mother Goose's flowered hat on the first page hangs on the wall near the door on the second. Have fun searching for them all. This picture book is for children 4-8 and older.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Talk to the Hand: A Doonesbury Collection

Authored By: G. B. Trudeau

Published: November 2004

Trudeau’s Doonesbury has been commenting on sociopolitical issues for thirty-four years. This collection looks at Washington, the President, the war in Iraq, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Trudeau was a finalist for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize in Editorial Cartooning.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Talkin' About Bessie

Authored By: Nikki Grimes and E. B. Lewis

Published: November 2002

Bessie Coleman (1892-1926) overcame much to become the first African-American female pilot. Grimes tells her story in a series of twenty-one monologues in the voices of relatives, neighbors, acquaintances, and associates. Lewis's watercolors capture Coleman's sense of freedom in flight.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Tanuki's Gift

Authored By: Tim Myers and Robert Roth

Published: April 2003

One winter night a tanuki, or raccoon-dog, knocked on the door of an old Buddhist priest and asked if he could warm himself in front of the fire. So starts a ten winter friendship. When the tanuki asks what he can do to thank the priest for his kindness, the priest's answer leads to a long separation and new wisdom.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Tap Dancing on the Roof: Sijo

Authored By: Linda Sue Park and Istvan Banyai

Published: October 2007

Sijo are Korean poems, often compared to haiku but with a twist or surprise at the end. In these original Sijo, the author turns the traditional form to the modern American experience. For example: School Lunch Each food plopped by tongs or spatula into its own little space— square pizza here, square brownie there; milk cartoon cube, rectangle tray. My snack at home after school? Anything without corners. Park provides tips for writing Sijo. Banyi’s illustrations add to the humor.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Teaching Literacy in Kindergarten

Authored By: Lea M. McGee and Lesley Mandel Morrow

Published: May 2005

The authors describe literacy instruction in the kindergarten: how to prepare the classroom environment, discovering what kindergarteners already know about reading and writing, managing whole-group and small-group instruction, differentiating instruction, and assessing students. Eight appendices provide teacher resources.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Teaching Poetry in High School

Authored By: Albert B. Somers

Published: August 1999

This NCTE publication from professor emeritus Albert Somers (Furman University) offers a variety of resources to help revitalize the teaching of poetry.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Terrier

Authored By: Tamora Pierce

Published: October 2006

Beka Cooper is a rookie on the Provost's Guard, the law enforcers in Corus, a city in Tortall. As a rookie dog, or puppy, she requests to be assigned in the tough part of the city she grew up in. Her veteran partners aren't happy to have her, but what they don't know is that she has powers they don't have. Beka can hear the voices of the city's pigeons and the city's dead.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Thin Wood Walls

Authored By: David Patneaude

Published: September 2004

After Pearl Harbor is bombed, Joe Hanada’s father is arrested, and Joe and his family are sent to a War Relocation Camp. His older brother enlists in the U.S. Army and is killed in combat. At Tule Lake, Joe records his experiences in a journal. Joe’s story is much like that of 120,000 interned Japanese Americans during World War II.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Three Pigs, The

Authored By: David Wiesner

Published: April 2001

Wiesner's picture book has three pigs and a wolf but takes an unexpected turn as soon as the wolf blows the first pig out of the story to safety in the margins. Folding a page of their story into a paper airplane, the three pigs avoid the wolf's jaws by flying into nursery rhymes and fairy tales of dragons and golden roses. The story still ends badly for the poor wolf, but then he's not a very clever wolf.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Time Poems

Authored By: Michael Harrison, editor

Published: October 1998

As the millennium grows near, this anthology of 23 poems from past, present and future is especially timely. The poems are collected from around the world and range from humorous to sad, yet all are based around the theme of time and it's passing.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Train to Glasgow

Authored By: Wilma Horsbrugh and Paul Cox

Published: April 2004

This building rhyme tells of young Donald MacBrain's mad dash to catch the train to Glasgow and what happens once he gets aboard. The poem originally published in 1954 has been reissued with colorful and energetic watercolors that evoke an earlier age.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Trap, The

Authored By: Marc Talbert

Published: October 1999

When a coyote kills Ellie's cat, Bob, she tries to avenge his death by setting a trap, but instead of a coyote, she injures a neighborhood dog. This novel for 9-12 year olds explores death, grief, and responsibility.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

True Story of Stellina, The

Authored By: Matteo Pericoli

Published: March 2006

Holly found a baby finch on the corner of 46th and Third in Manhattan. She sat on a bench to see if the finch’s mother would appear, but she never did. So Holly took the baby home and set out to raise it. Pericoli’s tender illustrations combine stark line and warm patches of color.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

True Story of the 3 Little Pigs, The

Authored By: A. Wolf as told to Jon Scieszka, and Lane Smith

Published: 1989; 10th Anniversary Edition 1999

If you haven't read Alexander T. Wolf's version of his encounter with the three little pigs, now's the time to do so, in Scieszka's 10th anniversary edition of this popular children's book. The latest edition begins with A. Wolf's letter from prison; 10 years later, he's still trying to restore his good name.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Trust Me, Mom!

Authored By: Angela McAllister and Ross Collins

Published: November 2005

It’s Ollie’s big day. His mother is going to let him walk to the store alone. “Don’t worry,” he reassures his mother. “I can take care of myself.” And he proves that he can, even when he encounters monsters, ghosts, bears, witches, and aliens.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Twenty Days with Julian and Little Bunny by Papa

Authored By: Nathaniel Hawthorne, Paul Auster

Published: May 2003

From 28 July to 16 August 1851, Hawthorne lived alone with his five-year-old son Julian while his wife and daughters visited her parents. He had only sporadic adult contact: the house keeper, a farmer who provided milk, his landlord, and neighbors like Herman Melville. Julian was an incessant talker and bombarded him with questions and observations. "Mercy on me, was ever man before so be-pelted with a child's talk as I am?" Hawthorne's often humorous journal of twenty days provides a look at a great writer as father. Auster's introductory essay is a bonus.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Two Hot Dogs with Everything

Authored By: Paul Haven

Published: March 2006

Sluggers fans had celebrated only one championship season in 108 years. Was it because of the Curse of the Poisoned Pretzel? Rooting for the Sluggers was like praying for peace on Earth, a noble but futile activity. If you’ve ever rooted for a losing team, you’ll be snagged by this novel in nine innings.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Um. . .: Slips, Stumbles, and Verbal Blunders, and What They Mean

Authored By: Michael Erard

Published: August 2007

Do you make verbal blunders when you speak? Most of us do. The author argues that in casual speech it is normal to make one error in every ten words. Why? Lend your ear to Spoonerisms, Freudian Slips, ums and ahs, bloopers, and presidential blunders. Appendices suggest further reading, offer a field guide to verbal blunders, and distinguish between slips and disfluencies. As the author cautions, if after reading this book you are tempted to point out everyoneÂ’s errors, donÂ’t. You will be happier.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Under New York

Authored By: Linda Oatman High and Robert Rayevsky

Published: March 2001

Take an insider's tour of the Big Apple. This book provides a cross section of New York City to reveal the water pipes, gas lines, steam pipes, telephone lines, fiber optic cable, electrical power lines, subways, and sewers. Some utilities are buried 200 feet below the ground. A new water line will be even deeper. Rayevsky's split-screen illustrations show what is happening above and below the city streets. A subway map is included.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Vanishing Point, The

Authored By: Louise Hawes

Published: September 2004

Vini, Lavinia Fontana, has to steal her father’s paper and art supplies and eavesdrop on his lessons because she is a daughter and not a son. This historical novel traces the career of an unusual figure—a female artist during the Italian Renaissance.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Violet & Claire

Authored By: Francesca Lia Block

Published: October 1999

This, the author's latest novel, is a beautifully told story that boldly combines the world of film with the lyrical graceful language of poetry. The voices of Violet and Claire combine to tell a larger tale of love and loss, and the strength that comes from believing in dreams. The plot revolves around their ambition to make a movie, which comes to represent the world as they wish it to be.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Vote!

Authored By: Eileen Christelow

Published: August 2003

How would you choose a new mayor? Follow Elmer and Sparky, two political dogs, as they investigate the electoral process. This picture book addresses freedom of choice, the importance of voting, suffrage, voter registration, political parties, debates, polls, campaigning, donations, advertising, ballots, and vote recounts.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Walt Whitman: Words for America

Authored By: Barbara Kerley and Brian Selznick

Published: October 2004

From printers apprentice to the Good Gray Poet, this picture book traces the life of America’s best known poet. Much of the book looks at Whitman’s writing and activities during the Civil War. The author and illustrator provide notes. Complete shorter poems and excerpts from some of the longer are also included.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Walter: The Story of a Rat

Authored By: Barbara Wersba and Donna Diamond

Published: November 2005

Walter is a solitary Norway rat. He shares a house with Miss Pomeroy a solitary writer of children’s books. She owns hundreds of books, which is fortunate for Walter because he knows how to read. One night Walter writes a note to Miss Pomeroy. Their shared interest in books develops into friendship.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Web Files, The

Authored By: Margie Palatini and Richard Egielski

Published: May 2001

Someone has pinched the hen's perfect purple peppers and Ducktective Web and his partner Bill are sent to investigate. Dum De Dum Dum. Children and adults will enjoy this parody of Jack Web's Dragnet TV series. Egielski's illustrations accompany ample puns and take offs on familiar nursery rhymes.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Weslandia

Authored By: Paul Fleischman and Kevin Hawkes

Published: June 1999

Wesley is the neighborhood outcast. He dislikes pizza, thinks football is stupid, and refuses to shave half his head like the other boys, even when his father bribes him. What does a boy without friends do over summer vacation? Wesley founds his own civilization, and in the end, finds he makes friends too. This book by Newbery winner Fleischman is for children ages 4-8.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Whale Rider, The

Authored By: Witi Ihimaera

Published: May 2003

Kahu is an eight year old Maori girl with a special gift. She can communicate with whales. She could be the leader her tribe needs, but her great-grandfather adheres strictly to Maori tradition which requires a male heir. He barely acknowledges her. First published in 1987, this short, poetic novel can be challenging. A glossary of Maori words is included.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

What Pete Ate from A-Z

Authored By: Maira Kalman

Published: September 2001

Pete is a good dog, usually. Sometimes he eats what he shouldn't. Poppy Wise, the narrator of this picture book catalog of edibles and inedibles, provides an alliterative list of Pete's snacks from A-Z, from cousin Rocky's accordion to his list of all the times he has been insulted. Kalman's exuberant word play is perfectly complemented by her zany illustrations.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

What Teachers Can't Do

Authored By: Douglas Wood and Doug Cushman

Published: July 2002

Teachers can't ride scooters to school. They can't finger paint in their good clothes. They can't trade desserts. There are lots of things teachers can't do. Why? Maybe they are too busy doing something else. Still, even teachers can enjoy Cushman's humorous illustrations.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

When You Catch an Adjective, Kill It: The Parts of Speech, for Better And/Or Worse

Authored By: Ben Yagoda

Published: February 2007

In the grammar world there are prescriptivists, those who insist we should use language correctly, and descriptivists, those who insist the language we use is correct enough. Yagoda is neither one nor the other. He defends what makes most sense, which makes good sense. This entertaining guide to better writing examines parts of speech and provides examples of their use and abuse.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Where Have You Been?

Authored By: Margaret Wise Brown and Leo and Diane Dillon

Published: May 2004

Brown first published this poem in 1952. An owl asks animals where they have been. This new edition features the illustrations of the Dillons. Repetition, rhyme, and humor will engage readers of all ages.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Who the Man

Authored By: Chris Lynch

Published: December 2002

Earl Pryor is thirteen, but he is taller than many adults. He shaves. High school kids ask him to buy beer. Everyone assumes Earl is tough, and some try to prove they are too by fighting him. When Earl is suspended for fighting, he learns that his family is coming apart. He discovers there is more to being tough than having a ready fist.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Widget

Authored By: Lyn Rossiter McFarland and Jim McFarland

Published: September 2001

Widget is a stray dog. One night he discovers the perfect house, perfect except for the six cats that already live there. Widget decides that if staying warm and well fed requires acting like a cat, he'll act like a cat, at least until the day acting like a dog brings needed help. Adults and children will enjoy the subtle humor of McFarland's illustrations.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Will Rogers: An American Legend

Authored By: Frank Keating and Mike Wimmer

Published: September 2002

Part Cherokee, Will Rogers was born in Oklahoma in 1879. He had ten years of school but said a man only learns by reading and by associating with smarter people. Rogers was the voice of common sense during some of the darkest economic times in the U.S. His many travels made Rogers a citizen of the country and the world. Wimmer's realistic paintings show Rogers at work and at play in small town America.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Will's Quill

Authored By: Don Freeman

Published: May 2004

This is a new edition of Freeman's classic about Willoughby Waddle, a goose who longs to see the world beyond his farm so he journeys to London. Life there is loud and frenetic. After a stranger shares food with him, Willoughby follows him to the Globe. The stranger proves to be William Shakespeare. Will is finding it hard to finish his latest play because of the poor quality of his quills. Willoughby provides a solution.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Willie and the Rattlesnake King

Authored By: Clara Gillow Clark

Published: January 1999

In this coming-of-age story set in the 1880s, a thirteen-year-old boy leaves his farm and family to run away with a traveling medicine show. The lively story then lets young adult readers taste life across America in the last century.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Wing Nuts: Screwy Haiku

Authored By: Tricia Tusa

Published: April 2006

Paul B. Janeczko, J. Patrick Lewis, and A senryu looks like a haiku but unlike the haiku its purpose is satiric. This collection of senryu gets its laughs from humorous situations, puns, and irony. A favorite: "Irksome mosquito, / kindly sing your evening song / in my brother's ear." Tusa's illustrations add another level of fun.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Winter Song

Authored By: William Shakespeare and Melanie W. Hall

Published: October 2006

Winter Song is from Love’s Labor’s Lost and describes winter life in Elizabethan England. The contrasting frigid outdoor scenes and warm interiors and Shakespeare’s evocative language make this a cozy read for a cold day.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Within Reach: My Everest Story

Authored By: Mark Pfetzer and Jack Galvin

Published: September 1998

Pfetzer, an 18-year-old mountain climber at the time of publication, recounts his climbing adventures on Everest, Kilimanjaro, and other locales. Teen readers can't help but be impressed with the author, who earned a black belt in karate and completed full EMT training before he was old enough to be licensed.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Wonder Goal!

Authored By: Michael Foreman

Published: April 2003

The young soccer player in this picture book is the new kid on the team, and the other guys tease him, as they always tease a new boy. He dreams of making a wonder goal and earning their acceptance. Foreman's celebration of soccer spans the career of a young player from childhood wonder goal to World Cup wonder goal. Foreman's watercolors are filled with color, action, and excitement.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Word Freak: Heartbreak, Triumph, Genius, and Obsession in the World of Competitive Scrabble Players

Authored By: Stefan Fatsis

Published: July 2001

One million Scrabble games are bought in the U.S. every year, and an estimated 30 million households own at least one. Competitive Scrabble, as you might guess, is much fiercer than the average kitchen table game. Fatsis provides a history of the game and its inventor, Alfred Mosher Butts; portraits of colorful characters; and insights into linguistics, psychology, and mathematics.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Word Myths: Debunking Linguistic Urban Legends

Authored By: David Wilton and Ivan Brunetti

Published: December 2004

Many of the fascinating explanations for word or phrase origins that we hear and read are more fiction than fact. Wilton's introduction distinguishes between types of erroneous etymologies and tells how linguistic myths are spread. He then debunks many, including the familiar origin of "Ring around the Rosie" during the Black Plague and the less familiar origin of "Bite the Wax Tadpole" in a marketing blunder. Some of the etymologies make this book more suited for a mature audience.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Words Words Words

Authored By: David Crystal

Published: April 2006

Take a tour of the English language: word origins, histories, spellings, regional and social variations, taboo words, jargon, and wordplay. Each short essay could be used in an English, social studies, or history class. The author is from England, so some of the examples may be unfamiliar to non-BBC viewers. Some of the discussions make this a better teacher resource.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

World of King Arthur and His Court: People, Places, Legend, and Lore, The

Authored By: Kevin Crossley-Holland and Peter Malone

Published: October 1999

For King Arthur fans 9-12, this book presents a selection of his adventures in the social and historical context of the Middle Ages. Along with the familiar is much that will surprise. For example, one medieval writer advised an aspiring butler not to twist his neck like jackdaw or puff bad air up his master's nose. The abundant illustrations resemble medieval tapestries and illuminated manuscripts.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

Wringer

Authored By: Jerry Spinelli

Published: September 1998

When the boys in nine-year-old Palmer's town turn ten, their coming-of-age usually entails wringing the necks of wounded birds at the town's annual Pigeon Day shoot. Palmer is hiding a pet pigeon in his home and dreads his birthday's approach. Newbery Medal winner Jerry Spinelli crafts a moving, suspenseful moral dilemma that readers age 9-12 will find irresistible.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts

You're On Your Way, Teddy Roosevelt

Authored By: Judith St. George and Matt Faulkner

Published: September 2004

This inspiring biography of our 26th president focuses on his early life as a sickly boy with a powerful interest in nature. Faulkner’s illustrations capture the young TR’s enthusiasm and determination. An afterward describes his adult career.

Resource Type: Recommended Non-PBS Book

Subject: Reading & Language Arts