Monday, August 10, 2015

#PB10for10: Ten Picture Books I Read This Summer That I Can't Wait to Share with My 8th Graders

 #PB10for10 is a great community of teachers, librarians, and children's literature enthusiasts. The idea is to share 10 of your favorite picture books on a theme of your choosing. This year I'm choosing to talk about the ten picture books I'm most excited to share with my new 8th graders as soon as the school year starts.

This is Sadie by Sara O'Leary, illustrated by Julie Morstad
Oh my heart. This book is everything. This book is about as perfect as a book could possibly be. This book isn't just about Sadie. This book is about us all. We are all Sadie. Some of us just have to look harder to find her within ourselves than others. But she is there.

The Moon is Going to Addy's House by Ida Pearle
Poetry doesn't always have to come in words. Sometimes poetry speaks in pictures, movement, music, or all of these things at once. The Moon is Going to Addy's House is a beautiful example of how poetry can be created in the confluence of art forms. It is a book that feels both classic and modern, both back in time and of the time.  

Bernice Gets Carried Away by Hannah E. Harrison
A marvelous book to share with kids to show them how one person's kindness and change of attitude can have a ripple effect on everyone around you.  But it is also so much more than that. Hannah E. Harrison is a very special illustrator who deserves some Caldecott hardware in her future.

Interstellar Cinderella by Deborah Underwood, illustrated by Meg Hunt
Cinderella, rock on with your bad self. I love the message of girl power in this futuristic version of a beloved fairy tale.

Marilyn's Monster by Michelle Knudsen, illustrated by Matt Phelan  
This is a book I will be thinking about for a long time, not just because of how good and content it made me feel at the end, but because there's a lot of complexity in the story that I know I missed upon first reading. This is one of those picture books that I can see very clearly being discussed in a university children's lit class because not only does it appeal to kids on an aesthetic level, but it also appeals to adults on an analytic level.

Drum Dream Girl by Margarita Engle, illustrated by Rafael Lopez
Drum Dream Girl is one of many Margarita Engle books that help to educate and remind us that Cuba is a country of people with hopes, dreams, and fears like we all are. This book, paired with Engle's brand new memoir, Enchanted Air, has given me the itch to someday travel to this once verboten country.

One Word from Sophia by Jim Averbeck, illustrated by Yasmeen Ismail
Sophia is an adorable, eloquent little protagonist. I especially loved the glossary at the end that pointed out the irony of having so many words for "using too many words." :)

I'm Trying to Love Spiders by Bethany Barton
Who says factual books can't be funny and full of voice? Certainly not Bethany Barton! This book helps arachnophobes come to grips with their fear through humor and logic.

Something Extraordinary by Ben Clanton 
The wish and search for something extraordinary to happen often means we are missing out on the extraordinary things that are happening all around us that are just disguised as ordinary things. The message of this book puts me in mind of The Man with the Violin and how so often beautiful things are passing us by because we are too oblivious to notice. 

"Slowly, Slowly, Slowly," Said the Sloth by Eric Carle  
Because, sloths

This was crossposted to my teaching blog, Use Your Outside Voice


  1. Sloths, right? I'm with you. I LOVE Sparky! I was quite surprised at how much I loved DRUM DREAM GIRL. I need to read I'M TRYING TO LOVE SPIDERS and BERNICE too! Thanks for such a great list! Happy reading in the fall!

  2. Oh, my goodness - I haven't read ANY of these!!! I need to fix that! I DO have I'M TRYING TO LOVE SPIDERS an DRUM DREAM GIRL from the library right now, so I can at least start with those. Thanks for introducing me to so many titles!

  3. awesome choices! i love interstellar cinderella on many levels (one being rhyming), something extraordinary is a #pb10for10 all-star, and drum dream girl is beautiful (again, on many levels). enjoy 8th grade!

  4. I love that you're using picture books with grade 8 students. This is something of a hard sell with student teachers who aspire to teach at a secondary level. "Picture books are for kids, right?"...sigh...I persevere though. Enjoyed the list.
    Apples with Many Seeds

  5. I just have to join the chorus of LOVE that you share picture books with your 8th graders!!

  6. I love your list! I've only read one of them and I just finished requesting all the rest from our local library. I can't wait until they begin arriving. I'm especially looking forward to I'm Trying to Love true for me. :) Thanks!

  7. Hooray for sharing picture books with your 8th graders!! There are a bunch of new-to-me titles on your list that I need to read! Thanks!!

  8. Love love love This is Sadie. Interstellar Cinderella is another favorite of mine this year. This is an excellent list!

  9. I happened upon your blog due to the #pb10for10 (which I'm bummed I missed this year) and LOVE your list! Must get my hands on This is Sadie and Interstellar Cinderella.