Teach by Dennis DiNoia captures some basic ideas on, as the subtitle explains “creating independently responsible learners.” These concepts are essential to successful teaching. He begins by outlining some of the issues of traditional schooling set-ups and explains how the role for teachers should be that of “coach.” Our main goal in teaching children is

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History in the Making by Kyle Ward (The New Press, 2006) is a nonfiction volume of curated and categorized passages from a variety of high school American history textbooks, from the early days until 1999, showing the ways various stories from history have been told to students over the years. The lengthy subtitle of the

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Writers and Their Teachers edited by Dale Salwak (Bloomsbury, May 2023) is an enlightening collection of essays by 20 different world-renowned authors, delving into the influential figures who shaped their writing journeys. The book gives a diverse range of perspectives, allowing for an anthology that many will enjoy reading. The anthology contains contributions from twenty

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Literacy Moves Outdoors: Learning Approaches for Any Environment by Valerie Bang-Jensen (Heinemann, April 2023) gives teachers practical and useful ideas for adding sensory, hands-on literacy lessons outdoors into their regular teaching routines. As a homeschool parent (over the last 11 years) and homeschool co-op teacher, I frequently have advocated for learning methods far outside of

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My fifth grader came home from school to tell me about an amazing book her teacher was reading. It was based on real situations (from around the world) and was about a person who lived in a busy city and didn’t have any running water. My daughter was awed that this girl went into a

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The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe (adapted by Slava Rubio, translated by Lilit Zekulin Thwaites, illustrated by Loreto Aroca) is a graphic novel about Dita Adler, a Jewish teenager in Czechoslovakia during World War II. She ultimately survived the WWII concentration camp Auschwitz with her love of books, stories, and imagination as a strength

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Chloe in India by Kate Darnton is about an American preteen trying to find her place while living in a foreign country. Chloe is a preteen American girl who has moved to India, but she dislikes living there because she is the outsider. She has blonde hair, she doesn’t know Hindi, and she doesn’t quite

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The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child by Donalyn Miller is a helpful book for educators and parents to gain ideas on how to help children embrace and love free reading time. The emphasis is on letting children choose their books while providing guidance as experts in children’s literature. Our goal is

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For the Right to Learn┬áby Rebecca Langston-George (Capstone, September 2015) is a picture book biography of Malala Yousafzai that gives younger readers a background of just what she was able to accomplish. I’ve said before┬áthat her story is inspiring, and I think this book did a great job of also making it accessible to young

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Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens (published serially from 1838-1839) meets the Dickensian stereotype of a very long book. I began reading it when my daughter was newborn and I finally finished it, now that she’s three and half. Nicholas Nickleby is definitely not my favorite Dickens novel. In some respects it’s obvious that its a early

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I Am Malala by Malala Yousafsai (Little, Brown and Company, 2013) is a powerful story of a girl’s courage to stand up against wrong and demand an education in the Taliban-controlled regions of Pakistan. The work done by Malala, who still is a teenager, is so remarkable that she became the youngest receipt of the Nobel Peace

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