Language Arts

Articles from Vol. 92, No. 3, January

A Baby Elephant in the Wild
A Baby Elephant in the Wild Written by Caitlin O 'Connell Photographed by Caitlin O 'Connell and Timothy Rodwell Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014, unpaged, ISBN 978-0-544-14944-1"This is the scrub desert of Namibia (nah-MIH-bee-uh). It is the home to...
African and African American Childre's and Adolescent Literature in the Classroom: A Critical Guide
African and African American Children's and Adolescent Literature in the Classroom: A Critical Guide by Vivian Yenika-Agbaw and Mary Napoli, Peter Lang, 2011, 296 pp., ISBN 978-1-4331-1195-2Yenika-Agbaw and Napoli present a thorough and rich discussion...
A Snicker of Magic
A Snicker of Magic Written by Natalie Lloyd Scholastic, 2014, 311 pp., ISBN 978-0-545-55270-7Hey-yo! Meet Felicity Juniper Pickle who has been wandering from place to place with her Mama and sister Frannie Jo. They finally land in Midnight Gulch, where...
Brother Hugo and the Bear
Brother Hugo and the Bear Written by Katy Beebe Illustrated by S. D. Schindler Eerdmans, 2014, unpaged, ISBN 978-0-8028-5407-0This entertaining book details the adventures of the unfortunate Brother Hugo, who cannot return his library book because it...
Doing Critical Literacy: Texts and Activities for Students and Teachers
Doing Critical Literacy: Texts and Activities for Students and Teachers by Hilary Janks, Kerryn Dixon, Ana Ferreira, Stella Granville, and Denise Newfield, Routledge, 2013, 176 pp., ISBN 978-0-41552810-8"The ability to do critical literacy gives us potent...
Fish for Jimmy
Fish for Jimmy Written and illustrated by Katie Yamasaki Holiday House, 2013, unpaged, ISBN 978-0-8234-2375-0Jimmy and his brother Taro live a normal, happy life in California with their parents, the owners of a vegetable market. Their parents had moved...
Green Is a Chile Pepper: A Book of Colors
Green Is a Chile Pepper: A Book of Colors Written by Roseanne Greenfield Thong Illustrated by John Parra Chronicle, 2014, unpaged, ISBN 978-1-4521-0203-0"Red is a ristra. Red is a spice. Red is our salsa on top of rice." And so begins Roseanne Greenfield...
Half a Chance
Half Chance Written by Cynthia Lord Scholastic, 2014, 218 pp., ISBN 978-0-545-03533-0Lucy is feeling out of place when her family moves to a cottage on a New Hampshire lake. The first morning she is awoken out of a deep sleep by the wild haunting cries...
Handbook of Research on Children's and Young Adult Literature
Handbook of Research on Children's and Young Adult Literature by Shelby A. Wolf, Karen Coats, Patricia Enciso, and Christine A. Jenkins, Routledge, 2010, 555 pp., ISBN 978-0-415-96506-4The Reader. The Book. The World Around. Dividing their research handbook...
If I Ever Get out of Here
If I Ever Get Out of Here Written by Eric Gansworth Arthur A. Levine/ Scholastic, 2013, 359 pp., ISBN 978-0-545-41730-3Just because Lewis was a Welfare Indian didn't mean he had to look like a Welfare Indian-at least that's what his mother thought after...
Multicultural Literature for Children and Young Adults: Reflections on Critical Issues
Multicultural Literature for Children and Young Adults: Reflections on Critical Issues by Mingshui Cai, Greenwood Press, 2002, 200 pp., ISBN 978-159311-396-4Multicultural education is surrounded by controversy. Educators and theorists cannot agree upon...
Niño Wrestles the World
Niño Wrestles the World Written and illustrated by Yuyi Morales Roaring Brook, 2013, unpaged, ISBN 978-1- 59643-604-6"Señoras y Señores, Put your hands together for the fantastic, spectacular, one of a kind . . . NIÑO!" Award-winning author and illustrator...
On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein
On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein Written by Jennifer Berne Illustrated by Vladimir Radunsky Chronicle, 2013, unpaged, ISBN 978-08118-7235-5This gentle book exquisitely captures the amazing genius of Albert Einstein. Berne discusses Einstein's...
Openly Straight
Openly Straight Written by Bill Konigsberg Arthur A. Levine/ Scholastic, 2013, 320 pp., ISBN 978-0-545-50989-3Rafe Goldberg is entering a New England boys' boarding school for his junior year, leaving behind a family and community in Boulder that celebrates...
Stubby the War Dog: The True Story of World War I's Bravest Dog
Stubby the War Dog: The True Story of World War I's Bravest Dog Written by Ann Bausum National Geographic Society, 2014, 72 pp., ISBN 978-1-4263-1486-5Stubby, a Boston terrier, may be the most famous animal hero from World War I. When the United States...
Students as Writers and Composers: Workshopping in the Digital Age
Writing workshop is a mainstay in many language arts classrooms. On any given day in classrooms across the country, children read as writers, enjoying the play of language and the pleasure of reading, but also digging into mentor texts to analyze how...
The Cross and the Lynching Tree: Exploring Religion and Race in the Elementary Classroom
In October 2006, James Cone, Distinguished Professor of Systematic Theology at Union Theological Seminary, delivered a lecture at Harvard Divinity School titled "Strange Fruit: The Cross and the Lynching Tree." In the lecture, Cone enlisted the lyrics...
The Favorite Daughter
The Favorite Daughter Written and illustrated by Allen Say Arthur A. Levine/ Scholastic, 2013, unpaged, ISBN 978-0-545-17662-0The unconditional love between a father and daughter is artfully represented in Allen Say's newest picturebook, The Favorite...
The Granddaughter Necklace
The Granddaughter Necklace Written by Sharon Dennis Wyeth Illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline Arthur A. Levine/ Scholastic, 2013, unpaged, ISBN 978-0545-08125-2The Granddaughter Necklace is a fictionalized tribute to women and girls in the author's family,...
The Knotted-Ness of Teaching
As we write this issue's Thoughts from the Editors, we are pained to see so many children in the center of national and international news. Children displaced from their Central American homes are being sheltered in US border states as politicians and...
The Meaning of Maggie
The Meaning of Maggie Written by Megan Jean Sovern Chronicle, 2014, 220 pp., ISBN 978-1-4521-1021-9Overachieving Maggie is growing up with two older sisters who ignore her, a mother who tells her to pull herself up by her bootstraps, and a father whose...
The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights
The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights Written by Steve Sheinkin Roaring Brook, 2014, 200 pp., ISBN 978-1-59643-796-8Noted nonfiction author Steve Sheinkin has created another riveting title focusing on a little known aspect...
The Search for Inclusion: Deficit Discourse and the Erasure of Childhoods
"We're the same age!" said 5-year-old Ta'Von with surprise and delight to one of his brand new classmates, 5-year-old Connor (all names are pseudonyms). Connor, reserved and quiet, looked at him with a bit of a grin.From the first day of school, Ta'Von...
What Are the Rest of the Students Doing? Literacy Work Stations in Two First-Grade Classrooms
This vignette, drawn from our study of two first-grade teachers and likely familiar to many early-grade teachers, highlights the complexity of literacy centers or work stations. In it, one can see the promise and the challenge of this way of engaging...
Year of the Jungle: Memories from the Home Front
Year of the Jungle: Memories from the Flome Front Written by Suzanne Collins Illustrated by Jeunes Proimos Scholastic, 2013, unpaged, ISBN 978-0-545-42516-2Collins has drawn on memories of her father's combat duty in Vietnam to craft a tender but frightening...
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