I can’t stress the importance of literacy and exposing children to a wide variety of texts to read, most importantly, books. Fictional books are a part of experiencing and imagining life outside of your own, and of course non-fiction is a necessary and natural way for students to gain knowledge. And we cannot forget all the other genres in between.

The latest NYS Common Core wants to put more emphasis and focus on non-fiction works. Part of the reasoning is simply because we want our students to be college/career ready, and with non-fiction texts, students are able to build the skills necessary for “deep conceptual understanding.” Non-fiction works can guide students on supporting their thinking process with evidence from the texts. Students should be able to think critically without the help from a teacher. They should be able to apply, synthesize and evaluate by the time they graduate from high school.

I also know that there should be other texts in your classroom, such as magazines, educational games/activities, newspaper if possible, and anything that a child might enjoy.

On the right of my home page I have a link that connects to my Amazon wishlist under Donate, and this wishlist has nothing BUT books/texts I would and could use in my classroom.

As a newer educator, I don’t have a wide selection of texts to expose my students to, but I have done my best to collect a variety of elementary texts throughout my later years in college. It would be the most appreciated and resourceful gift to receive for my classroom library.

Lastly, I will list some of my favorite texts, from childrens’ text to my own interest, but it is a working progress!


Image retrieved: thehungergames.wikia.com

Image retrieved: thehungergames.wikia.com

I first watched the movie and completely fell in love. My heart hasn’t been that captivated by a movie since “The Wizard of Oz.” Because I fell in love so easily, I HAD to read the book. I had a better understanding of the characters after I did, and I can’t wait to get my hands on the other two. It is a trilogy. The second movie is coming out in November 2013, and right now I can’t find the book to purchase in my area, so I may have to order it online, or borrow it for now. I am just rambling now, but my point is, this book is incredible.

Title: The Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins        Genre: young adult science-fiction, adventure


My favorite children’s book is Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco

Genre: Autobiography, Realistic Fiction
515WMUBVuuLEvery time I read this text, I cry, whether I am in front of students or with myself. It holds so much heart and meaning. I actually met her at an IRA conference in 2011, and she referred to many of her stories during her speech. She is so personal and inspiring.

The third grade student I mention often reminds me of this story, but I think because the main character (really, Polacco) relates with him on the interest of creating illustrations and finding it difficult to read. Although he struggles with reading immensely, he has also found comfort and control in his new love for drawing. I recommend this text for an ELA 2nd to 4th grade lesson. Make it your own. There is a wide range of vocabulary in her books. Her stories  are from personal experience, and through that, her texts are more relatable to students genuinely.


image retrieved: npr.org

image retrieved: npr.org

Genre: Multicultural, Realistic Fiction

Edwidge Danticat is an icon in Haiti, and she continues to write stories based on personal experience of her native home. Born in Haiti, she had a love for literacy and writing, and I find her to be a brilliant writer. This is one of her children’s text, and it is based on the 2010 tragedy that occurred in Haiti. I love this book because it explains how a child uses hope and imagination to survive a unimaginable tragedy. I wanted to bring this book with me to Haiti, but I forgot and kicked myself for it later, because not only is the story beautiful, but the illustrations are vibrant. Students could read this and find comfort in it while being able to relate to similar experiences, big or small.


image retrieved: scribd.com

image retrieved: scribd.com

Title: Sweet Land of Liberty author Callista Gingrich
Genre: Non-fiction, historical information

I highly recommend this book for any age really. This text gives historical information in a way that is inviting and exciting to read. I say that because it has rhyme, and gives the perfect amount of information using the right words. I would use this in a second grade classroom, I would use this in a fifth.



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