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Good Books for Literature Circles

Looking for a few good books to get your literature circles off the ground?  Click on the following links for some suggestions from teachers around the country:

  • Searchable Databases:  Online resources for high quality books that you can search online:  The Database of Award-Winning Children's Literature, the Picture Book Database at Miami University, the Canadian Children's Literature Database, the International Children's Digital Library (database of books in languages from around the world), and the Barahona Center for the Study of Books in Spanish (at California State University, San Marcos).
  • "Romance, no sex": Booklist for middle school readers compiled by Whitman Middle School library teacher, Chris Gustafson, in Seattle.
  • From the Mixed-Up Files of Middle Grade Authors LCRC webmaster Katherine Schlick Noe is a member of this blog of middle grade authors. Features book lists; interviews with authors, editors, agents and other children's literature professionals; and extensive information about writing for and finding good books for readers in grades 3 through 7.
  • Best Books for Boys from ("Transforming boys into lifelong readers and lovers of books is our mission.")
  • Sample Book Lists from Literature Circles Resource Guide (2000) by Bonnie Campbell Hill, Katherine L. Schlick Noe, and Nancy J. Johnson
  • Children's Literature Web Guide
    This site can best be described as the gateway to most other web-based resources you would need for literature circles.  All of the major children's and adolescent literature award winners are included, such as the Newbery and Caldecott Medals; the Coretta Scott King Award; Notable Trade Books in the Field of Social Studies (National Council for the Social Studies); and Children's, Teachers', and Young Adult Choices (International Reading Association).
  • Themed Literature Units:  Books arranged by theme and by grade level from the Master in Teaching Program at Seattle University.
  • Reading Rants!
    Probably the best web site targeted to a teen audience! Jennifer Hubert is a middle school librarian in New York City and has developed this site for students and teachers (but she is clear that teens are her main audience!). Her booklists are focused and creatively named -- Boy Meets Book (books of interest to boys) and Riot Girrl! (books with powerful female characters). Great site to recommend to your students
  • Oyate
    Organization dedicated to children's literature that accurately and respectfully portrays the lives of native peoples. The catalog is an excellent resource on high-quality children's literature by and about native people.
  • Cynthia Leitich Smith's Children's Literature Resources
    Bibliographies and recommendations for books on a range of topics and issues.
  • American Indians in Children's Literature
    Rich resource on literature by and about American Indians by Debbie Reese, a professor in the American Indian Studies program at the University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign. Her blog also covers a wide range of topics related to how American Indians are portrayed in children's literature.
  • TeenSpace – Internet Public Library
    The Internet Public Library is a vast and well-organized portal. The TeenSpace page is devoted to young adult literature and offers a wide array of resources.
  • Lazy Readers' Book Club
    Although I'm not crazy about the implication that only "lazy readers" want short books, there are good recommendations here for short books (usually under 200 pages) of interest to adults, young adults, and children. Developed and maintained by Dr. Danny Brassell
  • Seattle University Children's Literature Links:  Links to sites for book lists, reviews, awards, classroom suggestions from LITC 521 Teaching with Children's and Adolescent Literature.
  • The Horn Book Magazine, Booklist, and BookLinks:  Popular web sites that supplement these professional journals

Literature Circles Resource Center

© 2011 Katherine L. Schlick Noe
College of Education
Seattle University