My list is a little heavy on Patricia Polacco and Jacqueline Woodson, but they are birds of a feather.
I have 34 Haunting Holocaust Books for Kids including picture books, chapter books and graphic novels but I chose these two for 5th grade. If you want to learn more about the Danish king who saved his people from the death camps, this picture book is the perfect (gentle) place to start.
And they do … through a class project turning junkyard parts into something else and by reaching the fullest potential. Patricia Polacco, in her autobiographical picture book, has dyslexia and she can’t read until her remarkable teacher 5th grade teacher Mr. On visiting day, a little girl and her grandmother get up early to prepare for a long bus ride to visit her father in jail. Daniel Beaty says that “as an educator of small children, I discovered how many of my students were also dealing with the loss of a father from incarceration, divorce or sometimes even death.
Because their mother disappears for days on end, Johnson and his sister are taken by Miss Roy, a social worker, to live with their Gracie Aunt. The year is unclear but the men are fighting the war, so Ada Ruth’s mom sets off for Chicago to find work because they are hiring colored women there.
So begins Fly Away Home which tells the story of Andrew and his dad with detailed honesty of what life is like to be homeless and living in an airport.
The drum beat lives inside the African people as some are stolen from their homelands and brought to America as slaves.
I have additional chapter books and picture books for kids on the Civil Rights Movement here and here. The fence that seperates Clover’s town into a white section and a black section actually runs through her backyard. One day, after a lot of watching the girl, Clover leans in close to the fence to talk to her.
This picture book makes you realize how prejudice is a learned thing and something that we don’t need to pass on to our children.
Baby hippopotamus Owen is the lone survivor of his pod after they are washed out to sea from the 2005 Tsunami in Kenya. Christian the Lion is the true story of a lion cub, purchased from Harrods, bonds with his human parents and eventually is taught to return to the wild. I am an Amazon affiliate which means if you buy anything through my blog, I get a very small kickback at no cost to you.
If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader. I think that you know how important I think picture books are in teaching children (and possibly even adults) in a fun and effective way.
I would be remiss not to mention two books closest to my heart because they are appropriate for 4th and 5th grade.
I think picture books are wonderful for all ages and they have messages and information that is hard to come by in other genres.
Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power.
I’m sure you figured out from the description that Fairest is a origin story of the evil and lovely Queen Levana. While I did enjoy getting to see the queen we love to hate a little closer up, I couldn’t help but wonder why her story was made into a 222-page book instead of a shorter 100-page novella. Although I enjoyed learning the whys and hows of Levana’s past, I do think the story got stuck a little on one storyline that seemed to drag a bit. While I think that Fairest is well-written and offers great insight, I really wonder how many fans will buy this book based on a very hateful character who has little redeeming quality.


I’m very thankful that the fine people at Macmillan Audio sent me a handy-dandy audio book of Fairest. However, I managed to download the book to my iPhone and listened to the book when I worked out at the gym.
The only thing that I didn’t expect, which took me awhile to get used to, was that the narrator was the voice of every character. The album’s title track HARD LOVE is an encouraging upbeat song about perseverance and strength. The talent of NEEDTOBREATHE is evident on this album not only musically, but lyrically as well. You can follow NEEDTOBREATHE on their Facebook page here, their Twitter here, and their Instagram, here. You can also stay up to date on the latest news and info and tour dates, as well as purchase merchandise on the band’s website. Tori Ten Hagen Tori Ten Hagen is married to her amazing husband, Austin, and together they have a busy, energetic little boy. I found teachers in 4th and 5th grade sharing their favorite picture books and this gave me the courage to add to their list with my own.
In Warsaw during WWII, the Gestapo have forced all Jewish men, women and children into a ghetto where they are being ravished through disease and starvation. In this true story, Patricia actually reaches the moon by way of a treasured photograph sent to the moon via Apollo 11 because it turns out that each child in that Junkyard classroom was very special indeed!
In Knock Knock, Daniel Beaty is still working through the trauma he suffered as a result of his father’s imprisonment. Over time, the milk thickens or curdles into a yogurt-like substance with a strong, sour flavor. As the layers of the onion are peeled away, Xavier learns why Chris tries so hard and this opens his heart to let Chris in. From there, they never lost their beat as they fought in wars both at home and abroad including the one for Civil Rights. Glory Be also has the town pool and Freedom Fighters as the focal point around desegregation so it’s an interesting parallel with Freedom Summer. Even if your girls have no interest in leading workers to unionize or become an inventor, books like these help girls realize that, yes, girls can do that too. Rescued and put into a wild animal sactuary, the orphan hippo befriends a the 130-year-old giant tortoise. I find that I have to lure my middle school kids back to picture books because they don’t read them on their own but if they hear me reading aloud, they linger and will read it or ask for the picture book!
Little Miss HISTORY Travels to Mount Rushmore fits with the US fifth grade curriculum on American history, and Little Miss HISTORY Travels to THE STATUE Of LIBERTY is also middle grade, but especially appropriate for fourth grade in New York State curriculum in which the focus is on local history. Advanced picture books have a special place in my heart because I loved reading piles of them when my oldest was learning to read in 2nd grade.
As a former fourth grade teacher, I found many great picture books in which I could use for examples in Writing and Reading Workshop lessons. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told .
Because this was a unique experience for me, I decided to split this review into the actual content of the book and my thought on listening to an audio book for the first time. She did a great job of pausing and doing slightly different voices for the female characters when there was dialogue, but the male voices were a bit strange. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby. A good mix of fun and upbeat as well as slow and meaningful songs, this album is a favorite of mine, as a longtime fan of NEEDTOBREATHE.


I feel like the lyrics from this song really capture the theme of this album overall… strength, loss, and redemption. The band made up of, Bear Rinehart, Bo Rinehart, Seth Bolt, and Josh Lovelace have created an album that shows off their musical talent and creativity. She is a stay-at-home mom passionate about encouraging other moms on their own parenting journeys. Sure, there are advanced picture books but does the list have to hit the Core Curriculum agenda? Eve Bunting has the gift of telling other people’s stories with great sensitivity as if they were her own history. Those who can escape and pass for Aryan must use their ingenuity to find a way to bring food to their friends. I was suprised that her teacher read picture books to them but delighted as well that picture books have a place in all classrooms! Polacco has many wonderful picture books that draw on her own life celebrating teachers and educators. They had always played a wake up game of Knock Knock and now that his father is gone, he feels lost. Told in a series of twenty rhyming poems, this is a poetry book that will appeal to all children, even those who don’t think they like it. The drum beats on and today it helps create musicians, artists, scientists, teachers, leaders and entrepreneurs. Here a friendship between a white boy and a black boy bring to focus the racial tensions in the Deep South during the Civil Rights Movement. He’s excited when new laws are passed and he wants to show the town pool to John Henry but when they arrive, they find workers filling the pool with asphalt. They’re really some of my favorite books to get for Fen, and I think they really appeal to kids in a multi-media sort of way. My older kids in middle school still like them but they have to be lured into them because they are focused on YA and chapter books. I particularly like The Yellow Star and each year found that I would get choked up reading it again. As someone who really pays attention to lyrics when hearing an album for the first time, I feel that NEEDTOBREATHE has truly created songs on H A R D L O V E that are encouraging, thought provoking and relatable to so many of their listeners. When she isn't busy keeping up with her toddler, you can find her sipping on coffee, reading a book, or curled up watching a good movie. Don’t 4th and 5th graders want to read solely chapter books, having left picture books behind in 1st or 2nd grade? His life spanned from Shogunate Japane to WWII and Allen picks up where his grandfather left off; traveling back and forth from California to Japan.
As the generations progressed, Jacqueline’s could focus on telling stories using words. Fairest is clearly recommended to Lunar Chronicles fans only and then only for those with a very keen interest into the behind-the-scenes look at Queen Levana and the pre-story of Winter. Even if you have to use stealth to get picture books in front of older kids, it’s well worth it!
In this story of courage amid horrific inhumanity, Hesse celebrates the Jewish Resistance and the cats who helped as well. Falker was their favorite picture book and I could tell that it moved them to be a kinder person.



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