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Books to Use in the Classroom

Bridge to Terabithia

Bridge to Terabithia - Katherine Paterson, Donna Diamond

It is a classic.  Timeless and full of real issues that students face.  I remember reading this in the 5th grade.  One thing I personally learned from this book is that it is okay for families not to be perfect.  This was one of the first encounters I had with children's literature that exposed me to characters with real-life problems and struggles.  This book is a reading level of 4.6.  It would be used in the older grades at a time where kids are making the transition out of childhood and into adolescence, when they are discovering that the world is not always a perfect place.  Grief could be discussed.  Finding your identity and being different could be discussed.  This is a great work and there are so many possibilities with this novel.

The Giving Tree

The Giving Tree - Shel Silverstein

What a precious book!  It contains so much wisdom and life lessons!  This awesome book could be used to teach a lesson on being content with what you have, sacrificial love, and thankfulness.  


The Giving Tree has a reading level of 2.6. 

Boundless Grace

Boundless Grace - Mary Hoffman

This book is just great!  I recently used it in a lesson.  We discussed inferences and used the beautiful illustrations to talk about how we can infer the characters' feelings based on facial expressions and such.  Also we discussed the truth that "families are what you make them," as this is frequently said in the story.  The grade level for this story is a 4.1, but we used it in my 3rd grade classroom and it worked very well.  The students learned a great lesson on not comparing your family to others'.