Children's Picture Books for Middle and High School Readers


Picture books for middle and high school students? Sure! Sometimes words are not enough to convey the emotion and passion of a story. The simplicity of a picture book can help our older students better reflect on issues and concepts and appreciate their over-all meaning. And, no doubt about it, older students are excited and intrigued by children’s books. As Diana Mitchell points out, “they paw over the books, oohing and aahing at the illustrations, the colors, and the topics. Enthusiasm creeps into their talk. They become unabashedly interested in the books . . . . “(p. 86–87, 2000)
This pathfinder is meant to help teachers in choosing appropriate picture books for their classrooms and to offer ideas for lessons.
Note: Annotations are from Follett Library Resources, 2007.

Architecture - Buildings & Structures / Art / Family Consumer Science / Language Arts / Math / Music / Physical Education / Science
[[http://nhshighschool.wikispaces.com/Children%27s+Books#Social Studies|Social Studies]] / [[http://nhshighschool.wikispaces.com/Children%27s+Books#Prof Resources|Professional Resources]]



Architecture/ Buildings & Structures

  • Brimner, L. D. (2004). Subway : The Story of Tunnels, Tubes, and Tracks. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills Press.
Surveys the early subways of London, Paris, New York, and other cities of the nineteenth century and examines how they were built and those responsible for their construction.
  • Curlee, L. (2003). Capital. New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers.
Monuments - Provides a history of Washington, D.C., focusing on the National Mall, its monuments and surrounding buildings.
  • Curlee, L. (2005). Ballpark :The Story of America's Baseball Fields . New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers.
Baseball stadiums - Presents, in words and illustrations, a brief overview of some of baseball's best loved ballparks, including Fenway Park in Boston, Yankee Stadium in New York City, and Wrigley Field in Chicago, and examines their history and cultural significance.
  • Hopkinson, D., & Ransome, J. E., Ill. (2006). Sky boys : How They Built the Empire State Building. New York: Schwartz & Wade Books.
In 1931, a boy and his father watch as the world's tallest building, the Empire State Building is constructed, step-by-step, near their Manhattan home.
  • Mann, E., & Turco, L. L., Ill. (1996). The Great Pyramid. New York: Mikaya Press.
A history of the construction of the Great Pyramid at Giza and the civilization that produced it.
  • Mann, E., & Witschonke, A., Ill. (1996). The Brooklyn Bridge. New York: Mikaya Press.
Describes the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, from its conception by John Roebling in 1852 through, after many setbacks, its final completion under the direction of his son, Washington, in 1883.
  • Mann, E., & Witschonke, A., Ill. (2001). Hoover Dam. New York: Mikaya Press.
Architecture - Describes the engineering, construction, and social and historical contexts of the Hoover Dam.

Back to top


Art

  • Ancona, G. (2003). Murals : Walls that Sing. New York: Cavendish.
Presents a photo essay about murals, a form of art the photographer, George Ancona, regards as authentically for the people or "para el pueblo."
Lessons:
http://www.readingrockets.org/books/interviews/ancona
http:/www.pbs.org/teachers/thismonth/politicsart/index1.html
http://www.rocklibrary.com/Library/Entity.aspx?id=6cab04ed-bbd7-488f-9ec4-3c496fb92a61
  • Armstrong, J., & Smith, J. A., Ill. (2003). Audubon : Painter of Birds in the Wild Frontier. New York: Abrams.
Briefly tells the story of this nineteenth-century painter and naturalist who is most famous for his detailed paintings of birds.
  • Bosak, S. V. (2004). Dream : A Tale of Wonder, Wisdom & Wishes. Toronto: TCP Press.
A very old star leads a young seeker on an investigation of the importance of dreams at every stage of life, from infancy to old age. Includes illustrations from fifteen top artists and quotes from notabble people in history.
  • Byrd, R. (2003). Leonardo, Beautiful Dreamer. New York: Dutton Children's Books.
Illustrations and text portray the life of Leonardo da Vinci, who gained fame as a artist through such works as the Mona Lisa, and as a scientist by studying various subjects including human anatomy and flight.
  • Gogh, V. V. (2005). Vincent's Colors: Words and Pictures by Vincent van Gogh (W. Lach, Ed.). New York: Metropolitan Museumof Art.
Uses quotations from Vincent van Gogh's correspondence with his brother Theo to describe the colors in his paintings, which are also reproduced in this book.
  • Landmann, B. (2006). I am Marc Chagall. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co.
Presents a look at the life and art of Marc Chagall, in simple, first-person, text with illustrations. Adapted from the book "My Life" by Marc Chagall.
  • Raczka, B. (2003). Art is... Brookfield, CT: Millbrook Press.
Rhyming text and photographs show that art is much more than just what can be hung on a wall or set on a pedestal.
  • Raczka, B. (2003). More than Meets the Eye : Seeing Art with All Five Senses. Brookfield, CT: Millbrook Press.
Provides images of paintings and new, sensory ways to experience them such as tasting the milk in Vermeer's "The Milkmaid," hearing the music in Tanner's "The Banjo Lesson, "or smelling the fresh-cut stacks of wheat in Monet's "End of Summer."
  • Raczka, B. (2006). Unlikely Pairs : Fun with Famous Works of Art. Brookfield, CT: Millbrook Press.
Contains a collection of twenty-eight works of art, from different eras and styles, presented in pairs, and invites the reader to discover fourteen funny stories produced by being viewed together.
  • Rubin, S. (2007). Edward Hopper: Painter of Light and Shadow. New York: Abrams Books for Young Readers.
Profiles the life and works of American painter Edward Hopper that includes a collection of his paintings and sketches.
  • Warhola, J. (2003). Uncle Andy’s. New York: Putnam’s.
The author describes a trip to see his uncle, the soon-to-be-famous artist Andy Warhol, and the fun that he and his family had on the visit.
  • Wisniewski, D. (1994). The Wave of the Sea-Wolf. New York: Clarion Books.
With Cut-paper art: Kchokeen, a Tlingit princess, is rescued from drowning by a guardian spirit that later enables Kchokeen to summon a great wave and save her people from hostile strangers.

Back to top


Family Consumer Science

  • Brumbeau, J., & De Marcken, G., Ill. (2001). The Quiltmaker's Gift. New York: Orchard Books.
When a generous quiltmaker finally agrees to make a quilt for a greedy king but only under certain conditions, she causes him to undergo a change of heart; 250 quilt patterns hidden in the picture.
http://www.quiltmakersgift.com/
  • Brumbeau, J. (2005). The Quiltmaker’s Journey. New York: Orchard Books.
The quiltmaker grows up wealthy and sheltered, but radically changes her life after she discovers the poverty and need outside her town.
  • Wiliing, K. B., Dock, J. B., & Morse, S., Ill. (1996). Cotton Now & Then : Fabric Making from Boll to Bolt. Ashland, OR: Now & Then Publications.
Mrs. Johnson shares with her children the story of how cotton was grown and processed in the past, and discusses the techniques used in modern times.

Back to top


Language Arts

  • Aliki. (1999). William Shakespeare & the Globe. New York: Harper Collins.
Tells the story of the well-known playwright, William Shakespeare, and of the famous Globe Theatre in which many of his works were performed.
  • Bates, K. L., & Gall, C., Ill. (2004). America the Beautiful. New York: Little, Brown.
Presents the 1893 poem written by Katharine Lee Bates in celebration of the beauty of America, and features illustrations by Bates' great-great-grandnephew, as well as the musical notation for the song inspired by the poem.
  • Bedard, M., & Cooney, B., Ill. (1992). Emily. New York: Doubleday Book for Young Readers.
When a mother and child pay a visit to their reclusive neighbor Emily Dickinson, who stays in her house writing poems, there is an exchange of special gifts.
  • Bedard, M., Ferdandez, L., Ill., & Jacobson, R., Ill. (1997). Glass Town. New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers.
A brief, fictionalized account of the daily lives of the Bronte’s told from the point of view of Charlotte.
  • Berry, S. L. (2004). William Carlos Williams. Voices in Poetry. Mankato, Minn: Creative Education.
An introduction to the life of William Carlos Williams accompanies a selection of his poems.
  • Coville, B., & Raglin, T. (2003). William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. New York: Dial Books.
A simplified prose retelling of Shakespeare's comedy about shipwreck, mistaken identity and misplaced love. Note that Coville had similar retellings of Macbeth, The Tempest and Romeo and Juliet.
  • Kerley, B., & Selznick, B., Ill. (2004). Walt Whitman : Words for America. New York: Scholastic Press.
A biography of the American poet whose compassion led him to nurse soldiers during the Civil War, to give voice to the nation's grief at Lincoln's assassination, and to capture the true American spirit in verse.
  • Kimmel, E., & Fisher, L. E., Ill. (2005). The Hero Beowulf. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
A simple, brief retelling of the Anglo-Saxon epic about the heroic efforts of Beowulf, son of Ecgtheow, to save the people of Heorot Hall from the terrible monster, Grendel.
  • Noyes, A., & Mikolaychak, C., Ill. (2005). The Highwayman. Toronto: KC Poetry.
An illustrated version of the well-known poem about the highwayman and his true love, the innkeeper's daughter.
http://edsitement.neh.gov/view_lesson_plan.asp?id=426
http://www.teachersfirst.com/share/highwayman/
  • Stanley, D. (1997). Rumpelstiltskin's Daughter. New York: Morrow Junior Books.
Parody, symbolism: Rumpelstiltskin's daughter may not be able to spin straw into gold, but she is more than a match for a monarch whose greed has blighted an entire kingdom.
  • Whitman, W., & Long, L., Ill. (2004). When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer. New York: Simon & Schuster Books.
Presents Walt Whitman's poem "When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer," illustrated with the story of a boy who finds relief in the night sky when he becomes overwhelmed by an academic presentation on the stars.
  • Van Allsburg, C. (1984). The Mysteries of Harris Burdick. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Story starters; surrealism - Presents a series of loosely related drawings each accompanied by a title and a caption which the reader may use to make up his or her own story.
  • Van Allsburg, C. (1986). The Stranger. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Foreshadowing - The enigmatic origins of the stranger Farmer Bailey hits with his truck and brings home to recuperate seem to have a mysterious relation to the changing season.
  • Van Allsburg, C. (1993). The Sweetest Fig. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Empathy- After being given two magical figs that make his dreams come true, Monsieur Bibot sees his plans for future wealth upset by his long-suffering dog.

Back to top


Math

  • Adler, D., & Tobin, N., Ill. (1999). How Tall, How Short, How Faraway. New York: Holiday House.
Introduces several measuring systems such as the Egyptian system, the inch-pound system, and the metric system.
  • Brumbeau, J. (2005). The Quiltmaker’s Journey. New York: Orchard Books.
The quiltmaker grows up wealthy and sheltered, but radically changes her life after she discovers the poverty and need outside her town.
  • Lasky, K., & Hawkes, K., Ill. (1994). The Librarian Who Measured the Earth. Boston: Joy Street Books.
Measurement - Describes the life and work of Eratosthenes, the Greek geographer andastronomer who accurately measured the circumference of the Earth.
  • Love, D. A., & Paparone, P., Ill. (2006). Of Numbers and Stars : The Story of Hypatia. New York: Holiday.
A simple biography of Hypatia, born in Egypt during the fourth century AD, who grewto be an authority in philosophy, physics and mathematics through the instruction of herfather.
  • Martin, J. B., & Azarian, M., Ill. (1998). Snowflake Bentley. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Geometry - A biography of a self-taught scientist who photographed thousands ofindividual snowflakes in order to study their unique formations.
  • Scieszka, J., & Smith, L., Ill. (1995). Math Curse. New York: Viking.
When the teacher tells her class that they can think of almost everything as a mathproblem, one student acquires a math anxiety which becomes a real curse.
  • Sis, P. (1996). Starry Messenger: A Book Depicting the Life of a Famous Scientist, Mathematician, Astronomer, Philosopher, Physicist, Galileo Galilei. New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux.
Describes the life and work of Galileo who changed the way people saw the galaxy, by offering objective evidence that the earth was not the fixed center of the universe.
  • Smith, D. J., & Armstrong, S., Ill. (2002). If the World Were a Village: A Book About the World's People. Toronto: Kids Can Press.
Breaks down the population of the world into a collection of one hundred representative people and describes what one would find in this global village, covering languages, ages, religions, food, air and water, schooling, and possessions, accompanied by vivid color illustrations.
Back to top


Music

  • Bryant, J., & Peck, B., Ill. (2005). Music for the End of Time. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers.
Presents the true story of French composer Oliver Messiaen, who was permitted to write and perform his music while a prisoner in a German POW camp during World War Two.
Lessons:
http://www.teachervision.fen.com/literature/resource/5749.html
  • Gatti, A., & Malone, P., Ill. (1997). The Magic Flute. San Francisco: Chronicle Books.
Retells the story of the Mozart opera in which the noble Prince Tamino seeks the fair Pamina against a backdrop of the battle between darkness and light.
  • Myers, W. D., & Myers, C., Ill. (2003). Blues Journey. New York: Holiday House.
Presents blues lyrics that chronicle the history of the African-American experience, and includes information about the development of blues music.
  • Wargin, K.-J., & Larson, K., Ill. (2004). M is for Melody : A Music Alphabet. Chelsea, MI: Sleeping Bear Press.
The letters of the alphabet are represented by words that relate to music, presented in short rhymes about instruments, terms, composers, and styles, each with additional information about the topic.

Back to top



Physical Education


  • Burleigh, R., & Johnson, S. T., Ill. (1997). Hoops. San Diego: Silver Whistle.
Illustrations and poetic text describe the movement and feel of the game of basketball.
  • Krull, K. (1996). Wilma Unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph Became the World’s Fastest Woman. San Diego: Harcourt Brace.
A biography of the African-American woman who overcame crippling polio as a child to become the first woman to win three gold medals in track in a single Olympic.
  • Moss, M., & Payne, C., Ill. (2004). Mighty Jackie : The Strike-out Queen. New York: Simon & Schuster Books forYoung Readers.
Women in Sports - In 1931, seventeen-year-old Jackie Mitchell pitches against Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in an exhibition game, becoming the first professional female pitcher in baseball history.


Back to top


Science

  • Armstrong, J., & Smith, J. A., Ill. (2003). Audubon : Painter of Birds in the Wild Frontier. New York: Abrams.
Naturalist -- Briefly tells the story of this nineteenth-century painter and naturalist who is most famous for his detailed paintings of birds.
  • Appelt, K., & Hein, J. F., Ill. (2005). Miss Lady Bird's Wildflowers : America's Environmental First Lady . New York: HarperCollins.
Environmental Protection - A biography of Lady Bird Johnson who, as the wife of President Lyndon Johnson, reminded citizens about the importance of conserving natural resources and promoted the beautification of cities and highways by planting wildflowers.
  • Arnold, C. (2005). The Skeletal System. Minneapolis: Lerner Publications Co.
Biology - Explains how the different types of bones of the body work harmoniously together.
  • Baker, J. (1991). Window. New York: Greenwillow Books.
Ecology - Chronicles the events and changes in a young boy's life and in his environment, from babyhood to grownup, through wordless scenes observed from the window of his room.
  • Locker, T. (2002). Water Dance. San Diego: Harcourt.
Water speaks of its existence in such forms as storm clouds, mist, rainbows, and rivers. Includes factual information on the water cycle.
  • McCully, E. A. (2006). Marvelous Mattie : How Margaret E. Knight Became an Inventor. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Inventors - Describes inventor Margaret E. Knight's childhood, explaining how her interest in mechanical innovations began, and tells the story of her invention of a paper bag maker and her legal battle for the patent after someone stole her idea.
  • Pringle, L., & Henderson, M., Ill. (2004). Snakes! : Strange and Wonderful . Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills Press.
Animals - Describes the physical characteristics and abilities of snakes, looks at how they climb, swim, and move across the ground, discusses their hunting abilities and eating behaviors, and explains how they reproduce.
  • Simon, S. (1989). Stars. New York: Mulberry.
Discusses the stars, their composition, and characteristics, with actual photographs.
  • Simon, S. (1991). Galaxies. New York: Mulberry Books.
Identifies the nature, locations, movements, and different categories of galaxies,
examining the Milky Way and other known examples.
  • Simon, S. (1996). The Heart : Our Circulatory System. New York: Morrow Junior Books.
Describes the heart, blood, and other parts of the body's circulatory system and explains how each component functions.
  • Simon, S. (1997). The Brain : Our Nervous System. New York: HarperCollins.
Describes the various parts of the brain and the nervous system and how they function to enable us to think, feel, move, and remember.
  • Simon, S. (1998). Bones : Our Skeletal System. New York: HarperCollins.
Presents a full-color illustrated study of how the digestive system works, how it turns food into energy, nutrients , and waste, how major organs move food through the body, and more.
  • Simon, S. (1998). Comets, Meteors, and Asteroids. New York: Mulberry Books.
Explains the wonders of space, comets, asteroids, extraterrestrial objects, and meteors.
  • Simon, S. (1998). Muscles : Our Muscular System. New York: HarperCollins.
Describes the nature and work of muscles, the different kinds, and the effects of exercise and other activities on them.
  • Simon, S. (1999). Icebergs and Glaciers. New York: Mulberry.
Contains information on icebergs and glaciers, and discusses the how they are formed, how they move, and describes the different kinds glaciers and icebergs as well as their effect on the environment.
  • Simon, S. (2002). Destination: Space. New York: HarperCollins.
Explains new discoveries about the universe made possible by the Hubble Telescope.
  • Simon, S. (2003). The Moon. New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.
A basic introduction to Earth's closest neighbor, its composition, and human missions to explore it. Illustrated with photographs of the moon taken in space.
  • Simon, S. (2003). Space Travelers. San Francisco: SeaStar Books.
Traces the history of space travel, looking at some of the achievements that have been made since the beginning of manned flight, and imagining what the future might hold for traveling and living in outer space.
  • Simon, S. (2005). Guts : Our Digestive System. New York: HarperCollins.
Presents a full-color illustrated study of how the digestive system works, how it turns food into energy, nutrients , and waste, how major organs move food through the body, and more.
  • Sis, P. (1996). Starry Messenger: A Book Depicting the Life of a Famous Scientist, Mathematician, Astronomer, Philosopher, Physicist, Galileo Galilei. New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux.
Describes the life and work of Galileo who changed the way people saw the galaxy, by offering objective evidence that the earth was not the fixed center of the universe.
  • Sis, P. (2003). The Tree of Life : A Book Depicting the Life of Charles Darwin, Naturalist,
Geologist & Thinker. New York : Farrar Straus Giroux.
Presents the life of the famous nineteenth-century naturalist using text from Darwin's writings and detailed drawings by Sis.
  • Waldman, N. (2003). The Snowflake : A Water Cycle Story. Milford, CT: Millbrook Press.
Follows the journey of a water droplet through the various stages of the water cycle, from precipitation to evaporation and condensation.
  • Whitman, W., & Long, L., Ill. (2004). When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer. New York: Simon & Schuster Books.
Presents Walt Whitman's poem "When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer," illustrated with the story of a boy who finds relief in the night sky when he becomes overwhelmed by an academic presentation on the stars.

Back to top



Social Studies

  • Amis, N. (2003). The Orphans of Normandy : A True Story of World War II Told Through Drawings by Children. New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers.
WWII - Relates how 100 young schoolgirls, many of them orphans, and their teachers managed to escape the chaos of the Allied invasion of Normandy on June 6, l944, by taking shelter in an iron mine for thirty-eight days and, after being forced out by the
Germans, walking for twenty-nine days to reach safety behind Allied lines.
  • Barasch, L. (2004). Knockin' on Wood : Starring Peg Leg Bates. New York: Lee & Low Books.
African Americans / Disabilities - Presents a picture book biography of Clayton "Peg Leg" Bates, an African American who lost his leg in a factory accident at the age of twelve and went on to become a world-famous tap dancer.
  • Bates, K. L., & Gall, C., Ill. (2004). America the Beautiful. New York: Little, Brown.
US History - Presents the 1893 poem written by Katharine Lee Bates in celebration of the beauty of America, and features illustrations by Bates' great-great-grandnephew, as well as the musical notation for the song inspired by the poem.
  • Behnke, A. (2005). Chinese in America . Minneapolis: Lerner Publications Co.
Immigration - Examines the history of Chinese immigration to the United States, discussing why they came, what they did when they got here, where they settled, and customs they brought with them.
  • Borden, L., & Drummond, A., Ill. (2005). The journey that saved Curious George : The True Wartime Escape of Margret and H.A. Rey. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
WWII & Holocaust - Tells how the creators of "Curious George" narrowly escaped capture by the Nazis while fleeing Paris on their bicycles during World War II.
Lesson:
http:/www.houghtonmifflinbooks.com/features/cgsite/journey_lp.pdf
  • Borden, L., & Parker, R. A., Ill. (2006). Across the Blue Pacific : A World War II Story. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
WWII - A woman reminisces about her neighbor's son who was the object of a letter writing campaign by some fourth-graders when he went away to war in 1943.
  • Bosak, S. V. (2004). Dream : A Tale of Wonder, Wisdom & Wishes. Toronto: TCP Press.
Character Dev. -A very old star leads a young seeker on an investigation of the importance of dreams at every stage of life, from infancy to old age. Includes illustrations from fifteen top artists and quotes from notable people in history.
  • Bridges, R. (1999). Through My Eyes. New York: Scholastic.
School Integration - Ruby Bridges recounts the story of her involvement, as a six-year-old, in the integration of her school in New Orleans in 1960.
Lessons:
http://content.scholastic.com/browse/collateral.jsp?id=1005_type=Book_typeId=3748 http://www.education-world.com/a_lesson/03/lp297-05.shtml
  • Bruchac, M., & Maughan, W., Ill. (2005). Malian's Song. Middlebury, VT: Vermont Folklife Center ,Distributed by University Press of New England.
Native Americans - Tells the true story of the deliberate English attack by British Major Robert Rogers on the St. Francis Abenaki community near Montreal in 1759, and is written in text that interweaves Abenaki with English.
  • Bunting, E., & Peck, B. (1988). How Many Days to America?: A Thanksgiving Story. New York: Clarion Books.
Refugees - Refugees from a Caribbean island embark on a dangerous boat trip to America where they have a special reason to celebrate Thanksgiving.
  • Cheripko, J., & Lippincott, G., Ill. (2004). Caesar Rodney's Ride : The Story of an American
Patriot. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills Press.
History - The story of Caesar Rodney, who was determined to sign the Declaration of Independence.
  • Cutler, J., & Couch, G., Ill. (1999). The Cello of Mr. O. New York: Dutton Children's Books.
War / Courage - When a concert cellist plays in the square for his neighbors in a war-besieged city, his priceless instrument is destroyed by a mortar shell, but he finds the courage to return the next day to perform with a harmonica.
  • Demi. (2003). Muhammad. New York: Margaret K. McElderry Books.
World Cultures - Introduces Muhammad and the basic tenets of the Islamic faith.
  • Erdrich, L., & Buffalohead, J., Ill. (2003). Sacagawea. Minneapolis: Carolrhoda Books.
American Indians - A biography of the Shoshone girl, Sacagawea, from age eleven when she was kidnapped by the Hidatsa to the end of her journey with Lewis and Clark, plus speculation about her later life.
  • Freedman, R., & Ibatoulline, B., Ill. (2006). The Adventures of Marco Polo. New York: Scholastic.
Explorers - Presents an illustrated account of the life and travels of Italian explorer Marco Polo. Accompanied by archival, period artwork.
  • Giovanni, N., & Collier, B., Ill. (2005). Rosa. New York: Henry Holt.
Civil Rights - Presents an illustrated account of Rosa Parks' refusal to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama in 1955, and the subsequent bus boycott by the black community.
  • Goodman, J. E., & McNeely, T., Ill. (2001). A Long and Uncertain Journey : The 27,000-Mile Voyage of Vasco da Gama. New York: Mikaya Press.
Explorers - An illustrated biography of Vasco da Gama, the Portuguese explorer who opened the sea route between Europe and India in the late fifteenth century.
  • Goodman, J. E., Rangel, F., Ill., & Duke, B., Maps. (1999). Beyond the Sea of Ice : The Voyages of Henry Hudson. New York: Mikaya Press.
Explorers - An account of Henry Hudson's four voyages in search of a passage to the Orient in the early seventeenth century and the discoveries made by him on the northeastern coast of America.
  • Granfield, L., & Wilson, J., Ill. (1995). In Flanders Fields: The Story of the Poem by John McCrae. Toronto: Stoddart Kids.
War - Presents the context for the writing of the famous poem by the Canadian medical officer who attended injured soldiers in Flanders during the First World War.
  • Hesse, K., & Watson, W., Ill. (2004). The Cats in Krasinski Square. New York: Scholastic Press.
Holocaust - Two Jewish sisters, escapees of the infamous Warsaw ghetto, devise a plan to thwart an attempt by the Gestapo to intercept food bound for starving people behind the dark Wall.
  • Hopkinson, D., & Ransome, J. E., Ill. (2001). Under the Quilt of Night. New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers.
Underground Railroad-- A young girl flees from the farm where she has been worked as a slave and uses the Underground Railroad to escape to freedom in the north.
  • Khan, R., & Himler, R., Ill. (1998). The Roses in My Carpet. Toronto: Stoddart Kids.
World Cultures - When a young boy and his mother and sister come to a refugee camp to escape the war in Afghanistan, he finds some comfort in the beauty of the carpets he is learning to weave.
  • King, T., & Monkman, W. K., Ill. (1992). A Coyote Columbus Story. Toronto: Douglas & McIntyre.
Native Americans - Coyote, the legendary character of American Indian folklore, gives an account of Columbus' discovery of America which is radically different from the traditional view.
  • Lawlor, V. (Ed.). (1997). I Was Dreaming to Come to America : Memories from the Ellis Island Oral History Project. New York: Puffin Books.
Immigration- In their own words, coupled with hand-painted collage illustrations, immigrants recall their arrival in the United States.
Includes brief biographies and facts about the Ellis Island Oral History Project.
  • Lawrence, J. (1993). The Great Migration : An American Story . New York: HarperCollins.
African-American Migration - A series of paintings chronicles the journey of African-Americans who, like the artist's family, left the
rural South in the early twentieth century to find a better life in the industrial North. Includes a poem by Walter Dean Myers.
  • Levinson, R., & Goode, D., Ill. (1995). Watch the Stars Come Out . New York:
Puffin.
Immigration - Grandma tells about her mama's journey to America by boat, years ago.
  • Lewin, T. (2003). Lost city : The Discovery of Machu Picchu . New York: Philomel Books.
World Geography - In 1911, Yale professor Hiram Bingham discovers a lost Incan city with the help of a young Peruvian boy.
  • Longfellow, H. W., & Santore, C., Ill. (2003). Paul Revere's Ride : The Landlord's Tale. New York: HarperCollins.
American Revolution - Vivid illustrations accompany a verse narration of Paul Revere's famous ride at the start of the American Revolution.
  • Lorbiecki, M., & Pinkney, D., Ill. (2006). Jackie's Bat. New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.
Race Relations - Joey, the batboy for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, learns a hard lesson about respect for people of different races after Jackie Robinson joins the team.
  • Macaulay, D. (2003). Mosque. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Reveals the methods and materials used to construct a mosque in late-sixteenth century Turkey.
http://www.houghtonmifflinbooks.com/authors/macaulay/
  • Marx, T., & Andreasen, D., Ill. (2006). Jeannette Rankin : First Lady of Congress. New York: M.K. McElderry Books.
Women in History - A biography of Jeannette Rankin,an advocate for women and children who became the first woman elected to the U.S. Congress in 1916, and who worked to secure the vote for women, and maintained a difficult position against U.S. involvement in foreign wars.
  • McKissack, P. C., & McKissack, F. (2003). Days of Jubilee : The End of Slavery in the United States. New York: Scholastic Press.
Slavery - Uses slave narratives, letters, diaries, military orders, and other documents to chronicle the various stages leading to the emancipation of slaves in the United States.
  • Mochizuki, K. (1993). Baseball Saved Us. New York: Lee & Low.
A Japanese American boy learns to play baseball when he and his family are forced to live in an internment camp during World War II, and his ability to play helps him after the war is over.
  • Moss, M., & Payne, C., Ill. (2004). Mighty Jackie : The Strike-out Queen. New York: Simon & Schuster Books forYoung Readers.
Women in Sports - In 1931, seventeen-year-old Jackie Mitchell pitches against Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in an exhibition game, becoming the first professional female pitcher in baseball history.
  • Myers, W. D., & Grifalconi, A., Ill. (2002). Patrol: An American Soldier in Vietnam. New York:HarperCollins.
Vietnam War - A frightened American soldier faces combat in the lush forests of Vietnam.
  • Polacco, P. (1994). Pink and Say. New York: Putnam & Grosset Group.
Civil War/Slavery - Say Curtis describes his meeting with Pinkus Aylee, a black soldier, during the Civil War, and their capture by Southern troops.
  • Polacco, P. (2000). Butterfly. New York: Philomel Books.
Holocaust - During the Nazi occupation of France, Monique's mother hides a Jewish family in her basement and tries to help them escape to freedom.
  • Rappaport, D., & Collier, B., Ill. (2002). Martin's Big Words : The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. New York: Scholastic.
Civil Rights - Looks at the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, explaining his work to bring about a peaceful end to segregation.
  • Ryan, P. M., & Selznick, B., Ill. (1999). Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride : Based on a True Story . New York: Scholastic Press.
History - A fictionalized account of the night Amelia Earhart flew Eleanor Roosevelt over Washington, D.C. in an airplane.
  • Ryan, P. M., & Selznick, B., Ill. (2002). When Marian Sang: :The True Recital of Marian Anderson the Voice of a Century. New York: Scholastic Press.
Civil Rights - An introduction to the life of Marian Anderson, extraordinary singer and civil rights activist, who was the first African American to perform at the Metropolitan Opera, whose life and career encouraged social change.
  • Say, A. (2002). Home of the Brave. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Japenese Americans - Native Americans - Following a kayaking accident, a man experiences the feelings of children interned during World War II and children on Indian reservations.
  • Say, A. (1991). Tree of Cranes. New York: Houghton Mifflin.
World Cultures - A Japanese boy learns of Christmas when his mother decorates a pine tree with paper cranes.
  • Say, A. (1993). Grandfather's Jouney. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
World Cultures/Immigration - A Japanese American man recounts his grandfather's journey to America which he later also undertakes, and the feelings of being torn by a love for two different countries.
  • Seuss, D. (1971). The Lorax. New York: Random House.
Ecology - The Once-ler describes the results of the local pollution problem.
  • Seuss, D. (1984). The Butter Battle Book. New York: Random House.
Cold War & Weaponry - Engaged in a long-running battle, the Yooks and the Zooks develop more and more sophisticated weaponry as they attempt to outdo each other.
  • Smith, D. J., & Armstrong, S., Ill. (2002). If the World Were a Village: A Book About the World's People. Toronto: Kids Can Press.
Human Geography/World Cultures - Breaks down the population of the world into a collection of one hundred representative people and describes what one would find in this global village, covering languages, ages, religions, food, air and water, schooling, and possessions, accompanied by vivid color illustrations.
Lessons:
http://www.learningtogive.org/lessons/unit137/lesson3.html
  • Spier, P. (1980). People. New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell Pub Group.
World Cultures - Emphasizes the differences among the four billion people on earth.
  • Tsuchiya, Y., & Lewin, T., Ill. (1988). Faithful Elephants: A True Story of Animals, People and War (T. T. Dykes, Trans.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.
WWII, Hiroshima, Japan - Recounts how three elephants in a Tokyo zoo were put to death because of the war, focusing on the pain shared by the elephants and the keepers who must starve them.
  • Van Allsburg, C. (1992). The Widow's Broom. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.
Witch craze - A witch's worn-out broom serves a widow well, until her neighbors decide the thing is wicked and dangerous.
  • Van Steenwyk, E., & Farnsworth, B., Ill. (2003). One Fine Day : A Radio Play. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers.
History -Tells the story of the Wright Brothers' first successful flight, presented in the form of an illustrated radio play.
  • Volavkova, H. (Ed.). (1993). I Never Saw Another Butterfly: Children's Drawings and Poems from Terezin Concentration Camp 1942-1944 (Expanded Second Edition by the United Stated Holocaust Memorial Museum ed.). New York: Schocken Books.
Holocaust - A selection of children's poems and drawings reflecting their surroundings in Terezín Concentration Camp in Czechoslovakia from 1942 to 1944.
  • Weatherford, C. B., & Christie, R. G., Ill. (2006). Dear Mr. Rosenwald. New York: Scholastic Press.
School segregation - Young Ovella rejoices as her community comes together to raise money and build a much-needed school in the 1920s, with matching funds from the president of Sears, Roebuck, and Company and support from Professor James of the Normal School.
  • Woodson, J., & Lewis, E. B., Ill. (2001). The Other Side. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons.
Race Relations - Two girls, one white and one African-American, gradually get to know each other as they sit on the fence that divides their town.
  • Yee, P., & Chan, H., Ill. (1996). Ghost Train. Emeryville, CA: Douglas & McIntyre.
Chinese railroad workers - Choon-yi, a talented artist, travels from China to America to join her father, a railway worker. On arrival she discovers he has died, but he comes to her in a dream, telling her to draw the fire horse. She sets out on a magical journey to bring his soul home.
  • Young, E. (2005). Beyond the Great Mountains : A Visual Poem about China. San Francisco: Chronicle Books.
World Cultures - Lyrical text and illustrations featuring Chinese characters and paper collage introduce the beauty and richness of China.

Back to top


Professional Resources

Websites and Articles (available on Free Internet)

An article about the uses of picture books in lessons.
A webquest which challenges teachers to use picture books in secondary social studies classrooms.
  • Corio, J. (2000, September 1). Using Picture Books with Middle and High School Students.
http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/reading/47355/1
A very comprehensive article on using picture books with older readers, including many links and resources of reading lists.
  • Grasfield, S. (2003, November). Some Practical Ideas for Using Picture Books in Middle School.
http://www.mslma.org/MediaForum/Nov2003/Picturebooks.html
A librarian's ideas on how certain picture books can be used in middle school.
  • Henry, L. (2007). Postmodern Picture Books in the Middle School. In ReadWriteThink.
http://www.readwritethink.org/lessons/lesson_view.asp?id=66
A lesson plan in which students explore an authors use words and illustrations to create unexpected plots and connections within a text.
  • James, H. F. (n.d.). Picture Books to Support Character.
http://www.sdcoe.k12.ca.us/lret2/sls/pdf/character-traits-hfj.pdf
An article which explains how picture books expand children’s experiences and
provide opportunities for classroom discussion.
  • Mitchell, C. (n.d.). Picture books that address classroom subjects. In Literacy in the Content Areas.
http://www.sjms.jordan.k12.ut.us/MediaCenter/corner.htm
A wonderful, annotated list of picture books for secondary students which is organized by subject.
A wiki list of picture books for high school which was originated by Nancy Keane, http://nancykeane.com/rl/.
A list of picture books.
Reviews of picture books for older readers.
  • Richardson, M., & Miller, M. B. (n.d.). Using Picture Books Kindergarten thorugh High School.
http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICDocs/data/ericdocs2sql/content_storage_01/0000019b/80/14/d4/77.pdf
Describes the value of picture books and includes a bibliography of resources and a book list by subject.
Describes ways in which picture books can be used in lessons about the Holocaust.
  • Simmt, E., & Sterenberg, G. (2003). Using Literature in the Secondary School Mathematics Classroom:
A Collection of Book Reviews and Teaching Activities. Centre for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education at the University of Alberta
http:/www.ioncmaste.ca/homepage/resources/web_resources/applied_math/MathBook_reviews.pdf
This collection of book reviews explores possible ways, benefits, and challenges of using literary resources in secondary school mathematics
  • Toor, R. (n.d.). Picture Books for Secondary. In TL Links and BC Social Studies 8-12 Resources.
http://www.rupert.net/~rtoor/Library_SecondaryPictureBooks.htm
Consists of resources and book lists for educators.
  • Wright, J. (2007). The Children’s Picture Book Project. In ReadWriteThink.
http://www.readwritethink.org/lessons/lesson_view.asp?id=1022
A lesson which students plan, write, illustrate, and publish their own children’s picture books.

Professional Books

  • Hall, S. (2000). Using Picture Storybooks to Teach Character Education. Phoenix: Oryx Press.
Discusses how educators can use picture storybooks to teach their students about the importance of character.
  • Harlan, M. A., Loertscher, D. V., & McElmeel, S. L. (2007). Picture Books for Young Adults. In
Young Adult Literature and Multimedia: A Quick Guide- 2008 (pp. 124-126). Salt Lake City, UT: Hi Willow Reaearch & Publishing.
A chapter on how picture books can be used with young adults, including a book list by subject.
  • McElmeel, S. L. (2007). Illustrated Short Stories (Picture Books for Teens). In Best Teen Reads :
2007 (pp. 66-68). Salt Lake City: Hi Willow Research & Publishing.
A nicely annotated list of picture books for young adults.
  • Mitchell, D., & Christenbury, L. (2000). Both Art and Craft: Teaching Ideas that Spark Learning.
Urbana, IL: NCTE.
Provides the middle school or secondary school classroom teacher with a wealth of creative activities and strategies for literature and writing.
  • Tiedt, I. M. (2000). Teaching with Picture Books in the Middle School. Newark, DE: Intl Reading Assn.
Discusses which picture books are appropriate for middle school students, and experiments with reproducible lesson plans and activities that will foster reading and writing skills not only in the language arts classroom, but in other subject areas as well.

Professional Articles

  • Hurst, C. (1997, November). Picture books in the middle school. Teaching Pre K-8, 28(3), 50.
An article reviewing picture books which are useful in middle school.
  • Johnson, K. (2001, March). Children's Books in a High School Library? A Risky Question Worth Asking. Book Report, 19(5), 6.
Looks at the issues and benefits of using picture books in high school.
  • McCann, G. T. (2007, December). A New Age for Picture Books. NJEA Review, 4-5.
This reading teacher believes that picture books can help foster reading skills in secondary students.

Back to top