Archive for the 'book awards' Category

Teaching Economics With Children’s Literature: 26 Letters and 99 Cents


Introduction and Summary

26 Letters and 99 Cents is a great introductory book for students regarding money. It goes through multiple ways of making different amounts of cents, such as 6 cents (6 pennies, or 1 nickel and 1 penny).  Each example shows the number next to the examples, which show actual coins so students start understanding the coins’ values.  Examples go up to 99 cents. This is a great way to introduce the concept of money to students and help them understand its value.

Curriculum Connections

26 Letters and 99 Cents can be used to go with SOL K.7, where students begin to recognize that money is what people use to buy goods and is an important things to understand. This book is a good resource and can be used in teaching introduction to economics or even in mathematics.

Additional Resources

Scholastic had this great extension activity to do with the book once the students have read it. 

Here is a lesson plan called Number Cents where students get to work with real nickels and pennies like they saw in the book. 

Lastly, this is a lesson plan where the book can even be utilized while teaching second graders. 

General Information

Book:  26 Letters and 99 Cents

Author:  Tana Hoban

Illustrator:  none

Publisher: Mulberry Books

Publication Date: 1987

Pages: Grade Range: K-1

ISBN: 0-688=06361-6

Teaching Civics with Children's Literature: Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope


Introduction and Summary
Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope
a New York Times bestseller written by Nikki Grimes and illustrated by Bryan Collier is a glimps of the life of the 44th president of the United States.  This childrens book is based on Barack Obama’s memoir Dreams From My FatherThe story is told by a mother who is trying to explain what her young son David, is seeing on the television.  David’s mother explains the path that a young Barack Obama “Barry” took to get to where he is today. There is a strong message of how hope deep inside of Barack persevered and that is how he became president. The story does a great job of explaining the different places that he lived and the many cultures that surrounded him. It explains how he was not sure of who he was because he didn’t look like his black father or his white mother, and how this difference could be a bridge for the future. With the election of a any president history is made. With Barack Obama as president there is also a great significance because he is the first African American to become president.

Curriculum Connections
This story can be used for several different lessons. It could be used as part of the studies of the presidents and during black history month. There is a great time-line of the important dates that have shaped Barack Obama. Students can draw out this time-line or use this as a guide to draw their own time-lines.  This book could be incorporated into K.1,K.9, 1.10c, 1.12c, 3.12 SOLs

Additional Resources

  • Student’s can learn more about the 44th president of the United States of America along with other fun facts about the White House.
  • Your students can search the official kids portal to the U.S. Government at

General Information

  • Book: Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope
  • Author: Nikki Grimes
  • Illustrator: Bryan Collier
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing
  • Publication Date: August 2008
  • Pages: 48
  • Grade Range: K- 5
  • ISBN: 1416971440

BCCB Blue Ribbons – Nonfiction

Each year the staff of The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books awards Blue Ribbons to the books they believe to be the best of the previous year’s literature for youth. Here is this year’s list for nonfiction.

The Strongest Man in the World: Louis Cyr, written and illustrated by Nicolas DebonHenry's Freedom Box, written by Ellen Levine and illustrated by Kadir Nelson

Houdini the Handcuff King, written by Jason Lutes and illustrated by Nick Bertozzi

Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!: Voices From a Medieval Village, written by Laura Amy Schlitz and illustrated by Robert Byrd

The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain
, written and illustrated by Peter Sís.

This is an outstanding list, full of great biographies and interesting history, but I do have one question. WHERE IS THE SCIENCE?

Finding Winning Science Titles – Awards and Booklists

Finding good science books for kids isn’t hard, not if you know where to look. There are many outstanding lists published each year, as well as some lesser known awards that highlight excellent science books. Here are some gems you should consider looking to for guidance.

AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books – This award celebrates outstanding science writing and illustration for children and young adults. Begun in 2005, the first prizes honored five authors and one illustrator with lifetime achievement awards for their lasting contribution to children’s science literature and illustration. The names on this list are standouts (Patricia Lauber, Seymour Simon, Jim Arnosky, etc.) and their books should be a part of any strong science collection.

The Green Earth Book Award – This award was created to “promote books that inspire a child to grow a deeper appreciation, respect and responsibility for his or her natural environment. Started in 2005, the award focuses on books that best raise awareness of the beauty of our natural world and the responsibility that we have to protect it.” If you are interested in titles for environmental science, you’ll get some good ideas here.

Science in Society Book Award – This award is given by the Canadian Science Writers Association each year to honor outstanding contributions to science writing. First awarded in 1994 to a single book, the Association began naming two winners in 2003, one for children’s books and one for youth books.

The Eva L. Gordon Award – No longer given, the list of award winners still provides a rich resource for finding excellent science books. First given in 1964, it was awarded to an author for a body of work that met these criteria:

  • Does the author open doors to new adventures?
  • Does the author develop good attitudes?
  • Does the author build understanding of interrelationships?
  • Does the author encourage children to make their own scientific observations?
  • Are the author’s writings accurate, readable, and have a quality of joyousness?
  • Do the author’s writings relate to many kinds of 20th century situations?

Past winners include Seymour Simon, Vicki Cobb, Bruce Hiscock, Gail Gibbons, Joanne Ryder and many other outstanding science writers.

Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award – While this isn’t strictly a science award, many of the honor books and medal winners are science-themed. Given annually since 2001, it is awarded to the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguished informational book published in English during the preceding year. Informational books are defined as those written and illustrated to present, organize, and interpret documentable, factual material.

Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12 – The granddaddy of all lists, it highlights the titles selected as outstanding children’s science books for young people. They are selected by a book review panel appointed by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), assembled in cooperation with the Children’s Book Council (CBC), and published in March each year.

Book Awards and “Best of” Lists

Looking for recent and past award winning books? How about titles that make the “Best of” lists? Find what you need at these sites.

ALA Notable Children’s Books
Américas Book Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature
Booklist Online: Books for Youth – Book Awards
Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards
Caldecott Medal
Carter G. Woodson Award
CBC Magazine Showcase Archive
Charlotte Zolotow Award Books
Cooperative Children’s Book Center Bibliographies
Coretta Scott King Award
The Golden Kite Award
The Horn Book Fanfare List
Jane Addams Children’s Book Award
The Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal
Michael L. Printz Award,_Michael_L__Award.htm
Mildred L. Batchelder Award
NCTE Orbis Pictus Nonfiction Award
New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Books (2007)
New York Times Notable Children’s Books (2007)
Newbery Medal
Pura Belpré Award
Reading Lists from the Children’s Book Council
Recommended Books from The Horn Book Magazine
Robert F. Sibert Medal
Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction
Sydney Taylor Book Award
Theodor Seuss Geisel Award

If you have a link to suggest, please leave a comment and I will review the site for inclusion on this list.