Teachers ask me all the time if I have a list of recommended books for their classroom libraries. This question normally comes up when I’m giving a book talk on one of the books I carry with me to all the professional development sessions I lead. Because there’s nothing that sells reading like a teacher that reads; teachers have to be voracious readers of the literature they want to recommend to their students. I love sharing new titles with teachers at my sessions.
I try to keep up on the latest books published and share beautiful and important books that I think represent windows, mirrors, and sliding glass doors for the readers in our care. In other words, books in which students are able to see themselves, see others in the world that are different than them, and allow readers to walk into a variety of worlds simply by reading. The notion around the importance of making diverse literature available to our students, specifically the language, “windows, mirrors, and sliding glass doors,” first appeared in an essay by Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop in 1990.
I am passionate about providing students access to rich and diverse texts. Because of this passion, I’ve started with middle school readers and compiled a list of 100 books I think every MS classroom library should have. By no means is this an exhaustive list. There are soooo many books out there worthy of putting on our classroom shelves! But 100 books on one list seemed like a good start. I tried to categorize the books by headings that I might create on the classroom library shelves to help students navigate the collection. The headings are also designed to entice middle school readers into picking out a book. I didn’t include titles that I thought most teachers would already know and have on their shelves. Finally, thank you to the ELA teachers at Jane Addams MS in Seattle, WA and ELA teachers at Pioneer MS in Wenatchee, WA. While working with these two groups of teachers this summer, I was able to ask them for titles that their students love to add to my list. They graciously and enthusiastically shared some of the titles you’ll find on the document. Let me know if you find my list helpful and what you and your students have read and loved! Watch for my list of 100 Books Every High School Classroom Library Should Have coming soon. Visit my Facebook Lifetime Literacy Consulting.