Librarian Recommended English Books for Children.

ESL English Language Resources for Teachers

ESL English Language Resources for Teachers

English Books

Librarian Recommended Children’s English Books - The Sakura Medal

Wildwitch Wildfire - Lene Kaaberbøl

From Lene Kaaberbøl, known as the Danish J.K. Rowling: Book one in the Wildwitch series, an acclaimed new children's fantasy series about a young girl who can communicate with and control the natural world.

Twelve-year-old Clara is an ordinary girl, so small and shy that her mum calls her Little Mouse. Then, one day, she meets a cat. A huge, strange, black cat, with glowing yellow eyes. And so begins her new life as a wildwitch.

Suddenly, Clara is plunged into a world of mystery and magic. With her Aunt Isa to guide her, she finds she can talk to animals and walk the mysterious Wildways. But then she is captured by the dreaded Chimera...
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Riddle of the Runes - Janina Ramirez

Alva rushes through the trees in the dead of night with her sniffer wolf, Fen. Being out alone when there's a kidnapper on the loose is reckless, but if she ever wants to be an investigator like her Uncle Magnus, she'll need to be first to the crime scene. But what Alva discovers raises more
questions than it answers, drawing her into a dangerous search for truth, and for treasure.
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Mac undercover - Mac Barnett ill by Mike Lowery

An Amazon Best Book of 2018

Before Mac Barnett was an author, he was a kid.
And while he was a kid, he was a spy.
Not just any spy.
But a spy...for the Queen of England.

James Bond meets Diary of a Wimpy Kid with this groundbreaking fully-illustrated chapter book series Mac B., Kid Spy. The precious Crown Jewels have been stolen, and there's only one person who can help the Queen of England: her newest secret agent, Mac B. Mac travels around the globe in search of the stolen treasure...but will he find it in time?

From secret identities to Karate hijinks, this fast-paced, witty and historically inspired chapter book will keep readers guessing until the very last page. With full-color illustrations and fascinating historical facts masterfully sprinkled throughout, this series offers adventure, intrigue, absurdity, history and humor. Discover this totally smart and side-splittingly funny series, and experience what it's really like to be a kid spy.
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A boy called Bat - Elana K Arnold

For Bixby Alexander Tam (nicknamed Bat), life tends to be full of surprises—some of them good, some not so good. Today, though, is a good-surprise day. Bat’s mom, a veterinarian, has brought home a baby skunk, which she needs to take care of until she can hand him over to a wild-animal shelter.

But the minute Bat meets the kit, he knows they belong together. And he’s got one month to show his mom that a baby skunk might just make a pretty terrific pet.
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Apple cake and Baklava - Kathrin Rohmann

Leila is the new girl in Max’s class in rural Germany, and they soon become close friends. She has fled Syria with her family, having left her beloved grandmother and father behind. Her most cherished object is a walnut from her grandmother’s garden. Max is close to his own grandmother, who is very understanding of Leila’s situation, having fled her home in Pommern as a little girl. Leila is desperately sad when she loses her beloved walnut and, in a failed attempt, sets out to return to Syria.


Apple Cake and Baklava is a story about otherness, openness and the willingness to come to know one another. Many children will be aware of the latest surge of refugees and their plight. Leila’s is a sadly universal and timeless story of leaving behind a home country forever. While set in rural Northern Germany, it could equally take place in most European countries.
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Yours Sincerely, Giraffe - Megumi Iwasa

Giraffe is bored, as usual. He'd love a friend to share things with. So he writes a letter and sends it as far as possible across the other side of the horizon. There he finds a pen pal―Penguin.

Giraffe knows nothing about penguins and his letters are full of questions. Where is a penguin's neck? Can a penguin fly? Penguin answers as best he can.

But no one expects what happens when the pen pals come face to face at last.

An enduring bestseller in its native Japan, Yours Sincerely, Giraffe is a funny tale of mistaken assumptions and friendship.
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The Mapmakers' Race - Eirlys Hunter

Sal, Joe, Francie and Humphrey misplace their famous mapmaker mother as they begin the Great Race to map a rail route through an uncharted wilderness. Their father didn't return from his last expedition and now their money is gone. This race is their last chance.

They have 28 days to find and map the best route. There'll be bears, bees, bats, river crossings, cliff falls, impossible weather—but worst of all, they're racing five teams of adults who do not play by the rules.
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Reader Levels and Interests

Chapter Book - A story book intended for intermediate readers, generally age 7-10
Early Reader - The first books that children will be able to read independently
Graphic Novels - A novel in comic-strip format. Synonyms: comic, comic book, cartoon; manga
Picture Books - A book containing many illustrations, especially one for children
Realistic Fiction -
High School - For readers of that age
Middle School - For readers of that age
Read Aloud Books - Great to a large class. ESL / EFL Dispatch Teacher Essentials
Jolly Phonics - Highly recommended for those learning to read

The Sakura Medal Book Awards

Sakura Medal Winners

2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
2021

Sakura Medal Nominees

2018
2019
2020
2021

Setting

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Germany
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Japan
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UK
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