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

The Way to Bea - Kat Yeh

Paris, at the dawn of the modern age:

Prince Sebastian is looking for a bride—or rather, his parents are looking for one for him. Sebastian is too busy hiding his secret life from everyone. At night he puts on daring dresses and takes Paris by storm as the fabulous Lady Crystallia—the hottest fashion icon in the world capital of fashion!

Sebastian’s secret weapon (and best friend) is the brilliant dressmaker Frances—one of only two people who know the truth: sometimes this boy wears dresses. But Frances dreams of greatness, and being someone’s secret weapon means being a secret. Forever. How long can Frances defer her dreams to protect a friend? Jen Wang weaves an exuberantly romantic tale of identity, young love, art, and family. A fairy tale for any age, The Prince and the Dressmaker will steal your heart.
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My Brigadista Year - Katherine Patterson

When thirteen-year-old Lora tells her parents that she wants to join Premier Castro’s army of young literacy teachers, her mother screeches to high heaven, and her father roars like a lion. Nora has barely been outside of Havana — why would she throw away her life in a remote shack with no electricity, sleeping on a hammock in somebody’s kitchen? But Nora is stubborn: didn’t her parents teach her to share what she has with someone in need? Surprisingly, Nora’s abuela takes her side, even as she makes Nora promise to come home if things get too hard. But how will Nora know for sure when that time has come? Shining light on a little-known moment in history, Katherine Paterson traces a young teen’s coming-of-age journey from a sheltered life to a singular mission: teaching fellow Cubans of all ages to read and write, while helping with the work of their daily lives and sharing the dangers posed by counterrevolutionaries hiding in the hills nearby. Inspired by true accounts, the novel includes an author’s note and a timeline of Cuban history.
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Class action - Steven B Frank

Sixth-grader Sam Warren is sick of stressing over assignments, and that's exactly what he tells his teacher: NO. MORE. HOMEWORK!

Suspended from school, Sam recruits his elderly neighbor, ex-attorney Mr. Kalman, to the cause. He's ready to file a class action suit on behalf of all the children in Los Angeles, and eventually the country. Their argument? Homework is unconstitutional.

With his sister, Sadie, Mr. Kalman, and his besties, Sam takes his case to Washington, D.C., and the highest court in the land. Will Sam's case pay off and allow him and his friends some time to grow and play, or will he just look like the laziest kid in America?
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The Plot to kill Hitler - Patricia McCormick

It was April 5, 1943, and the Gestapo would arrive at any minute. Dietrich Bonhoeffer had been expecting this day for a long time. He had put his papers in order - and left a few notes specifically for Hitler's men to see. Two SS agents climbed the stairs and told the boyish-looking Bonhoeffer to come with them. He calmly said good-bye to his parents, put his Bible under his arm, and left. Upstairs there was proof, in his own handwriting, that this quiet young minister was part of a conspiracy to kill Adolf Hitler.

This compelling, brilliantly researched account includes the remarkable discovery that Bonhoeffer was one of the first people to provide evidence to the Allies that Jews were being deported to death camps. It takes listeners from his privileged early childhood to the studies and travel that would introduce him to peace activists around the world - eventually putting this gentle, scholarly pacifist on a deadly course to assassinate one of the most ruthless dictators in history. The Plot to Kill Hitler provides fascinating insights into what makes someone stand up for what's right when no one else is standing with them. It is a question that every generation must answer again and again.
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Harbor Me - Jacqueline Woodson

It all starts when six kids have to meet for a weekly chat--by themselves, with no adults to listen in. There, in the room they soon dub the ARTT Room (short for "A Room to Talk"), they discover it's safe to talk about what's bothering them--everything from Esteban's father's deportation and Haley's father's incarceration to Amari's fears of racial profiling and Ashton's adjustment to his changing family fortunes. When the six are together, they can express the feelings and fears they have to hide from the rest of the world. And together, they can grow braver and more ready for the rest of their lives.
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The Night Diary - Veera Hiranandani

It's 1947, and India, newly independent of British rule, has been separated into two countries: Pakistan and India. The divide has created much tension between Hindus and Muslims, and hundreds of thousands are killed crossing borders.

Half-Muslim, half-Hindu twelve-year-old Nisha doesn't know where she belongs, or what her country is anymore. When Papa decides it's too dangerous to stay in what is now Pakistan, Nisha and her family become refugees and embark first by train but later on foot to reach her new home. The journey is long, difficult, and dangerous, and after losing her mother as a baby, Nisha can't imagine losing her homeland, too. But even if her country has been ripped apart, Nisha still believes in the possibility of putting herself back together.
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It Wasn’t Me - Dana Alison Levy

When Theo's photography project is mysteriously vandalized at school there are five suspected students who all say "it wasn't me."

Theo just wants to forget about the humiliating incident but his favorite teacher is determined to get to the bottom of it and has the six of them come into school over vacation to talk. She calls it "Justice Circle." The six students—the Nerd, the Princess, the Jock, the Screw Up, the Weirdo, and the Nobody—think of it as detention. AKA their worst nightmare.

That is until they realize they might get along after all, despite their differences. But what is everyone hiding and will school ever be the same?
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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

Cuba
• France
Germany
India
Japan
Korea
• Mexico
UK
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