With the holidays just around the corner, teachers and parents often find themselves searching for the latest and greatest titles in children's literature. Luckily, December means review website publish their Best of the Year lists – a great help for making decisions about which books to purchase as gifts or to add to a classroom library.
Kirkus Reviews, for instance, offers a list of middle grade, picture books, and young adult titles. (As an added bonus, the Kirkus Reviews make for excellent mentor texts when teaching students to write book reviews or analyses.) School Library Journal's Best Books 2019 lists break down the categories even further, including picture books, transitional chapter books, middle grade, young adult, non-fiction, and graphic novels. They have even assembled all their lists into a downloadable, printable 15-page handout, perfect for last-minute inclusion in a winter-break email or newsletter. (Don't forget about the value of audiobooks, often overlooked. For some readers, audiobooks are the great equalizer, allowing them to access text that might otherwise be out of reach.)
As wonderful as Kirkus Reviews and School Library Journal are, we can't forget about supporting our Canadian authors. We recommend checking out the Manitoba Young Reader's Choice Awards book lists for younger readers and older readers and the Canadian Children's Book Centre's 2019 CCBC Gift Guide for the best Canadian titles of the year.
Finally, why not support our local independent bookseller McNally Robinson when making your purchases? At RCGW, we are always reminded of Donalyn Miller's amazed reaction to the bookstore – to this day, she talks about its beauty and all it has to offer. We know our holiday plans include spending lots of time at this local gem.
The Reading Council of Greater Winnipeg's Board of Directors wishes you a restful holiday season, filled with books, love, and celebration. We look forward to seeing you in the New Year!
The 2020/2021 meeting schedule will be posted in September 2020. Have a great summer!
We welcome book reviews, articles about teaching strategies, and other submissions. Please contact the Editor.