October 2021 –
Building a classroom library is no easy job. It’s not a quick one either! This year something I have tried to be more intentional with is building a library that is vast, varied, and (very) welcoming. I want my students to love reading and to love what they read. Who wouldn’t?!
Imagine this… you walk into a “library” and there are 20 total books. Of the 20 books, 4 book are on your “reading level”. You pick up the 4 books and decide what you want to read… they’re all about sports. Well, if you’re a sports fan, you’re in luck! If you aren’t…you have nothing interesting to read. You have nothing you want to read. You have nothing to make you want to love reading. So what happens? Well, if your teacher is “making” you read, you probably pick up a book and decide to hide your *ehem* phone behind it and play games while turning a page every now and then. Maybe you don’t have a phone so you decide to just turn a page every time your neighbor turns a page. You start to hate reading time. You then start to hate the class you’re read for and in. The cycle builds and builds until you drop the class at the mid-point or tune out completely.
This is exactly what I want to avoid. I’ve worked this year to not only vary the variety of subject matter of books in my library and the level of readers, but also to include books that make students feel welcomed. Not every book needs to be about people (some of us just don’t really like people, I get it). Not every book needs to be about “Spanish class stuff” (because not every kid loves Spanish, why?! no clue!) Not every book needs a “happy ending” (well, a lot of us can relate). You get the idea. Kids come from all types of backgrounds and situations and they’re often looking for something they can relate to, something they have a connection with.
So what’s in my classroom library? Here’s a list (October 2021) of the books, authors, general theme/subject, and the level I have classified it for my middle schoolers (feel free to disagree with my leveling. I’m adjusting levels as I’m re-reading them all). I also use Garbanzo, an online subscription, as part of my reading program. Finally, I use El Mundo en tus Manos for advanced readers (or just news curious readers) in my library and reading program. Most of these books can be purchased from CPLI.net, fluencymatters.com, Amazon.com, senorwooly.com, or directly from authors.
Click here for a list of books in my library. I do my best to keep this list updated!
*I am receiving zero compensation or kick-back from sharing this list. Not including an author or a book is not intentional, I may have never seen the book! I do believe that it is important to read what is in your classroom library before you make it available to students. What I feel is appropriate or inappropriate for my public, middle school program may be very different for your private school, high school, or homeschool program.*
If you’re curious and want to know more about books, I’m doing a weekly series (Mondays) on Instagram where I will be featuring a new CI reader and my thoughts/reviews of it. We’re 5-6 books in now and I’m loving it! You can find me on Instagram at @profezulita to see all past books and future books! If there is an amazing book that I’m missing (I’m sure there are!) please reach out and let me know! I will do my best to keep this list as up to date as possible for you all!