Top 20 Books of 2021: 5-1
5: Born Behind Bars by Padma Venkatraman [Nancy Paulsen Books (Penguin Random House) | Grades 5-9
Because Dr. Padma Venkatraman puts her compassionate heart on the page and makes every sentence sing. -John
4: Starfish by Lisa Fipps [Nancy Paulsen Books (Penguin Random House) | Grades 5 and Up]
Because it helps heal hearts and gives us an opportunity to think about and discuss our personal feelings about body image and bullying. -John
3: Red, White, and Whole by Rajani LaRocca [Quill Tree Books (HarperCollins) | Grades 3-7]
Because it examines and explains the mechanics of the human heart in the most poetic way. -John
2: The Genius Under the Table: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain by Eugene Yelchin [Candlewick Press | Grades 5 and Up]
Because Eugene Yelchin’s story of growing up behind the iron curtain is funny, sad, and hopeful. -Travis
1: The Beatryce Prophecy by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Sophie Blackall [Candlewick Press | Grades 3-7]
Because, in difficult times, a girl and a (literally) hard-headed goat bring hope and light. -John & Travis
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About Travis Jonker
Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at email@example.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
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