With such amazing new children’s literature published each year, it can be difficult to know which titles are the best to include in your classroom library. That’s why we’re here! Finding the books that resonate with young readers—the books that keep them on the edge of their seats, the laugh-out-loud funny ones and the powerful stories that stay with them for a lifetime—is what we do. So without further ado, here are forty fresh, new reads that we think are among the best 2017 books for classroom libraries: 

 

DragonsTacos2Dragons Love Tacos 2 (P-K)

Adam Rubin’s sequel to 2012’s Dragons Love Tacos is a fun, engaging read for kids of all ages, one that helps students experience the joy and humor that can come from books. The Dragons have a huge problem—there are no tacos left anywhere in the world, so they concoct a plan to bring them back!

 

 

 

 

XOOXXO, OX: A Love Story (P-1)

This story about a somewhat clueless ox in love with a famous gazelle (written by the always popular Adam Rex) will have students giggling with joy. The letters the ox writes to the object of his affections are funny and sweet, and they make the book a wonderful mentor text teachers can use to model letter writing. 

 

 

 

 

 

afterthefallAfter the Fall: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again (P-1)

Dan Santat’s retelling of the classic nursery rhyme reveals what happened AFTER the traditional narrative ends. Now afraid of heights, Humpty must heal his wounds and learn to face his fears, introducing students to themes of courage, perseverance and mental health. This is a particularly great title for sparking discussions about growth mindset!

(Find more lesson ideas featuring this title, including science, author studies and more, in this After the Fall Book Review from School Library Journal.)

 

 

 

 

louThe Thing Lou Couldn’t Do (P-2)

This story about grit, determination, persevering through the unknown and taking risks features characters, plot and setting that children will find familiar and can see themselves in (mirrors!). It would be an excellent resource for writing workshop and lessons in community building, as kiddos share their own stories of overcoming obstacles or of times they were afraid to try something new—perhaps even an opportunity to write a new ending for that experience!

 

 

 

 

wolfduckmouseThe Wolf, the Duck and the Mouse (P-3)

The award-winning team of Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen never cease to amaze and captivate young readers. This title makes a great read aloud and lends itself well to lessons on predicting and inferring. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

shepersistedShe Persisted:13 American Women Who Changed the World (P-3)

The title says it all…this picture book biography is about 13 women who persevered and made a difference in our world. From Harriet Tubman to Margaret Chase Smith, readers will learn new facts about strong women in our history and ways that they themselves can be activists and change agents.

 

 

 

 

 

jabari jumpsJabari Jumps (P-3)

This debut picture book from Gaia Cornwall captures a child’s anxiety about trying something new, as young Jabari faces his fear of jumping off the diving board at the local swimming pool. Diverse characters and a story kids can relate to make this a must-read (and a great summer reading title too!).   

 

 

 

 

 

why am i meWhy Am I Me? (P-3)

A lovely celebration of diversity and identity that will foster empathy and a sense of connection with others. Mixed-media illustrations make this a beautiful book, one that explores deep questions and has the potential to start many conversations and classroom discussions.

 

 

 

 

holdmeupYou Hold Me Up (P-3)

A beautifully illustrated and encouraging book celebrating the little, everyday things that hold us up and bring us together. This is an #OwnVoices book, written by acclaimed Indigenous author Monique Gray Smith, and features an Author’s Note at the end introducing students to the history of residential schools in Canada.

 

 

 

 

 

greatbigthingsGreat Big Things (P-3)

A poetic, gorgeously-illustrated story of a little mouse with a big heart.

 

 

 

 

magicpencilMalala’s Magic Pencil (P-3)

The pairing of Malala’s words and Kerascoët’s illustrations makes Malala’s message of hope accessible to a younger audience. This picture book memoir can be used to introduce elementary students to the real-life story of Pakistani-born education activist Malala Yousafzai, and paired with digital resources and other nonfiction texts to teach how different life can be in other countries around the world.   

 

 

 

 

 

HerrightfootcoverHer Right Foot (K-3)

This thought-provoking look at Lady Liberty from Dave Eggers provides a heartfelt, timely re-examination of what she stands for, offering educators the opportunity to explore a rich historical topic that is also extremely relevant in the lives of students today.   

 

 

 

 

comewithmeCome With Me (K-3)

“I loved this book—it’s a gentle delivery of a timely message,” says Katie from our Collection Development team. “Even though the world can be an uncertain place, we needn’t give in to fear, and small actions matter.”

 

 

 

 

 

How We Do ItThis Is How We Do It (K-3)

Rich in text features like maps, an author’s note, a glossary and more, Matt Lamothe’s nonfiction picture book follows the real lives of seven kids from Italy, Japan, Iran, India, Peru, Uganda and Russia over the course of a single day, providing both a window into different traditions around the world and a mirror reflecting the common experiences we all share. 

Matt recently shared the inspiration behind his book and ways teachers can use it to inspire further learning in the classroom on our blog. Read more about this title from the author himself here!

 

 

 

crownCrown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut (K-3)

A celebration of the neighborhood barber shop, where a hair-cut is more than a hair-cut; it becomes a tradition that imbues young men with self-esteem and confidence. As the book says, “A fresh cut makes boys fly.” This picture book is one to read aloud, and a powerful window and mirror for any classroom library.

 

 

 

 

 

orangeDSC_1937Nothing Rhymes with Orange (K-3)

When a bunch of fruit gets together to sing a song about how great they are, they at first don’t realize that someone might be left out. This humorous look at empathy and inclusion makes a great read aloud. (And yes, that’s author Adam Rex himself signing copies of his book at our Booksource Signature Event during NCTE17 last month. Thanks to Adam for joining us!)

 

 

 

 

bluehourThe Blue Hour (K-3)

A visually stunning celebration of nature and twilight: the time when day bleeds into night, also known as the blue hour.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

RectangleThe World Is Not a Rectangle: A Portrait of Architect Zaha Hadid (K-5)

In an industry filled with rigid lines and structures, Iraqi-born architect Zaha Hadid drew inspiration from the curves and asymmetry in the natural world her. With a Middle Eastern protagonist and exploration of topics and themes and topics like prejudice, perseverance, architecture and women’s history, it’s a rich title with many potential classroom applications.

More Picture Book Biographies About Women in STEM >>

 

 

 

zoeyzoey2Zoey and Sassafras (1-4)

These illustrated chapter books are perfect for your emerging readers! Main character Zoey models scientific skills, problem-solving and more, introducing students to STEM concepts while also engaging them in a story filled with magic, adventure and dragons.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

grandcanyonGrand Canyon (2-6)

Breath-taking illustrations of the Grand Canyon help inform readers about the science and history of this national landmark. You’ll find extensive back matter like diagrams and suggested web resources in this high-interest picture book that supports lessons in geology, earth science and more. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dog ManDog Man (2-6)

The newest series from Dav Pilkey (of Captain Underpants and Dog Breath fame) is a great way to engage reluctant readers. Humorous story-telling, suspense with crime fighting and the feel of a graphic novel will appeal to readers still finding their way to a series, author or genre they can devour. An excellent addition to a classroom or school library for independent exploration and reading.

The first two books in this series were published in 2016, but with books 3 and 4 published in 2017 (and major kid appeal!), this was one series we had to include.

 

 

 

 

outofwonderOut of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets (3-7)

This is a wonderful companion book to any poetry unit, by one of today’s most well-known authors. It’s a great great introduction to Kwame Alexander as well, and can help you prepare older readers for his popular novels in verse like Booked and The Crossover.

 

 

 

 

 

wishtreeWishtree (3-7)

From the Newbery-medal winning author of The One and Only Ivan, Wishtree is a middle grade chapter book that features a Middle Eastern protagonist and deals with issues of prejudice and tolerance. Narrated by a wise old tree, it’s a thoughtful story about an immigrant family and the neighborhood where they live. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

thelosersclubThe Losers Club (3-7)

Described as “a love letter to books and reading,” this middle grade chapter book from Frindle author Andrew Clements is a great independent reading title, especially for students who love to read and will see themselves in the story.  

 

 

 

 

 

Mighty JackMighty Jack and the Goblin King (3-7)

Inspired by Jack and Beanstalk, this beautifully illustrated graphic novel takes readers on a journey with Jack and his new friend while they try to save his sister, who has autism, from magical and menacing plant life. 

 

 

 

 

 

cactusInsignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus (3-7)

After moving to a Wild West tourist attraction, thirteen-year old Avery and her new friends set out to solve a mystery surrounding her new home. Even though she was born without arms, Avery is up for any challenge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

claytonbyrdClayton Byrd Goes Underground (3-7)

A story of family, love, hurt, anger, loss, forgiveness—and the blues. All brought to life by Williams-Garcia’s vivid, musical language.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

sidetrackedSidetracked (3-7)

This heart-felt story of a reluctant track participant shows readers what persistence and striving for a personal best can accomplish, and how you can even make unexpected friends and allies along the way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Refugee-Cover-1682pxRefugee (4-7)

“When we can turn numbers into names, and put students in the shoes of people who are not themselves, only then can we begin to build the empathy our country—and our world—needs to survive,” writes author Alan Gratz in his guest post for our blog. Refugee tells the story of three different young people fleeing three different dangerous situations, and challenges young readers to see the real people behind the statistics.

 

 

 

 

 

 

artemisArtemis: Goddess of the Hunt (4-8)

This newest installment in the Olympians series focuses on the tales of Artemis. Through gorgeous art and dialogue students can relate to, each installment breathes new life into these familiar tales. Perfect to accompany a unit on Greek mythology!

 

 

 

 

 

bright seaBeyond the Bright Sea (5-8)

“I picture children reading Beyond the Bright Sea and learning about one of the coarsest threads in our nation’s fabric: the persecution of those we fear,” writes author Lauren Wolk in her recent blog post Novels Are Nutritious. Her newest novel is a work of historical fiction that deserves a place in any middle or upper elementary school library.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

surtseyLife on Surtsey, Iceland’s Upstart Island (5-9)

A remarkable look at how life takes hold, even in inhospitable places. A must-have for science and nature buffs, Iceland fans, and anyone curious about how scientists live and work in the field.

 

 

 

 

longwaydownLong Way Down (7-12)

Un-put-down-able and so powerful. An important, timely must-read. By Jason Reynolds, need we say more?

 

 

 

 

 

loving2Loving Vs. Virginia (7-12)

Based on the landmark civil rights case that legalized marriage between races, this chapter-book-in-verse is rich with lesson possibilities. Use it to explore topics like government, history, social issues and civil rights or to teach poetry. Conduct a close reading of the text, using this one from author Patricia Hruby Howell as an example. Opportunities to bring this text into the classroom are endless!  

 

 

 

 

 

 

notyourprincess#Notyourprincess: Voices of Native American Women (7-12)

This collection of poems, essays, interviews and art from a large group of Native American women offers strong and powerful insight into a group that has been marginalized and voiceless for too long.

 

 

 

 

librarianThe Librarian Of Auschwitz (8-12)

This moving and beautiful novel is based on the real-life experiences of Dita Kraus. While caring for other children imprisoned in the Auschwitz concentration camp, 14-year-old Dita risks her life to safeguard eight books that had been smuggled in. Filled with history, grief, and hope, this story is one that is sure to be a future classic.

 

 

 

 

 

bullBull (9-12)

An irresistible take on the story of Theseus and the Minotaur. Darkly funny and oh-so-clever, and a great way to get both avid and reluctant readers hooked on mythology.

 

 

 

 

 

hateugiveThe Hate U Give (9-12)

This is probably not the first you’ve heard of this debut novel from author Angie Thomas. (Understatement of the year, perhaps?) Despite being recently banned by a school district in Texas, The Hate U Give is a tremendously popular title in many high school classroom libraries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

StrangetheDreamerStrange the Dreamer (9-12)

Add some YA fantasy to your classroom library with this novel about a librarian dreaming of a bigger life, and the daughter of a destructive goddess. From National Book Award Finalist Laini Taylor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

americanstreetAmerican Street (10-12)

“Ibi Zoboi is amazing!” says Brian from our Collection Development team. “American Street is a National Book Award Finalist that follows Fabiola Toussaint as she leaves Haiti with her mother to live in Detroit with her family. After arriving in the U.S., Fabiola’s mother is detained and Fabiola is sent to Detroit to live with her cousins. So many feels!! This book haunted me for quite some time.”

 

 

 

 

There are many more wonderful books published this year; these are just some of our favorites! To add any of these fresh, new reads to your classroom library (or build a custom list of new titles specific to your grade and reading levels), give us a call at 800.444.0435 or visit Booksource.com.