5 HarperCollins Children's Books You Need in Class This Year

5 amazing books with classroom resources from HarperCollins

We asked the folks at TeacherVision partner HarperStacks to give us their 5 top picks for children's and YA books that would amaze your students this year - and they didn't disappoint! Featuring 3 Newbery-winning authors, this collection includes a teaching or discussion guide for every book, so you can make each more impactful by adding the projects, activities, and discussion questions to pre- and post-reading lessons.

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The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (Grades 9-12)
The bestselling YA novel from Angie Thomas is set to become a major movie! Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

This teaching guide for Angie Thomas's award-winning YA novel on racism, activism, and identity features discussion questions, extension activities, and an insightful reading passage from Angie Thomas on the inspiration for the book.

PAX by Sara Pennypacker and Jon Klassen
PAX by Sara Pennypacker, illustrated by Jon Klassen (Grades 4-6)
From bestselling and award-winning author Sara Pennypacker comes a beautifully wrought, utterly compelling novel about the powerful relationship between a boy and his fox. Pax is destined to become a classic, beloved for generations to come.

A complete classroom kit of activities to accompany the book includes discussion questions, printables, teaching guides for 4 thematic units, and an interview with the author.

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate (Grades 4-6)
This stirring and unforgettable novel from renowned author Katherine Applegate celebrates the transformative power of unexpected friendships. Inspired by the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, this illustrated novel is told from the point of view of Ivan himself.

Many of the Common Core-aligned activities in this teaching guide are research-based and can be assigned as individual or group practice, and the discussion questions are perfect as writing prompts or class participation.

Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly
Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly (Grades 4-6)
Told from four intertwining points of view—two boys and two girls—the novel celebrates bravery, being different, and finding your inner bayani (hero). Newbery Medalist Erin Entrada Kelly’s Hello, Universe is a funny and poignant neighborhood story about unexpected friendships.

Challenging and thought-provoking, the discussion questions for this book provide ample post-reading writing or discussion prompts and can be used either in class or as independent activities.

Fresh, accessible, and inspiring, Shaking Things Up introduces fourteen revolutionary young women—each paired with a noteworthy female artist—to the next generation of activists, trail-blazers, and rabble-rousers. Readers will also hear about Molly Williams, Annette Kellerman, Nellie Bly, Pura Belprè, Frida Kahlo, Jacqueline and Eileen Nearne, Frances Moore Lappé, Mae Jemison, Angela Zhang, and Malala Yousafzai—all whose stories will enthrall and inspire.

The amazing and inspiring stories of these 14 young women are brought to life for a new generation of girls through a collection of discussion questions and extension activities that support the core themes of friendship, persistence, grit, and smarts.

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