New Titles: Good reads for hunkering down

Wishtree   by Katherine Applegate with illustrations by Charles Santoso is a compelling story about a tree named Red. All the trees and animals in this book are able to talk; they just hide this fact from humans. But what makes Red unique is that Red is a Wishtree. People of all ages come to write down a wish and plant it in Red. The lessons of this book include the love of nature, no harm to the environment and acceptance and friendship. The Wishtree brings people from different communities together and welcomes diversity. Geared towards early middle grade students, this book is a good resource to focus classroom learning on the environment and community acceptance:


Fall in Line, Holden!   is illustrated and written by Daniel W. Vandever. It is a story about a young Navajo boy named Holden who has to conform to the rules of his boarding school. With a minimalist approach used in the illustrations, early readers can easily imagine themselves as a part of this book. Using his vivid imagination, Holden fantasizes about escaping his school to be in a more exciting one. In Holden’s mind he is able to go from his school of conformity into a place of individuality. This book is an excellent resource for students in grades 3-4. With rhythmic short sentences on each page, this book encourages students to use their imaginations.


After the Fall: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again  by Dan Santat takes the tale of Humpty Dumpty to the next stage of his life after he falls off the wall. Reappropriating the classic nursery rhyme story Humpty Dumpty and using  beautiful illustrations, Dan Santat delves into the topic of fear and how to overcome it. This book is a great resource for Preschool to Grade 2 students to help them learn an important lesson: not to give up on things you love because of one bad experience and to instead focus  on going one step at a time to face your fears day by day.


Degrees of Failure: University Education in Decline  by Randle W. Nelsen is a book that discusses the current issue of how fewer people are trying to achieve University degrees in Canada. Nelsen discusses this topic through the politics of university practices, campus parking, parental roles in their child’s life and classroom practices. This book can assist high school teachers to prepare their students in choosing university or college. It is also a great guide for teachers on how to encourage higher rates of post-secondary enrollment for their students.



Stepping Up! Teachers Advocating for Sexual and Gender Diversity in Schools     by Mollie V. Blackburn, Caroline T. Clark, and Ryan Schey is a book about how teachers can prepare their schools to be more accepting of all genders. Filled with insights on new methods for teachers, this resource will help assist them in becoming an advocate for their LGBTQ+ students in the classroom. Stepping Up! consists of eight chapters, including a chapter on inclusive sexual and gender diversity within the curriculum. Each chapter contains an informative teacher take away.


All these books can be found in the “New Titles” shelf on the Ground Floor of the  OISE Library.

About Dominique Rivera

Graduate Student Library Assistant at OISE Library | Master of Information (LIS) 2019, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto
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