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Children's Literature Assembly's 2011 Notable Children's Books in the Language Arts

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This past year, I had the remarkable opportunity to serve on the Children's Literature Assembly's Notable Children's Books in the Language Arts Committee--a mouthful of a name, which doesn't begin to cover how grand a group it is.

According to CLA guidelines, "The charge of the seven-member national committee is to select thirty titles each year that best exemplify the criteria established for the Notables Award. Books considered for this annual list are works of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry written for children, grades K-8." The books must meet one or more of the following criteria:

1. deal explicitly with language, such as plays on words, word origins, or the history of language;

2. demonstrate uniqueness in the use of language or style;

3. invite child response or participation.

In addition, books are to:

4. have an appealing format;

5. be of enduring quality;

6. meet generally accepted criteria of quality for the genre in which they are written.


2011 Notable Children's Books in the Language Arts


Angleberger, Tom. (2010). The Strange Case of Origami Yoda. New York: Abrams.

Appelt, Kathi. (2010). Keeper. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Aronson, Marc and Budhos, Marina. (2010). Sugar Changed the World: A Story of Magic, Spice, Slavery, Freedom, and Science. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Baker, Keith. LMNO Peas. (2010). New York: Simon & Schuster.

Bond, Victoria and Simon, T.R. (2010). Zora and Me. Somerville, MA: Candlewick.

Burns, Loree Griffin. (2010). The Hive Detectives: Chronicle of a Honey Bee Catastrophe. Illustrated by Ellen Harasimowicz. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Cushman, Karen. (2010). Alchemy and Meggy Swann. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Draper, Sharon M. (2010). Out of My Mind. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Elya, Susan Middleton. (2010). Rubia and the Three Osos. Illustrated by Melissa Sweet. New York: Disney*Hyperion.

Fleming, Candace. (2010). Clever Jack Takes the Cake. Illustrated by G. Brian Karas. New York: Random House.

Fox, Karen C. (2010). Older Than the Stars. Illustrated by Nancy Davis. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge.

Gidwitz, Adam. (2010). A Tale Dark and Grimm. New York: Penguin.

Golio, Gary. (2010). Jimi Sounds Like a Rainbow: A Story of the Young Jimi Hendrix. Illustrated by Javaka Steptoe. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Kerley, Barbara. (2010). The Extraordinary Mark Twain (According to Susy). Illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham. New York: Scholastic.

Mazer, Anne and Potter, Ellen. (2010). Spilling Ink: A Young Writer's Handbook. Illustrated by Matt Phelan. New York: Roaring Brook Press.

Raczka, Bob. (2010). Guyku: A Year of Haiku for Boys. Illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Raschka, Chris. (2010). Hip Hop Dog. Illustrated by Vladimir Radunsky. New York: HarperCollins.

Reynolds, Peter H. and FableVision Studios; Emerson, Sharon. (2010). Zebrafish. Illustrated by Renée Kurilla. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Riley, James. (2010). Half Upon a Time. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Ryan, Pam Muñoz. (2010). The Dreamer. Illustrated by Peter Sis. New York: Scholastic.

Sidman, Joyce. (2010). Dark Emperor & Other Poems of the Night. Illustrated by Rick Allen. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Sidman, Joyce. (2010). Ubiquitous: Celebrating Nature's Survivors. Illustrated by Beckie Prange. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Singer, Marilyn. (2010). Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse. Illustrated by Josée Masse. New York: Penguin.

Underwood, Deborah. (2010). The Quiet Book. Illustrated by Renata Liwska. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Viorst, Judith. (2010). Lulu and the Brontosaurus. Illustrated by Lane Smith. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Wiles, Deborah. (2010). Countdown. New York: Scholastic.

Willems, Mo. (2010). City Dog, Country Frog. Illustrated by Jon J. Muth. New York: Disnney*Hyperion.

Willems, Mo. (2010). We Are in a Book! New York: Disney*Hyperion.

Williams-Garcia, Rita. (2010). One Crazy Summer. New York: HarperCollins.

Winter, Jeanette. (2010). Biblioburro: A True Story from Columbia. New York: Simon & Schuster.


NCBLA 2011 Committee: Mary Lee Hahn--Chair
April Bedford, Mary Napoli, Donalyn Miller, Nancy Roser, Tracy Smiles, Yoo Kyung Sung
Janelle Mathis--Past Chair


Congratulations to the winning authors and illustrators! Your marvelous books are gifts to young readers.

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