The Missouri Reader Vol. 41, Issue 1 - Page 26


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4. Facts are not oversimplified to the point where the information is misleading;

5. Generalizations are supported by facts and significant facts are not omitted;

6. The book is free of gender, ethnic, and socioeconomic bias;

7. Information can be connected to a grade level and strand from the Missouri Learning Standards;

8. The book is readily available in public libraries or bookstores; and

9. The book has received positive reviews in at least one of the following venues:

Booklist, Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Horn Book,

Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, and Science and Children

The first five criteria provide needed content benchmarks when evaluating texts. The sixth criterion aids teachers in selecting texts that meet a universal responsibility to create nondiscriminatory classrooms. Items seven through nine ensure appropriateness and accessibility for Missouri teachers.

Using the above criteria, the authors identify 18 books for inclusion on the inaugural MO-STAR list. Two books have been selected in each grade level for kindergarten through fifth grade (K-5), and three honorable mention selections for each level of primary and intermediate are included. The authors recognize that elementary teachers possess the ingenuity and creativity needed to extend this relatively narrow “one grade” alignment to additional grade levels based on students’ reading levels, interests, and subjects. Following is a list of the books for each grade level, a brief synopsis of each text, and its connected MLS. The authors hope to be able to share more lists in the future by submitting an annual list to The Missouri Reader and its audience. The authors welcome, and would very much appreciate, nominations for future submitted lists.

Introducing the 2017 MO-STAR List

FEATHERS AND HAIR: WHAT ANIMALS WEAR. 2017. Jennifer Ward. Illus. Jing Jing Tsong. Beach Lane Books. 48pp. ISBN-10: 1481430814. Rhyming text explores different animals’ coverings such as fur, feather, skin, and scales. Endnotes expand readers’ understanding of the classification and characteristics of each animal mentioned. STRAND: LIFE SCIENCE. K.LS1.C.1

DIG IN! 2016. Cindy Jenson-Elliott. Illus. Mary Peterson. Beach Lane Books. 40pp. ISBN-10: 1442412613. Although the text is very simple, it thoroughly explains how living things in an environment can cause changes to the earth. EARTH AND SPACE SCIENCE. K.ESS2.E.1

First Grade

BEST IN SNOW. 2016. April Pulley Sayre. Beach Lane Books. 40pp. ISBN-10: 1481459167. Poetic text combines with vivid winter photographs to help young readers understand how snow forms in various conditions. EARTH AND SPACE SCIENCE. 1.ESS2.D.1