Wednesday, February 24, 2010

2010 NCTE Notable Children's Books in the Language Arts

Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes. Used with permission of Kevin Henkes and Greenwillow Books.

Each year, a seven-member committee selected by the Children’s Literature Assembly, an affiliate of the National Council of Teachers of English, identifies 30 exemplary works of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry written for children, grades K-8. To be selected as a Notable Book in the Language Arts, 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; and
3) invite child response or participation. In addition, books are to have an appealing format, be of enduring quality, and meet generally accepted criteria of quality for the genre in which they are written.

2010 Notable Children’s Books in the Language Arts


Florian, Douglas. (2009). Dinothesaurus: Prehistoric Poems and Paintings. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Heard, Georgia. (2009). Falling Down the Page: A Book of List Poems. New York: Roaring Brook Press.

Hoberman, Mary Ann and Winston, Linda. (2009). The Tree that Time Built. Illustrated by Barbara Fortin. Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks.

Hughes, Langston. (2009). My People. Illustrated by Charles R. Smith, Jr. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Myers, Walter Dean. (2009). Looking Like Me. Illustrated by Chris Myers. New York: Egmont.

Nelson, Marilyn. (2009). Sweethearts of Rhythm: The Story of the Greatest All-Girl Swing Band in the World. Illustrated by Jerry Pinkney. New York: Penguin.

Ruddell, Deborah. (2009). A Whiff of Pine, a Hint of Skunk: A Forest of Poems. Illustrated by Joan Rankin. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Sidman, Joyce. (2009). Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in Colors. Illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski. New York: Houghton Mifflin.


Baskin, Nora Raleigh. (2009). Anything but Typical. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Carmichael, Clay. (2009). Wild Things. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills Press.

Davis, Tanita S. (2009). Mare’s War. New York: Random House.

Grimes, Nikki. (2009). Rich, A Dyamonde Daniel Book. Illustrated by Christie, R. G. New York: Penguin.

O’Conner, Barbara. (2009). The Small Adventure of Popeye and Elvis. New York: FSG.

Stead, Rebecca. (2009). When You Reach Me. New York: Random House.

Stoffels, Karlijn. (2009). Heartsinger. New York: Scholastic.


Compestine, Ying Chang. (2009). A Banquet for Hungry Ghosts. New York: Henry Holt.

Grace, Lin. (2009). Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. New York: Little, Brown.

Pinkney, Jerry. (2009). The Lion and the Mouse. New York: Little Brown.


Bryan, Ashley. (2009). Ashley Bryan: Words to My Life’s Song. Photographs by Bill McGinness. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Osborne, Linda Barrett. (2009). Traveling the Freedom Road: From Slavery and the Civil War through Reconstruction. New York: Abrams.

Russell, Ching Yeung. (2009). Tofu Quilt. New York: Lee and Low.

Sandler, Martin W. (2009). The Dust Bowl through the Lens: How Photography Revealed and Helped Remedy a National Disaster. New York: Walker.

Sturm, James, Arnold, Andrew, and Frederick-Frost, Alexis. (2009). Adventures in Cartooning: How to Turn Your Doodles into Comics. New York: First Second.


Black, Michael Ian. (2009). Chicken Cheeks. Illustrated by Kevin Hawkes. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Chin, Jason. (2009). Redwoods. New York: Roaring Brook Press.

Coffelt, Nancy. (2009). Big, Bigger, Biggest! New York: Henry Holt.

Feldman, Eve B. (2009). Billy and Milly, Short and Silly! Illustrated by Tuesday Mourning. New York: Penguin.

Gerstein, Mordicai. (2009). A Book. New York: Roaring Brook Press.

Mora, Pat. (2009). Book Fiesta!: Celebrate Children's Day/Book Day; Celebremos El dia de los ninos/El dia de los libros. Illustrated by Raphael Lopez. New York: HarperCollins.

Patricelli, Leslie. (2009). Higher! Higher! New York: Candlewick.

NCBLA 2010 Committee (left to right): Quinn White, Kathy Short, April Bedford, Janelle Mathis-Chair, Jonda McNair, Mary Lee Hahn (not pictured: Mary Napoli, Deanna Day-Past Chair)...and the 30 2010 books!


  1. With my background in linguistics the grounds for selecting these books sounds wonderful - right up my street. I look forward to reading some of them.

  2. So excited to see Chicken Cheeks and Billy & Milly Short & Silly on the list! Loved them both and have used them with several different age groups!

  3. So exciting and the books I know on the list I love! What a great bunch of smart people that put this list together. Thanks for your hard work!!

  4. What fun! I love a good list. Can't wait to read some of these that I have missed.

  5. I was just thinking my classroom needed some new books. Taking this list to the library to check out some of titles. What a great resource!

  6. Anonymous9:26 AM

    Yay! I have all the picture books in my library!

  7. Mary Lee,

    It's nice to see so many poetry books on the NCTE notables list this year! I'm extra happy to see Grace Lin's book WHERE THE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE MOON on the list. Did you see that her book is also one of the two 2010 Josette Frank Award winners for fiction this year? All that AND a Newbery Honor Award!

    Grace got married yesterday. What a lovely wedding!!! I think the Year of the Tiger is going to be a grand one for Grace.

  8. What an excellent resource! Thanks for psoting!

  9. Thank you for the resource..I am always looking for the best books to give to my grand kids!! Thank you.

  10. Thank you, Mary Lee, for the wonderful list! Yay for so many poetry books! A.


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