Emmanuel's Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah by Laurie Ann Thompson
This is an inspiring true story about a boy who was born with a disability in a country (Ghana) where many people considered him to be cursed. He hopped to school, played soccer on crutches and eventually found a job to support his family. He went on to cycle across Ghana in order to raise awareness about the treatment of people with disabilities.
If...: A Mind-Bending New Way of Looking at Big Ideas and Numbers by David J. Smith
"Some things are so huge or so hold that it's hard to wrap your mind around them. But what if we took these big, hard-to-imagine objects and events, and compared them to things we can see, feel and touch? Instantly we'd see our world in a whole new way."
An excellent way for children to understand difficult concepts; the illustrations are also superb.
Handle with Care: An Unusual Butterfly Journey by Loree Griffin Burns
This is a beautifully photographed book showing how butterflies are sent to museums and butterfly houses around the world (I'd never thought about how they got them!). In the process of finding out about of a butterfly farm in Costa Rica, students also learn about life cycles. This is a fascinating book that belongs in every primary school library.
Once Upon a Slime by Andy Griffiths
I'd been dipping into this book for a while but 2015 was the year I actually read it cover to cover. As promised on the cover it has some fun ways to get writing and I used several of these when I started my Ninja Readers and Storytellers' Club last year. If your students enjoy Andy Griffiths' books as much as ours do (like his latest, The 65-Storey Treehouse), then this should be in your library too.
Manfish: A Story of Jacques Cousteau by Jennifer Berne
This is a really interesting biography of the life of Jacques Cousteau, written in a way that makes it accessible for young readers.
The Right Word: Roget and his Thesaurus by Jennifer Fisher Bryant
A book about a guy who made a thesaurus...I did not think this would be as amazing as it was! A fascinating account of Roget's life accompanied by gorgeous illustrations.
Nelson Mandela by Kadir Nelson
The last of the four picture book biographies on this list. I certainly had a great time reading about the interesting lives of people last year. The illustrations in this book are gorgeous, as you can tell from the stunning cover. The story is a concise account of Mandela's life that covers the key events in his life. A great way to introduce students to this influential man.
Greek Mythology (Junior Genius Guides) by Ken Jennings
This is an engaging book that recounts Greek myths in a fun way. A good non-fiction accompaniment to the Percy Jackson series.
Professional ReadingLike last year, I feel I must include one book that was great for me professionally. Just like 'Once Upon a Slime' I had browsed this book prior to last year but 2015 was the year I read it all.
Teach Like a Pirate: Increase Student Engagement, Boost Your Creativity, and Transform Your Life as an Educator by Dave Burgess
Last year, I began teaching library skills and I wanted to make my sessions as interesting and memorable as possible. This book has so many great ideas in it, it is positively inspiring! There is bound to be something in there that you hadn't thought of doing. It is a great way to bring variety to anything you are involved with - I also used it to get ideas for my book clubs.