Teacher’s Guide: The Burning (Young Readers Edition): Black Wall Street and the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921

One of the worst acts of racist violence in American history took place in 1921, when a White mob numbering in the thousands decimated the thriving Black community of Greenwood in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The Burning recreates Greenwood at the height of its prosperity, explores the currents of hatred, racism, and mistrust between its Black residents and Tulsa’s White population, narrates events leading up to and including Greenwood’s devastation, and documents the subsequent silence that surrounded this tragedy. Delving into history that’s long been pushed aside, this is the true story of Black Wall Street and the Tulsa Race Massacre, with updates that connect the historical significance of the massacre to the ongoing struggle for racial justice in America.

School Library Journal interviewed Hilary Beard and Tim Madigan about how the young readers edition was developed, their different experiences as a Black woman and a white man, and how the book highlights resilience over horror. Read their interview here.

Teacher’s Guide: Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley

An instant New York Times bestseller, Angeline Boulley’s debut novel, Firekeeper’s Daughter, is a groundbreaking YA thriller about a Native teen who must root out the corruption in her community, perfect for readers of Angie Thomas and Tommy Orange.

Eighteen-year-old Daunis Fontaine has never quite fit in, both in her hometown and on the nearby Ojibwe reservation. She dreams of a fresh start at college, but when family tragedy strikes, Daunis puts her future on hold to look after her fragile mother. The only bright spot is meeting Jamie, the charming new recruit on her brother Levi’s hockey team.

Yet even as Daunis falls for Jamie, she senses the dashing hockey star is hiding something. Everything comes to light when Daunis witnesses a shocking murder, thrusting her into an FBI investigation of a lethal new drug.

Reluctantly, Daunis agrees to go undercover, drawing on her knowledge of chemistry and Ojibwe traditional medicine to track down the source. But the search for truth is more complicated than Daunis imagined, exposing secrets and old scars. At the same time, she grows concerned with an investigation that seems more focused on punishing the offenders than protecting the victims.

Now, as the deceptions—and deaths—keep growing, Daunis must learn what it means to be a strong Anishinaabe kwe (Ojibwe woman) and how far she’ll go for her community, even if it tears apart the only world she’s ever known.


Four Starred Reviews!

This novel will long stand in the hearts of both Native and non-Native audiences.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

★ “Though it both shocks and thrills, in the end, what leaves you breathless is Firekeeper’s Daughter’s blazing heart.” —BookPage, starred review

★ “Boulley, herself an enrolled member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, writes from a place of love for her community and shares some key teachings from her culture, even mixing languages within the context of the story.” —Booklist, starred review

★ “This suspenseful upper-YA novel will keep readers wondering who Daunis can trust.” —Horn Book, starred review


Listen to a clip from the Firekeeper’s Daughter audiobook,
read by Isabella Star LaBlanc:

Teacher’s Guide: CHANCE: Escape from the Holocaust

Chance: Escape from the Holocaust: Memories of a Refugee Childhood by Uri Shulevitz

From a beloved voice in children’s literature comes this landmark memoir of hope amid harrowing times and an engaging and unusual Holocaust story.

With backlist sales of over 2.3 million copies, Uri Shulevitz, one of Farrar, Straus and Grioux’s most acclaimed picture-book creators, details the eight-year odyssey of how he and his Jewish family escaped the terrors of the Nazis by fleeing Warsaw for the Soviet Union in Chance.

It was during those years, with threats at every turn, that the young Uri experienced his awakening as an artist, an experience that played a key role during this difficult time. By turns dreamlike and nightmarish, this heavily illustrated account of determination, courage, family loyalty, and the luck of coincidence is a true publishing event.

Download the teacher’s guide here →

Teacher’s Guide: Traitor

Poland, 1944. After the Soviet liberation of Lwów from Germany, the city remains a battleground between resistance fighters and insurgent armies, its loyalties torn between Poland and Ukraine.

Seventeen-year-old Tolya Korolenko is half Ukrainian, half Polish, and he joined the Soviet Red Army to keep himself alive and fed. When he not-quite-accidentally shoots his unit’s political officer in the street, he’s rescued by a squad of Ukrainian freedom fighters. They might have saved him, but Tolya doesn’t trust them. He especially doesn’t trust Solovey, the squad’s war-scarred young leader, who has plenty of secrets of his own.

Then a betrayal sends them both on the run. And in a city where loyalty comes second to self-preservation, a traitor can be an enemy or a savior—or sometimes both.

Download the teacher’s guide here →

Discussion Guide: Whose Right Is It? The Second Amendment and the Fight Over Guns

For the majority of the United States’ history, the right to own a gun belonged to a “well regulated militia.” That changed in 2008 with the historic District of Columbia v. Heller case, which ruled that the Second Amendment protected an individual’s right. In the years since, the debate over gun legislation has reached a crescendo. And the issue grows ever relevant to children across America, with an estimated three million exposed to shootings every year. From metal detectors to see-through backpacks to shooting drills, kids face daily reminders of the threat of guns.

Hana Bajramovic’s Whose Right Is It? The Second Amendment and the Fight Over Guns reveals how a once obscure amendment became the focus of daily heated debate. Filled with historical photos and informative graphics, the book will show young readers how gun legislation has always been a part of American history and how money, power, and systemic racism have long dictated our ability to own guns.

“The story is fascinating and, in its evenhanded treatment of the subject, valuable for research and classroom use…Extremely well documented, the book concludes with an epilogue that brings the book up-to-date, making it both important and timely.” —Booklist

“[E]ven readers personally invested in the gun rights position will find the historical context eye-opening.” The Bulletin for the Center of Children’s Books

Download the discussion guide here →

Teacher’s Guide: The Skybound Saga

The Skybound Saga by Alex London is a young-adult fantasy trilogy about the memories that haunt us, the histories that hunt us, and the bonds of blood between us.

★“London’s world-building is exceptional, and the story has twists and turns to keep readers engaged . . . A well-crafted fantasy featuring diverse characters, this book is a strong selection for all libraries serving teens.” —School Library Journal, starred review

★“With political intrigue, epic battle sequences, jolts of romance, and strong female and queer characters, there’s a lot to pique readers’ interests here. But it’s the unique world-building and beautifully complex sibling relationship that make this a must-read. Readers will be swept away in this book’s talons.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“With dynamic world building . . . this trilogy opener is a captivating, layered adventure that explores the bonds of siblings in an unforgiving world. Stock up—this one will make the rounds.” —Booklist

Download the teacher’s guide here →

Teacher’s Guide: Welcome to the New World

Welcome to the New World tells the Aldabaans’ story. Resettled in Connecticut with little English, few friends, and even less money, the family of seven strive to create something like home. As a blur of language classes, job-training programs, and the fearsome first days of high school (with hijab) give way to normalcy, the Aldabaans are lulled into a sense of security. A white van cruising slowly past the house prompts some unease, which erupts into full terror when the family receives a death threat and is forced to flee and start all over yet again. The America in which the Aldabaans must make their way is by turns kind and ignorant, generous and cruel, uplifting and heartbreaking.

Download the teacher’s guide here →

Teacher’s Guide: True or False

In True or False, former CIA analyst Cindy Otis will take readers through the history and impact of misinformation over the centuries, sharing stories from the past and insights that readers today can gain from them. Then, she shares lessons learned in over a decade working for the CIA, including actionable tips on how to spot fake news, how to make sense of the information we receive each day, and, perhaps most importantly, how to understand and see past our own information biases, so that we can think critically about important issues and put events happening around us into context.

Download the teacher’s guide here →

Teacher’s Guide: Nowhere Boy by Katherine Marsh

Nowhere Boy by Katherine Marsh
Now Available in Paperback!

A timely, poignant tale of family, sacrifice and the friendship between a young Syrian refugee and an American boy living in Brussels.

Set against the backdrop of the Syrian refugee crisis, award-winning author of Jepp, Who Defied the Stars Katherine Marsh delivers a gripping, heartwarming story of resilience, friendship and everyday heroes. Barbara O’Connor, author of Wish and Wonderland, says “Move Nowhere Boy to the top of your to-be-read pile immediately.”

ALA Notable Children’s Book 2019
Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Books of 2018
New York Times Book Review Notable Children’s Books of 2018
ILA Social Justice Literature Award

★ “This well-crafted and suspenseful novel touches on the topics of refugees and immigrant integration, terrorism, Islam, Islamophobia, and the Syrian war with sensitivity and grace.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

★ “Marsh skillfully weaves the historical parallels with a touching story of friendship. She ratchets up the tension and suspense, until it becomes unbearable; readers will fly through the last hundred pages… Thoughtfully touching on immigration, Islamophobia, and terrorism, this novel is a first-purchase. Hands to fans of Alan Gratz’s Refugee.” —School Library Journal, starred review

Find more teacher’s guides here.