California Educator

August/September 2020

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Page 11 of 81

"Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home." ANNA QUINDLEN In the Know N E W S & N O T E S Best Books for Young Minds C T A ' S C A L I F O R N I A R E A D S supports literacy in the classroom and beyond all year long. Go to for a list of teacher-recommended books for all grade levels that will inspire, challenge and enchant. Among them: Marcus Vega Doesn't Speak Spanish (Pablo Cartaya; grades 6-8). After a fight at school leaves eighth grader Marcus facing suspension, his mom takes him and his brother to Puerto Rico to spend a week with relatives. Marcus knows that his father — who walked out of their lives 10 years ago — is somewhere on the island. He begins a search for his namesake, and what he discovers changes his life. Don't Touch My Hair (Sharee Miller; grades 1-2) teaches the importance of asking for permission first. Wherever Aria goes, someone wants to touch her hair — a mermaid in the sea, monkeys in the jungle, and aliens in space. Finally, she's had enough! The Distance Between Us (Reyna Grande; grades 6-8) is the author 's story of being torn between two parents and two countries. Her parents cross the Mexican border in pursuit of the American dream; when her mother at last returns, Grande prepares for her own journey to "El Otro Lado" (The Other Side) to live with her long-absent father. 10

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