Picture Books for High Schoolers

Hey everyone! Back to School season has arrived and we are about to embark on a year like no other.  Last spring I did picture book readalouds for my high school students, I called them “bedtime stories” and it was very popular with my students. It provided a wonderful community building activity and brought out a lot of nostalgia in the teens for their childhood.

I surveyed students to see if they would like me to continue to do readalouds this year, and the overwhelming response was YES! Although in the spring I read books I had borrowed from our elementary school library, over the summer I began to think that it might be a nice idea to establish a modern picture book collection at our high school. Currently we do not have any picture books, but I know that many high schools do use picture books, both for pleasure reading AND for things like ELA, foreign language, ELL, social emotional needs, etc.

So I decided that this Fall I would officially start a picture book collection for our high school.  I went to twitter and facebook to ask my lovely librarian community for recommendations of picture books because, as a non-parent and high school librarian, my knowledge of excellent and modern picture books is basically zilch.

And, like the awesome and incredible information professionals they are, my librarian community came through for me with flying colors! I asked for recommendations of books that were modern, diverse, funny, inspiring, relevant, and for at least some to be #ownvoices.  I received an ABUNDANCE of responses from these wonderful librarians, and today I submitted my initial list to my district for purchase approval.


I cannot wait to introduce these books to my students via read-alouds, and then to get them circulating so students and teachers can enjoy the books for themselves, or even read to the younger children in their lives. What a wonderful bonding opportunity!


  1. Wow, this is a fun idea! Did you just open it up to all high school students? Or do you bring students in by classes? I feel like this would be out of my comfort zone as I would assume high school students wouldn’t be interested but maybe I will never know until I try. Thanks!


  2. I am also interested in how you present these to students. I am thinking of starting picture book fridays during part of our lunch periods. It would be optional. I guess I could try giving cookies or something to get them to come!
    In any case I would live to know if you had a captive audience in a class or if students chose to come and listen.


    • I actually haven’t read them in person to studebts yet! I did virtual story times in the last two years w these books. I’m in talks w social studies to possibly start doing history picture books to match their history units but we haven’t started yet. Right now the picture books are just available for studebts or teachers to check out for personal reading or assigned reading. Our childhood dev class studebts borrow them, our diverse voices class used them, teachers w young kids check them out for bedtime reading w their own kids, and studebts just check them out to read for fun or to read to their younger siblings!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sadly No, that would be against copyright rules. Most publishers were only allowing teachers to record readalouds as long as the recordings did not stay up perpetually or were only accessible to students rather than to anyone online so my videos were only uploaded to our learning management system


    • Thank you for letting me know. I’m sorry I won’t be able to re-upload the list. I’m currently having issues with the google drive where my documents were and I’m not able to access some things right now. So sorry!


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