Katharine Hsu’s Bookshelf

 I often think through three questions whenever I select books for my students. The first question I ask myself is, can my students access the vocabulary and language across the book? Secondly, are my students’ appearances and/or cultures represented in the story? And lastly, could the story excite my kids to share their own stories with each other? In other words, I look at vocabulary, representation, and relatability. When a book meets all three components, my heart explodes. I’ve found a gem, a book that I might buy multiple copies of over the years because the kids might want their own copy to read and re-read. There’s nothing more special than a story that makes a child feel that they belong both in our classroom and in our country. 


Katharine Hsu is an elementary teacher at a Title I school right outside Washington, D.C., and has a passion for working with multilingual learners. She has taught grades 2-8, and has previously worked as an Instructional Tech Coordinator for middle school and a Sr. Professional Development Manager for Newsela, Inc. Katharine is an Apple Distinguished Educator and was honored LCE 40 under 40 in 2017.