Search below for rationales by title, author, grade level, or tag.
Welcome to NCTE’s book rationale database. Rationales are important tools for educators and school librarians to use in selecting and defending books. This database can be searched by title, author, and grade level to find a rationale for a book to incorporate into the classroom or school library, or to defend a text that is being challenged. You can also explore new pieces of literature to incorporate into your curriculum to further enrich students’ learning. Book rationales are made possible by NCTE through decades of close engagement with NCTE members, who have contributed their expertise in writing and reviewing rationales, and in close partnership with the NCTE Standing Committee Against Censorship (SCAC). We first launched the database in the summer of 2022 as part of the This Story Matters campaign.
Several new rationales are available in 2023. The new titles for which we now have rationales include All American Boys; All Boys Aren’t Blue; American Born Chinese; The Crossover; Dear Martin; Gender Queer: A Memoir; The Hate U Give; Hey, Kiddo; Just Mercy; The Last Cuentista; and Parable of the Sower. Also in 2023, NCTE continues to add digitized rationales from previous years. When the project is complete, the database will include 1200+ rationales. Read the full list of available titles by clicking on View List of Rationales here or in the menu to your left. This video, created by members of the SCAC, provides additional information about using rationales in the classroom.
NCTE has a long history of creating and soliciting rationales. Therefore, some rationales may vary in format and may include titles and standards that are not in current use. All users are encouraged to examine the content carefully upon downloading it to ensure that it meets their specific needs. As this database evolves, some of these rationales will be replaced or supplemented with newer versions.
We will continue to add rationales periodically. You can participate in this important work by writing and reviewing rationales, or suggesting titles. Learn more by downloading our “How to Write a Rationale” template. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any feedback or questions about this database, rationales, or This Story Matters.