Build Your Stack - National Council of Teachers of English

Upcoming Build Your Stack® Virtual Events:

Join us for the first virtual Build Your Stack® event of the year! Build Your Stack® with Nonfiction Texts will feature booklists to engage your students with nonfiction in the classroom and beyond. Building on the work of the Position Statement on the Role of Nonfiction Literature (K-12), the committee is proud to provide a fun and practical resource to build your classroom libraries with nonfiction. You can see a list of panelists below, with more to be added soon.



This event is free to all, but registration is required. Contact with any questions.





Carol Jago has taught English in middle and high school in public schools for 32 years and is associate director of the California Reading and Literature Project at UCLA. She served as president of the National Council of Teachers of English and as chair of the College Board’s English Academic Advisory committee. She has published many books, including The Book in Question: Why and How Reading Is in Crisis. She is also author of With Rigor for All and Cohesive Writing: Why Concept Is Not Enough and of several books on contemporary multicultural authors for NCTE. Carol was awarded the International Literacy Association’s Adolescent Literacy Thought Leader Award and the CEL Exemplary Leadership Award. She has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the California Association of Teachers of English. Carol has served on the National Assessment Governing Board and currently serves on the International Literacy Association’s Board of Directors. Carol is a current member of the Build Your Stack Committee®.


Candace Fleming is the versatile and acclaimed author of more than twenty books for children and young adults, including The Curse of the Mummy: Uncovering Tutankhamun’s Tomb; The Rise and Fall of Charles Lindbergh, winner of the YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Award; the Sibert Award winner Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera; the Los Angeles Times Book Prize winner and Sibert Honor Book The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of the Russian Empire; NCTE Orbis Pictus Award® Recommended Book Crash from Outer Space: Unraveling the Mystery of Flying Saucers, Alien Beings, and Roswell; and the critically acclaimed Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart


Kasey Short earned a BA in middle school education from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, with a concentration in English and history. She went on to earn a master’s of education in curriculum and instruction from Winthrop University. She is an 8th-grade English teacher and English department chair at Charlotte Country Day School, North Carolina. Kasey is a current member of the Build Your Stack Committee®.



Kristine Schutz is an Assistant Professor of Literacy, Language, and Culture at the University of Illinois-Chicago. She brings years of experience as a dual language elementary teacher, literacy specialist, and curriculum designer to her daily work with practicing and pre-service teachers. Her current research explores the design of teacher professional learning that supports children’s development as readers, writers, and thinkers through meaningful inquiry about topics related to climate change.


Rebecca Woodard is a former elementary and middle school ELA teacher. Currently, she is an Associate Professor at the University of Illinois Chicago. the faculty director for the Chicago Area Writing Project, and a co-editor of NCTE’s journal for elementary teachers, Language Arts. Her recent work focuses on teaching about climate justice in elementary contexts through the English Language Arts.





Previous Build Your Stack® Virtual Events:

(Click on the dates below to watch videos of some of our previous events.)

June 15, 2022

Build Your Stack® Best Books of the 2021-2022 School Year

Books shared by the presenters can be found on this list.*

Author Meg Grehan also wrote a blog post specifically for this event that was posted on June 14, 2022.

April 25, 2022

Build Your Stack® A Rainbow of Pride Books

Books shared by the presenters can be found on this list.*

June 15, 2021

Build Your Stack® with the Best Books of the 2020-2021 School Year

Books shared by the presenters can be found on this list.*

May 3, 2021

Build Your Stack® with Award-Winning Authors

Books from these authors can be found on this list.*

April 15, 2021

Build Your Stack® with Multilingual Texts

To see a list of most of the books discussed, to browse or to purchase, please click through to our Bookshop page for this event.*

June 30, 2020

Elementary and Middle Grade Focus

To see a list of most of the books discussed, to browse or to purchase, please click through to our Bookshop page for this event.* A. B. Majmudar’s book, The Torchbearers, is currently available here. You may also contact her directly for more information about how to purchase copies at

August 10, 2020

Secondary Focus

To see a list of most of the books discussed, to browse or to purchase, please click through to our Bookshop page for this event.*

*NCTE and local bookstores receive a small commission when you purchase through these links.


We’re building NCTE into the place where you go to meet authors of significance, paving the way for knowledge and relationships that transform students and schools.

Our members’ knowledge of books should be celebrated and recognized, and this initiative offers just the right platform.

But, you might say, there are so many books out there, and I have so little time to explore them all. We know! Build Your Stack will reduce the guesswork that goes into building a classroom library by creating a trusted connection to the best books, recommended by colleagues with deep expertise.




1. See our current Build Your Stack Committee roster.

2. A set of dozens of unique sessions in the Exhibit Hall at the NCTE Annual Convention. Each 20-minute session will feature authors and educators talking about their favorite books and how to use them in the classroom.

3. Booklists and recommendations all year long, curated by NCTE members and shared via our member communications.

4. Periodic professional learning experiences in sites across the country and virtually that bring NCTE members together with authors and dynamic educators.

5. Blog posts from fellow educators with information about diverse books for you and for your classroom.



Build Your Stack
Blog Posts

Check out the most recent #BuildYourStack posts featuring book recommendations curated by NCTE members and submit your own recommendations today.

Read Now Submit a Blog Post


Join us each year at the Annual Convention for more than 30 sessions, taking place on the Build Your Stack® stage in the exhibit hall. We were proud to host many amazing educator and author sessions in Anaheim, California in 2022. We look forward to the 2023 Annual Convention in Columbus, Ohio.

To get a taste of some of the sessions from our 2020 Virtual Annual Convention, please click through to the videos linked below:

“Ever since I joined NCTE in 1991, the many ways in which our organization has connected me with books and authors have shaped me as a teacher. My knowledge of the content of our discipline is deeply intertwined with the powerful learning experiences NCTE has provided and this has had a huge impact on my students. This project serves to take those experiences and connections to a whole new level. Teachers who are readers have students who are readers.”

NCTE Past President and 2018 Program Chair