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The Florida DOE B.E.S.T. ELA Standards offers two lists of suggested texts. One is a grade level set aligned to teaching the standards. The other is a "civics" oriented list, organized in bands (K-1, 2-3, 4-5, 6-8, and 9-12). 

FCTE supports the goal of the new B.E.S.T. ELA Standards for increasing the rigor of the texts used to prepare students for their post-secondary lives and believes that ELA teachers must maintain a careful balance between using literature and informative texts as instructional materials/content and using all forms of text as a means of encouraging students to be lifelong readers and lifelong learners.

Any text may be a mirror of the life a student is currently living, and our students need to be able to see themselves in the stories they read. However, texts may also be windows into worlds the students have never encountered but need to see. FCTE is offering these ideas for companion texts to help Florida's ELA teachers find texts to use in their classrooms to best meet the needs of their students while also fulfilling the goals of the new B.E.S.T. Standards. 

FCTE reminds teachers to read any book in its entirety before choosing it for whole class instruction. Student choice is a key component in developing a lifelong love of reading. It is key that students have the right to stop reading a choice book they find to be offensive or unsuitable. Not all books are appropriate for all students. 


Grades 6-8

FL DOE Suggested texts

A Kids’ Guide to the Bill of Rights: Curfews, Censorship and the 100- Pound Giant (Krull)

Alexander Hamilton: The Outsider (Fritz)

Democracy (Hurwitz)

Explaining America: The Federalist (Wills)

Government and Democracy (Ogden)

Letters from an American Farmer (de Crèvecoeur)

Lincoln: A Photobiography (Freedman)

Miracle at Philadelphia: The Story of the Constitutional Convention May-September 1787 (Bowen)

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (Douglass)

The Democratic Process (Friedman)

The Rights of the Colonists (Adams)

Words We Live By: Your Annotated Guide to the Constitution (Monk)

FCTE companion texts

The Fighting Ground (Avi), Nothing but the Truth (Avi), The Day They Came to Arrest the Book (Hentoff), Memoirs of a Bookbat (Lasky), Drummers of Jericho (Meyer), Paper Trail (Gilbert), Rifles for Watie (Keith), Scorpions (Myers), Skeeter (Smith), Journey to Topaz (Uchida), Under the Blood-Red Sun (Salisbury), The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle (Avi), Can You Sue Your Parents for Malpractice (Danziger), Beyond the Burning Time (Lasky), I Am the Cheese (Cormier), Through My Eyes (Bridges), 

Hamilton and Peggy! (Elliot), Alex & Eliza (de la Cruz) 

Hope Was Here (Bauer), ​

The Color of My Words (Joseph)

The Tyrant's Daughter (Carleson)

If I Ever Get Out of Here (Gansworth)

Riot (Myers)

Tempest at Dawn (Best) ​

Piecing Me Together (Watson) 

A Mad, Wicked Folly (Waller)​

Jefferson's Sons (Bradley)

The Rock and the River (Magoon)

civics texts

grades 9-12

still under construction

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