What Are Some Ways to Recognize Great Nonfiction So Teachers Can Use It?

What is the best way to recognize outstanding nonfiction for kids? I don’t think the ever expanding number of book awards is meeting the needs of teachers. We need more information about books that is curriculum related. Many awards are based on criteria that my grad students think are vague. Most of my grad students are not acquainted with the various awards, and they don’t consult the list of winners when preparing lessons. So…how do we move from just citing the notable features of a single book to discussing how this book fits into the larger purposes of teaching and learning? In fact, how do we discuss and recognize the possibilities of clusters of books working together?