holes August 29

The Magic of Letter Writing by Dana Johansen

Letters from authors are magical. “Choose an author you’d like to write to,” I remember my third grade teacher, Mrs. Szuba, saying to our class. I knew instantly which author I’d choose- Beverly Cleary. I adored all things Ramona and Beezus. I couldn’t wait to tell Mrs. Cleary about my love for her characters and […]

nbc_color_web August 28

Miss Stoopenkoff, a first-class teacher by Raina Telgemeier

As an author with a social media presence, I interact with amazing teachers every day on the internet. There are lots of teachers in my personal life as well: My mom teaches elementary school, my best friend Theresa teaches high school English, and my brother-in-law Rob has recently graduated to the role of principal at […]

loot August 27

Loot: How to Steal a Fortune by Jude Watson – Review by Tony Keefer

To be honest I am seriously loving the current wave of books that cast kid characters as spies, detectives or master criminals.  It fascinates me to see authors like Gordon Korman, Stuart Gibbs, Eoin Colfer and Kate Messner craft an at least plausibly believable plotline with kids acting like James Bond, Kinsey Millhone or John […]

ABIGAILfinalCoverWithBlurb August 26

PROGRESS TRUMPS PERFECTION EVERY TIME by Nancy J. Cavanaugh

As another new school year begins, students and teachers get themselves ready – perfectly sharpened pencils, clean white notebook paper, bright, shiny three-ringed binders . . . okay, who am I kidding?  It’s 2014, not 1984, so it may be more like new tablets and laptops and ereaders with headphones; but nonetheless, it is a […]

elisa August 25

Two Confessions and a Pledge of a Teacher Mom by Elisa Waingort

My son carries a book with him wherever he goes. If he doesn’t have a book handy, he carries around my Kindle instead, which he has aptly named “Nini and Mami’s Kindle.” (Nini is our family nickname for him.) My son has read the entire Harry Potter series several times and he claims Jonathan Auxier […]

Access Point by Donalyn Miller

My husband remembers the book he picked from the RIF bus. It was about this kid who was a troubled youth, and he winds up working for this guy to pay off a debt. The guy marks out his yard in a 7X7 grid of squares and has the kid examine the contents of each […]

wilifrid August 23

Top 10 Picture Books to Inspire “Classroom Habitudes” by Lesley Burnap

At the beginning of this summer I was privileged to hear Angela Maiers speak about her book, Classroom Habitudes: Teaching Habits and Attitudes for 21st Century Learning, and her movement, Choose2Matter. This passionate speaker and educator has encouraged me to be bolder. During day 2 of nErDcampMI, I found myself standing in line with my […]

FeatherChaseNewWeb2 August 22

Inside Out: Getting Kids Excited About Books by Shannon L. Brown

As the author of a middle grade mystery, I speak to groups of elementary and middle school kids. I’ve been surprised and delighted to discover that just about every one of these kids can get excited about books. It isn’t simply a matter of the story itself pulling them in; kids are used to hearing […]

crooked kind of perfect August 21

Haven’t We All Been There? A Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda Urban – Review by Gina Ruffcorn

Reading A Crooked Kind of Perfect caused me to wince and empathize with Zoe as I recalled all of those awkward, icky moments of childhood.  The ones that make you want to have the floor swallow you whole. My most vivid personal example came from second grade.  As a form of catharsis, I will share […]

rose under fire August 20

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein – Review by Leah Pileggi

Historical fiction only works for me when I am right there in the action. I have to feel and see and even smell that time and place in history. I have to hear it in the voices of the characters. ROSE UNDER FIRE ultimately does that for me, as did Elizabeth Wein’s previous women-pilots-in-World War […]