If Not For Franki by Donalyn Miller

I am not sure when I first met Franki Sibberson. I think it was at the 2009 NCTE Convention in Philadelphia. I knew about her work as a professional development author and speaker, of course. The Book Whisperer was published that year and I was just beginning to meet other professional authors and speak at […]

Sketch11319220 April 19

My Students’ Top Ten “Essential Digital Reading Tools” List by Sara Kajder

From the first day of class in August, students in Room 6 work to develop their identities as readers.  And, as eighth graders who have had a variety of experiences which have shaped their identities and Some enter our room with their “Books to Read” list in-hand, ready to pillage the shelves of our classroom […]

Ka's Garden April 18

Becoming More Diverse – A Library Journey by Crystal Brunelle

“There are books with Hmong?” This question broke my heart a little. The boy was shocked when I had casually mentioned a book with a Hmong character. He had made it to third grade without realizing that there were books related to his home culture and that they were available in his school library. You […]

BUTTER April 17

Butter by Erin Jade Lange – Review by Kevin English

Outside of the Nerdy Book Club, I have two friends that make up my “nerd herd.” We used to teach at the same school (our mascot was a zebra), and so the name stuck. One of those friends recommended Erin Jade Lange’s Butter to me—and I am so glad she did.   Throughout my brief […]

the junction of sunshine and lucky April 16

The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky by Holly Schindler – Review by Leigh Anne Eck

Because I am a fourth grade teacher, I try to make conscious decisions about the middle grade books I recommend to my students.  Fourth grade falls on the low end of the middle grade spectrum.  Sometimes these novels teeter on the borderline of appropriateness for this grade level, due to their language or mature content. […]

Klise_ArtofSecrets_jkt_rgb_LR April 15

Lately, Man, It’s All About the Weed by James Klise

You expected a title like that, maybe, from the guy who wrote Love Drugged.   A month ago, an administrator at my school came to visit me in the library. “I have something to discuss,” he said gently, “and I don’t want to upset you.” I steadied myself against the circulation desk. Then his tone […]

the summer of letting go April 14

What is it About Books of Summer? by Gae Polisner

Dear Mother Nature, is SUMMER ever coming?   I don’t mean to whine, but at least here in New York you sure are taking your own sweet time about all things sunshine, flowers, water and sand. Forget the beach. Even your sweet spring buds are barely in sight.   Lucky for all of us, fictional […]

the ninja librarians April 13

Living Up to Your Character by Jen Swann Downey

I’m old enough to have learned (let’s cough a little, and pretend I’m a quick study) that for something to be worth sharing it either has to be true or funny, or both. My MG debut THE NINJA LIBRARIANS has a lot of funny in it. (Or so people tell me who don’t appear to have […]

cinder April 12

The Top 10 Reasons Why I Can’t Stop Reading Children’s & Young Adult Literature by Emily Meixner

For the past ten years, I have been teaching college courses on children’s and young adult literature.  Even after a decade, it’s still a thrill, and every semester I look forward to new books and new students.  Occasionally, usually around mid-semester, a student will ask why I love these texts so much: “Don’t you want […]

upside down in the middle of nowhere April 11

Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere by Julie T. Lamana – Review by Cathy Blackler

On a recent trip to Las Vegas I observed a trio of adults set out from a Mini-Mart in the early morning for parts unknown. The fact that they were armed with backpacks and dressed in layers of clothing that had definitely not seen the inside of a washing machine in quite some time led […]