Author Archives: CBethM

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 […]

sumemr reads August 19

POLL: Your Favorite Summer Reads

Summer vacation has always, for me, been about getting extra time to read. As a kid, I didn’t have to cram extra reading time by the light of my red glowing LED clock; I had full days with extra daylight hours to devour books. As an adult, I could wake up and go curl up […]

Sketch11319220 August 18

The Importance of Choice by Paige Ysteboe

“Let your students read whatever they want.”   “Yes, graphic novels count as reading.”   “It’s ok that so-and-so chose a book below his/her grade level.  Students choose books that interest them, and they don’t really care about the grade level. (And, by the way, you’d might be surprised at the Lexile level of the […]

ABOWS-Dulemba-cover400 August 17

Switching Genres: Surprise, It’s A Novel! by Elizabeth O. Dulemba

This spring I celebrated the release of my debut historical fiction mid-grade, A BIRD ON WATER STREET. Many of my writer/illustrator friends were surprised. “You write novels too?” To the outside world, it appeared that I had suddenly switched genres, but to me, it seemed like a natural progression. It took ten years from the […]

Sketch11319220 August 16

Top Ten Reasons for Starting a Staff Book Club by Megan Skogstad

I’m sure like many of you reading this post; one of my passions is reading professional books on literacy. Reading the latest books that focus on best practices in literacy has helped me become a more effective teacher. Upon beginning another new school year, in a new building last year, I met a fellow teacher […]

read tees August 15

READ. It changes your life! by Tracy Craft

Getting the right books in the hands of students takes a lot of organization, attention to reading identities, and money…a lot of money. How, I wonder, do my fellow teachers manage to build their classroom libraries, especially with newly released titles? We know that new is good, and the ability to get hot new books […]

planet kindergarten August 14

Worth the Space by Michael M. Guevara

In just a few short weeks, five-year-olds across the country will face one of life’s most iconic and scariest rites of passage—the first day of kindergarten. Moms and dads delicately dance between the euphoria of shopping for back-to-school supplies and the trauma of sending their babies out into the cold, cruel world of cubbies, centers, […]

conversion August 13

CONVERSION BY KATHERINE HOWE – Review by Sarah Mulhern Gross

“Sarah, which of these books should I read from the summer reading list?” my fifteen-year old sister asked last month.  As she rattled off the books, I was impressed by the diversity on the school-provided list.  I was even more impressed when she listed a book I had not already read.  A quick Goodreads search […]

courage for beginners August 12


Sometimes, I think a whole book is a love letter to one particular character. That’s how it was for me a couple of years ago when I began writing COURAGE FOR BEGINNERS. There were many things I wanted to tell the young character, Mysti Murphy. I’d tell her that as a kid, I believed everyone […]