Author Archives: CBethM

1 to 20 Animals Aplenty September 17

1 to 20, Animals Aplenty by Katie Viggers Post by Caroline Flory

It’s hard not to judge a picture book by its cover.   When you take a first look at 1 to 20, Animals Aplenty by Katie Viggers (POW! Books, 2014) from far away, you might just see a few random animals on a very simple grayish blue background. Nothing bright. Nothing flashy.   But, then, […]

The persistence of time September 15

Piles to Go Before I Sleep by Laura M. Jimenez

I try not to compete with others. I try to remember that my reading speed is my reading speed and that it is a pretty fixed variable. And I try to remind myself that those in the children’s literature community who participate in stuff like “book-a-day” challenge do so because they want to expand their […]

Sketch113194837 September 14

My Top Ten Joys by Erica Shipow

I have to admit: the start of this school year has not been easy. I don’t like admitting that. It’s not even halfway through September, so it feels a little early to be saying that I’m already exhausted, already losing my patience, already unsure of my teaching. It’s this nagging sense that something isn’t quite […]

flotsam September 13

Top Ten Things People Said 5th Graders Couldn’t Read – But Did by Taylor Meredith

Each year, I have tried to choose unexpected texts solely for the purpose of making my fifth graders think. I want them to think about themselves, our community and the world around them.   And in these unexpected choices, I found myself also forced to think….what if we made it a classroom practice to closely […]

nerdcampjr September 12

We’re Excited About Reading! by Sara Ralph

Attending nErDcampMI was a life-changing experience for me. I learned so many things, and was overjoyed to meet some of my favorite people in real life.  It was just the experience I needed to reinvigorate me for my 12th year as an elementary school librarian. It is amazing to be in a room full of […]

sideways stories from wayside school September 11

Sideways Stories from Wayside School -or- Timeless Tales From Which Kids Still Learn by Chris Hays

Sideways Stories From Wayside School was first published in the late seventies as the debut of Louis Sachar. Louis spent nine months writing a book that did not gain attention for many years. Though the results of distribution did not lend this book becoming popular, Louis continued to write while doing part-time legal work. The […]

i am j September 10

I Am J by Cris Beam – Review by Kevin English

Last school year, I gave students a brief writing prompt in the hopes of planning for the next day: What are you still confused about, and how can I help? As I read responses that night, I stumbled upon one that took freedom with my prompt and went something along these lines: “My body is […]

4803750 September 09

Rocks at My Head by Donna Gephart

The day Frankie Hammer launched rocks at the back of my head all the way home from school, I charged up the steps to our Philadelphia row home, jammed the key on the string around my neck into the lock and hurried inside.  While Frankie laughed, I slammed the door closed and leaned against it, […]

louise loves art September 08

Patience and Persistence Pays Off by Kelly Light

I can remember the feeling of sitting in first grade class, my heart beating wildly, trying to slide down on my little blue chair behind the kid in front of me and saying over and over again in my head, “Oh…Ms. Bianci…don’t pick me, don’t pick me, don’t pick me…”   I was a kid […]

revolution September 07

Birthing a Revolution by Deborah Wiles

I am heading into Mississippi this week with my new book, Revolution, and I want you to go with me. I am going as an explorer, like Thor Heyerdahl in Sunny’s beloved Kon-Tiki, the book she has (temporarily) stolen from the Greenwood, Mississippi public library in Revolution.   I am an explorer whenever I write […]