March 22

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton Review by Alexandra Cornejo

Mentally rich and decadent — this is how I would describe The Belles. I listened to The Belles on Audible with Rosie Jones (@rosiejonesactor) as the narrator. She did a wonderful job at her narration, which makes all the difference. Her English accent added such an elegant air to an exquisitely written book. However, I […]

March 20

Bat’s Growing Circle by Elana K. Arnold

Recently, I heard this concept, and though I’ve forgotten almost all of the details, I sort of remember it being called a “Circle of Seven,” though when I google that term, none of the stuff that comes up is related to what I was searching for (though I did browse through lots of interesting, unrelated […]

March 19

I Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks for a YA National Book Award and Why Libraries Matter by Megan Fink Brevard

I was a member of a national book award committee and we read over 54 books in 52 weeks. I can imagine the reaction, why? As a school librarian and a life-long enthusiastic reader, I have loved books since I was a little kid.  After working in the publishing field in New York, I found […]

March 18

Bridging Sides and Understanding Villains by Diane Magras

Middle grade fiction is often a battleground for good and evil. It’s a crucial part of plotting; this clash between heroes and villains is a primary conflict from the oldest stories of many cultures. Often the antagonist emerges from another experience, one very different from the protagonist’s, and has motivations that are diametrically opposed.   […]

March 17

A Mistake Is Only a Mistake If You Don’t Learn From It, Ten Books to Use with Children in a Restorative Approach by Stacey Sawyer

My students strive to follow our school Code of Conduct but even on the best of days mistakes happen and someone is hurt by the actions of another. My goal is always to resolve relationship-damaging incidents and also to prevent them from happening again.  I use a restorative approach while working with disciplinary issues. Restorative […]

March 16


It’s always odd when it is claimed a book has come out at a certain — or even a “perfect” — time, because those of us who write, those of us who weather the long and often slow journey of being an author, know that there is often little control over when a manuscript is […]

March 15

One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus: An Intricate Puzzle That’s Both Fun and Thoughtful – Review by Cynthia Webb

One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus is an incredibly intriguing puzzle of a mystery.  Five students are in detention the afternoon that Simon, creator of a notorious gossip app, dies.  He has been exposed to peanut oil and he’s highly allergic.  Not only that, but his epi-pen is missing and so are all […]

March 13

THE TRAIN OF LOST THINGS by Ammi-Joan Paquette – Reviewed by: Bridget Hodder

  “Late at night, that’s when the magic was strongest. When stories swirled like fog and trembled like dreams made real.”   There’s a tender, shimmering enchantment to be found at the heart of Ammi-Joan Paquette’s new Middle Grade novel, THE TRAIN OF LOST THINGS.   In Middle Grade literature, it’s rare to find the […]

March 12

My Secret Reading Identity by Julia Guthrie

I have a confession to make. I have a double reading life. Most of the time, I read middle grade novels. Not only do I consider this part of my job as someone who is entrusted with the reading lives of young people, it’s something I genuinely enjoy (seriously, have you read any kidlit lately? […]

March 11

An Interview with Joy McCullough, Author of Blood Water Paint – by Jennifer Ansbach

Today, Nerdy Book Club member Jennifer Ansbach is in conversation with author Joy McCullough, whose novel Blood Water Paint came out this week.   Told alternately in verse and prose, this novel takes us to the high Renaissance where Artemesia Gentileschi paints in her father’s studio, creating art he takes credit for. Comforted after the […]