April 26

The Guns in Our Stories by Jeff Seymour

It’s 4:30 a.m. I am exhausted. My teething son is finally asleep, and I should be too. But I can’t stop thinking about Parkland and the responses to it, and instead of sleeping I’m wrestling with a question: What do we do with the gun deaths and violence in our stories? I write fantasy adventure […]

April 25

A Summer of Study, a Summer of Reading by Penny Kittle 

So what are you planning for this summer? I’m going to see Dave Mathews in concert five times (ridiculous, right?). I will walk my dogs in Whitaker Woods every chance I get, and I will climb a few mountains in the Presidential Range. I’ll also be reading, writing, and thinking about teaching, of course. It’s […]

April 24

A Letter to Our Struggling Readers by Jen Petro-Roy

I was one of those stereotypical bookworm kids. The glasses-wearing girl who curled up with a book on the corner of a couch, who sprawled out on my bed or ignored everyone else from the backseat of a car. (Bless my lack of carsick genes!). I loved long books with zillions of pages. I loved […]

April 23

The Joy of Reading Together by Holly Niner

The swing hung from the branch of a willow tree split in two by lightening. It was my quiet place. Under its shade I observed the world, contemplated life and read more books than I can count. The books came from a wonderful city library with circular stair cases and a heady book-smell, a school […]

April 22

It’s Not Complicated by Donalyn Miller

I have been blogging, writing, and talking about children’s independent reading lives for over ten years—starting with my first Ask the Mentor column for Education Week Teacher in 2007. I am not the first or the last educator to take on this topic. Scores of literacy leaders, like Daniel Fader, Rudine Sims-Bishop, Stephen Krashen, Teri […]

April 21

Read José Martí for National Poetry Month (A Plea) by Emma Otheguy

While recovering from an illness in New York State’s Catskill Mountains, the nineteenth-century Cuban poet and independence leader José Martí wrote these words: Mi verso es de un verde claro y de un carmín encendido: Mi verso es un ciervo herido Que busca en el monte amparo.   My song is of the palest green […]

April 19

What It Means to Hope by Cordelia Jensen and Laurie Morrison

When we decided to write our middle grade novel Every Shiny Thing, our point-of-view characters materialized quickly, their voices pouring out of us.   First came Sierra: a fiercely loyal thirteen-year-old who has been separated from her alcoholic mother and placed into a loving foster home, where she resists connecting with her foster parents because […]

April 17

Stay Wild by Alison Oliver

When I began a meditation practice as an adult, I was struck by how familiar it felt. It was almost like deja-vu, the sense that you’ve already lived the present moment. I realized that the experience of meditation wasn’t new to me; it was one I’d felt often as a child.  Meditation begins when your […]

April 16

Reading Lives: How Queer Lit Helped Me Read Again by Josephine Swaney

I am a serial book-starter. The numbers of books I’ve picked up and put down in the past few years pains me. Books that I wanted to read and started up but never found the motivation to continue. Books I’ve had on my reading list for years that I never committed to reading. I’m a […]

April 14

Top Ten LGBTQ+ YA Novels for All Tastes by Haylee Geisthardt

Diversity of representation is important for a lot of reasons; everyone needs someone they can relate to or that will allow them to learn more about others. As a queer teenager, LGBTQ+ representation is especially important to me. Luckily, if you know where to look in YA lit, you can find characters all over the […]