jeffersons-sons September 29

Jefferson’s Sons by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley – Retro Review by Ginger Healy

Usually the kids react somewhat. We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal. They asked what Thomas Jefferson meant with this line. Why he said “all men” when not everybody was treated equally then. A stir is usually felt in the room. Then we move on to the other […]

9780763672089 September 28

Verne in Bogotá by Juana Medina

As a child I devoured books. My hunger for reading drew me to the newspaper, where there would be fresh material to read every single day. My mother, however, was not a fan of my newspaper reading. I grew up in Colombia. The day to day events in my country in the 1980s were terrifying. […]

frazzled-hc-c September 27

FINDING THE RIGHT BOOK: How Kevin Henkes Helped Me Keep My Name and Continue Writing by Booki Vivat

Everyone who knows me knows that I am a big fan of Kevin Henkes. It’s not surprising—there are a lot of us. After all, he’s kind of a picture book legend. For me, though, it isn’t about the awards or achievements.   It’s because he wrote the book Chrysanthemum.     For those of you […]

ugly-cover-hires September 26


I had so much surgery as a kid, my doctors had almost as much of a right as my parents to call me their creation.   I was born with a tennis-ball-sized tumor in the middle of my face and mangled legs. All up, I had 24 operations by the time I was 12 – […]

1455672248746 September 25

A MIND IN THE GUTTER by Deborah Freedman

I’m obsessed with books. Obviously. I’m in the club, after all, and isn’t an obsession with books our only membership requirement?   I do read eBooks, but like so many members of our tribe, my husband and I also have actual books in every room of our house, piles of them, as though they have […]

nerdy-bookcast September 24

Top 10 Podcasts to Use in the Classroom by Liza Lauter

After 11 years of teaching, here’s what I know about 8th graders:   They like a good story. They think they hate non-fiction. They love any time they can sit and listen. They (I’m sure) get sick of hearing my voice, even when it means they get to sit and listen.   So whenever I can […]

revolutionary-friends September 23

Loving Lafayette by Selene Castrovilla

As an author who has spent over fifteen years researching the American Revolution in the hopes of bringing it alive for readers (particularly young ones), I’m thrilled with — and, yes, even a little jealous of — the attention and interest the hit Broadway musical Hamilton has brought my beloved subject. At the Queens Book […]

we-all-looked-up September 22

We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach – Review by Oona Marie Abrams

Whoever said “don’t judge a book by its cover” has never taught high school. Even a cursory glance at covers during independent reading reveals boys who choose books based exclusively on their dearth of pinkness. The cover of We All Looked Up offers images of the four narrators, two male and two female, their backs […]

the-changelings September 21

The Changelings by Christina Soontornvat – Review by Nathaniel Hardman

Witches, goblins, fairies, elves – these are fairy-tale creatures that have endured and become a staple in our fiction centuries. Partly that’s due to Disney, who kept dipping into the Grimm well (Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Pocahontas (jk!)), but it’s also Christmas traditions and bedtime stories and old books and any number of things. […]

truth-or-dare_final September 20

The Truth behind TRUTH OR DARE by Barbara Dee

My sixth novel had the unlikeliest inspiration: a YouTube video. Remember this one, titled First Moon Party? A few years ago, it went viral. Everyone was chatting about it, charmed by its mischievous humor and its empathy for the mom and daughter going through that most sensitive time, a girl’s first period. At the time the video […]