niece smile May 29

Girls and Graphic Novels by Emily Meixner

My eight-year-old niece loves graphic novels.  She ingests them voraciously, and when I saw her during the winter holidays, ninety percent of that time she was reading.  Truth be told, I didn’t actually see her all that much – I just saw her fingers and the top of her head.  That’s her in the photo […]


Raising the Stakes on Young Writers by Brian Kelley

Towards the end of last school year, I revisited an idea for a collaborative student novel when I received a serendipitous email from Opera Philadelphia. They offered schools free tickets for the 2015 season. All we needed was transportation and some context.   I wondered if this year’s students could reimagine an opera as a […]

Red Queen May 27

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard Reviewed by Colleen Graves, Kerri Harris, and Donalyn Miller

Publisher’s Blurb Graceling meets The Selection in debut novelist Victoria Aveyard’s sweeping tale of seventeen-year-old Mare, a common girl whose once-latent magical power draws her into the dangerous intrigue of the king’s palace. Will her power save her or condemn her? Mare Barrow’s world is divided by blood—those with common, Red blood serve the Silver- […]

Sketch11319220 May 26

Top 10 Ideas to Promote Summer Reading by Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan

When we were browsing through Time magazine, we came across this quote:   “A recent study from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has found that the average American spends only 19 minutes a day reading; young people read less than ever, apparently, with people ages 25 to 34 reading eight minutes a day on weekends […]

wu May 25

Read It for the Asians! by Wu Xueting

As an Asian, I have read fewer than ten books featuring Asian characters. Maybe half of them involve Chinese characters. Probably only two or three are written by Asians, not immigrant Asians in the West with cute acronyms like ABC, but born-and-raised Asians. I’m an enthusiastic supporter of the “We Need Diverse Books” campaign and […]

IMG_0702 May 24

Yes, and… Thoughts on print versus digital reading by Kristin Ziemke

I come from a place of pedagogy.  Raised by teachers who were readers and nurtured by principals who believed their most important job was to place text in the hands of kids.  I come from classroom libraries and nightly book checkout, from teacher book clubs and living like a reader.  I come from conversations about […]

staying fat for sarah byrnes May 23

Top 10 Authors My Students Read Everything By – by Shana Karnes

Every year around October, I find a few students in my 11th-grade classroom whose to-read lists are depressingly barren.  Despite the fact that by that time I’ve booktalked nearly 100 books, I begin to despair when I can’t help them fill that list and make a reading plan.   And then, every year, I find […]

emily May 22

The Joy of Sharing by Sarah Peden

“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book. And then there are books […] which you can’t tell people about, books so special and rare and […]

dark days hardcover May 21

The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin by Josh Berk – Review by Brett Vogelsinger

Some books have a what I consider a “cover identity crisis.”  Covers communicate mood and genre and setting — and then there are those covers that confound.  The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin is one such book with a confouding cover.  In hardcover, it features three cartoon-art friends, tiptoeing forward in what first appears to […]

9781452126999_350_3 May 20

The Story of I Wish You More, as told by Tom Lichtenheld

Many years ago, I worked in advertising –  making TV commercials, magazine ads and the like. While casting kids for a tv commercial, this little girl showed up with her sweater mis-buttoned, so I said, “she has more buttons than holes.” Then, of course, I did a doodle…   Which made me wonder if it […]