the-nest February 23

The Nest by Kenneth Oppel, Illustrated by Jon Klassen – Review by Jody Lee Mott

Warning: The Nest, written by Kenneth Oppel and illustrated by Jon Klassen, is not a book for everyone. It is the kind of story that burrows itself into your brain and revisits you in the deep, dark midnight in the shape of slithering phantasms and shadowy nightmares.  It is the kind of book that, if you […]

whats-the-big-deal-about-first-ladies-cover February 22

Why I Chose To Write About First Ladies by Ruby Shamir

Back in America’s early days, it was considered scandalous for women to attend parties where no hostess was present.  For proper receptions, like official events at the White House, a hostess had to be there to greet female guests.  And so the position of first lady was born.   As the roles and expectations of […]

not-quite-narwhal February 21

Losing and Finding Yourself in the Library by Jessie Sima

As I write this, my debut picture book, Not Quite Narwhal, is on the brink of publication. There’s so much to be excited about and thankful for, and I’ve found myself spending a lot of time reflecting on what brought me here. The truth is, I didn’t grow up dreaming of being an author-illustrator or […]

little-women-cover February 20

Comforted by Little Women by Millicent Flake

Last spring I was feeling melancholy, to use an old fashioned word. Our little cat Nellie had died after living with us for 14 years. Cats always choose us, not the other way around, and he had been a big part of the family. I missed his presence on the bed at night, his little […]

julie-k-1 February 19

A Gift I Give Myself by Julie Potvin Kirchner

When I got home from NCTE last November, there were several colleagues surprised to hear I had paid for the entire trip, with the exception of the cost to cover a reserve teacher, out of my own pocket. They wondered how and why I would choose to do this. The reasons are many and continue […]

karyn-lewis-1 February 18

One Book + One School = One Reading Community by Karyn Lewis

As a school librarian I gush over books, I hug books, I smell new books, and I treasure all the stories that come into my life. I became a librarian to share with my students the joy that books bring me. So after 3 years as the librarian in an affluent elementary school, I was […]

wkcg-3 February 17

Realizations on Writing and Reading by Allan Wolf

Writing nearly killed me. Reading saved my life.   At least that is how I saw it, almost thirty years ago, when I was fresh out of grad school teaching freshman composition at Virginia Tech.   I was twenty five years old. As a child I had endured years of manic writing binges that started […]

scar-island February 16

Scar Island by Dan Gemeinhart – Review by Angie Moore

I’ve never been an adventure story reader. Hatchet? White Fang? 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea? Nope. I have not read one of those. Which makes it really hard to recommend books for my students who love adventure stories. If I’ve read any, it was because of high recommendations from family, friends, students, and coworkers, or […]

playing-atari-with-saddam-hussein February 15

Cover Reveal: PLAYING ATARI WITH SADDAM HUSSEIN: BASED ON A TRUE STORY by Jennifer Roy and Ali Fadhil

A young girl growing up in the Lodz ghetto during the Holocaust. A teenage boy genius with Asperger Syndrome. A video game-loving boy living in Iraq during the first Gulf War…   These are some of the characters whose stories I have told. Writing them required research and interviews and more research because thankfully, unlike […]

piecingme_quote2_cata_9781681191058 February 14

The Power of Art by Renée Watson

I have always loved words.   When I was a child, I competed in spelling bees and I’d spend hours writing random words over and over just because I liked the way the letters looked together. I enjoyed reading, speaking, and writing words so much so that when I was seven, I wrote a 21-page […]