November 18

Read What You Don’t Know: Ten Diverse Books I Read for my “Reading without Walls” Challenge by Rebecca Redinger

This past June, I had the opportunity to attend the American Library Association’s annual conference. I heard a lot of different library professionals and authors speak, but one session stood among the rest. On the last full day of the conference, I joined a room full of children’s librarians for the Association for Library Service […]

November 16

COVER REVEAL: Everything Else in the Universe by Tracy Holczer

I have always believed in, “write what you know.” Not so much in a literal way, such as, “I grew up in an apartment building and so I’ll write about a kid growing up in an apartment building.” But more along the lines of writing what I know about the emotional truth of that experience. […]

November 14

Life on Surtsey by Loree Griffin Burns

About a month before I was scheduled to fly to Iceland, rendezvous with nine local scientists, and travel with them to the uninhabited, fifty-years-young volcanic island that was their research study site, I had a nightmare. In it, I had fallen into the North Atlantic Ocean while weighed down with hiking boots and a backpack […]

November 13

Box of Buttons, Room of Readers by Dana Kramaroff

Our readers come to us, like a box of buttons. I realized this while crafting with my three year old daughter. I watched her drag her fingers through, feel each one and bend her ear down low to listen to the sounds of them clinking together, ever so slightly. Through her eyes, I observed how […]

November 12

Cover Reveal: EVERYTHING I KNOW ABOUT YOU by Barbara Dee

The summer after my freshman year in college, I visited Spain, and  at the end of the trip found that I’d gained a few pounds. So, without telling anyone or seeing a doctor or getting any nutritional advice, I went on a diet, which basically consisted of limiting calories. Severely. The diet felt good. It […]

November 11

Text, Tool, and Thought: Rufus the Writer by Melanie Fuemmeler

Text: The book Rufus the Writer by Elizabeth Bram is an endearing tale about a young boy (Rufus) who decides rather than the traditional lemonade stand, he’d like to open a story stand.  With all the diligence and vision of a young entrepreneur, he readies his stand with a tablecloth and sign, paper and pencils, a cheery […]

November 10

Keep it R.E.A.L.! Relevant, Engaging, and Affirming Literacy for Adolescent English Learners by Mary Amanda (Mandy) Stewart

As a twenty-two-year-old, I completed my student teaching in an 8th grade Reading class for students new to the country. My cooperating teacher told me, “It’s just like teaching Pre-K to teenagers!” Even my much younger self knew something was not quite right about that statement. Did these adolescents with nearly adult bodies and often […]

November 09


It’s incredibly exciting to be featured anywhere in the pages of the New York Times, but to be picked as one of the ‘Best Illustrated Books of the Year’ is toe tingling. To be picked twice is beyond amazing. I was in Montreal when ‘The Promise’ was featured as among the best picture books of […]

November 07

Cover Reveal for THE JIGSAW JUNGLE by Kristin Levine

  I had a great plan.   My first three books were historical fiction, and each one required a lot of research. So for book number four, my plan was to do something easier, something that would be quicker to write. I decided on a contemporary story, set in my hometown of Alexandria, Virginia, a […]

November 06

Fear Not The Adaptation by Emily Meixner

This summer my son finished reading all thirteen books in Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events series. He’d wandered uninterested past the first few books on our bookshelves for several years, even though he knew my husband had read and enjoyed them.  Then, this spring, as we desperately waited for sunshine and warmer weather, we […]