January 22

Because of Winn-Dixie Turns 20! by Colby Sharp

Kate DiCamillo’s Because of Winn-Dixie turns 20 years old this year. It is one of my all-time favorite middle grade novels. The idea that kids that had this book read aloud to them when they were kids, are now reading it aloud to their own kids/students, makes my heart happy. Last week, I called Kate […]

January 21

No Matter Who You Are, You Can Achieve Remarkable Things by Joseph Elliott

When I was fifteen, I trekked from the west coast of Scotland to the east coast – a similar journey to that made by the characters in the book – with nothing but a tent, a sleeping bag, and a (much needed) waterproof coat. When it stopped raining long enough for me to appreciate the […]

January 20

The Power of Listening by Clare Landrigan

I was facilitating a professional development session focused on how to administer a reading assessment.  A fifth-grade student just finished reading the text and I was beginning the part of the assessment in which we discuss the text together.  He seemed a bit nervous with all of the observers, so I tried to calm him […]

January 19

Cover Reveal: Flying Over Water by N.H. Senzai and Shannon Hitchcock

Authors N.H. Senzai and Shannon Hitchcock stop by Nerdy Book Club to share the cover of their upcoming book, Flying Over Water, how the story began, and their collaborative process writing the book.   What inspired this story?    Shannon: My friend’s daughter converted to Islam and that piqued my interest in the religion. I […]

January 17

Set to Simmer… by Jacqueline Alcántara

I loved the “Freedom Soup” manuscript as soon as I read it and even though I am not Haitian, I connected with it in many ways; loving family parties, grandmas cooking, and the importance of food and traditions.  I could instantly see the movement of the characters dancing, stirring and chopping. But once I sat […]

January 16

Cover Reveal: MY LIFE IN THE FISH TANK by Barbara Dee

There’s more than one way to tell a story. That’s one of the things I’m hoping readers take away from MY LIFE IN THE FISH TANK (Aladdin/S&S, September 15, 2020).  It’s my eleventh middle grade novel, and a bit of a departure for me. Most of FISH TANK is a regular first-person narrative from the […]

January 15

BEYOND WONDERFUL—ON THE NIGHT OF THE SHOOTING STAR by Amy Hest, illustrations by Jenni Desmond – Review by Carol Coven Grannick

The children sit on a rug, in two uneven rows at my feet. I am on a preschool chair with a book in my hands, as yet unopened. Someone whispers. Someone else pokes someone. But then the quiet settles. “Hello, Friends,” I say. “This is one of my favorite books.” It’s my weekly reading time […]

January 14

The Sowing Circle by Alice Faye Duncan, Tameka Fryer Brown, Kelly Starling Lyons and Vanessa Brantley-Newton

    Thanks so much for hosting us on the Nerdy Book Club. The Sowing Circle is a collective of four Black women children’s book creators – Alice Faye Duncan, Tameka Fryer Brown, Kelly Starling Lyons and Vanessa Brantley-Newton, whose mission is to sow words and images into the hearts of children. We hope people […]

January 11

Are Your Striving Readers Helping Others? by Tammy Mulligan

I think we underestimate the power of helping when it comes to teaching striving readers.  In schools, striving readers are typically the ones who receive the most help. Striving readers see multiple teachers for instruction. Striving readers generally have reading buddies who help them figure out the words. And striving readers get lots of support […]

January 09

Cover Reveal: The Wild Path by Sarah R. Baughman

Talking about the reality of addiction is important to me both generally, because it’s a widespread issue affecting millions of people, and personally, because I have loved ones who have struggled with it. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 19.7 million American adults (aged 12 and older) battled a substance use disorder […]