May 22

Classics, Colonization and a Call for Change by Padma Venkatraman

Last year, I gave in to horribly un-American behavior. Confident that my citizenship would not be revoked if indulged in censorship, I picked up a thick sharpie and blackened out offensive words in A Child’s Garden of Verse on my daughter’s shelf. Other “classics” just plain aren’t on her shelf. I’m confident her childhood can […]

May 21

A SERIES FICTION KIND OF GIRL by Heather Alexander

Have you ever played Nancy Drew the Spy On the Prairie? This game filled my fourth-grade afternoons. It’s best explained as a mash-up of storylines from three of my favorite literary heroes at the time—Nancy Drew, Harriet M. Welsch, and Laura Ingalls—intertwined as only a bookish ten-year-old can. Each day brought a new adventure and […]

May 20

Ten Types of Books That Are Hooking My MOST Reluctant Readers by Wendy Gassaway

I teach reading to middle schoolers who read two or more years below grade level.  I am a fierce believer in the power of reading workshop and choice, but I continue to struggle with a sizable minority of students who Won’t. Read. ANYTHING.  I feel like I offer a wide range of material, and I’m […]

May 19

Saving Wonder by Mary Knight – Review by Mary Alice Ramsey

“Words are thoughts and thoughts are things” Papaw tells Curley.  And Mary Knight uses them exquisitely her debut novel Saving Wonder. Curley Hines, a seventh grade boy, shares his life story with us.   Being someone who came to love reading late in life, I was captivated by Curley. His joy. His wonder. Living with […]

May 16

Moon Shadow and the Magic of Author-Teacher-Student Collaboration by Erin Downing, Jason Lewis, and Lynn Flynn

Today’s Nerdy post is a joint essay from an author and two teachers about editorial collaboration. We wanted to share an example of how authors, teachers, and students can work together for mutual benefit. Our hope is that by writing this post, other authors and teachers might connect to create similar experiences for more student […]

May 15

GIVING READERS A FRONT ROW SEAT by Patricia Newman

When I was a kid, I loved science. It was so relevant. It helped me make connections to the rest of the world, like the time my second-grade class designed an experiment to understand the concept of one million by making Xs on graph paper during our free time. (It took us forever!) Or when […]

May 14

Celebrating Nerdom With Mike Merschel’s ‘Revenge of the Star Survivors’ – post by Kate Hannigan

As a nerd, someone married to a nerd, and a mom raising three little nerds, I’ve always felt among my people at Nerdy Book Club. When I had the chance to read Revenge of the Star Survivors (Holiday House, April 2017) by Michael Merschel, I knew this was the perfect place to share it. It’s […]

May 13

TEN MENTOR TEXTS FOR MY HISTORICAL FICTION WIP by Carol Baldwin

When I teach writing I say, “If you want to write, read.” Taking that motto to heart, these ten books have guided me as I’ve written HALF-TRUTHS, my first young adult novel.   BLUE by Joyce Moyer Hostetter   In Hickory, North Carolina in 1944, Ann Fay Honeycutt assumes responsibilities after her father leaves for […]

May 11

Well, That Was Awkward by Rachel Vail – Review by Kari Riedel

Middle school.  Just the words can evoke very specific images and feelings for many people. Laughter with BFFs. Drama with BFFs. Awkward first crushes. Burgeoning independence.  Added responsibility. Homework. Stress.  As the parent of a current middle schooler, I often wonder how middle school is different for kids today than it was for me. How […]

May 09

Female Authors Aren’t Funny (And Other Lies You May Have Heard) by Betsy Bird

I poll children for fun and profit.  That makes it sound worse than it is, though, so I’ll endeavor to explain.   Our story begins when I was an innocent children’s librarian working the desk at one of the lovely branches of New York Public Library.  The kids that walked through my doors were smart […]