the enemy August 27

The Top Ten Books “On Hold” Books in My Classroom Library by Katie Sluiter

This past school year, I was moved from teaching eleventh and twelfth grade English–a gig I’d had for over a decade–to teaching eighth grade ELA. It was a bit of a culture shock for me, to say the least. I wasn’t prepared for EVERYTHING TO BE A BIG DEAL to this age group. Everything except […]

A Woman in the House (and the Senate) August 26

A Woman’s Place is in the House (and Senate!) by Annie McMahon Whitlock

Whether we like it or not, the 2016 election is already everywhere we look—and no doubt our students will have questions as they are inundated with information for the next year and a half. There is a need for resources that teachers can use to teach about government and the election process that is unbiased. […]

the wild ones August 25

C. Alexander London Shares the Illustrations from The Wild Ones

I am in awe of other’s people’s creativity, especially those whose imaginative powers are matched to incredible skill. I’m especially awed by visual artists, perhaps because I have no particular talent at drawing myself. I drew a lot of cartoons as a child, but always found myself frustrated by my own efforts. I had much […]

firefly hollow August 24

Reading Through My Book Gap: Maybe I Do Like Books With Animal Characters by Jillian Heise

We all have them. Those areas in our reading lives that we avoid. Those elements in a book that make us cringe away. Those “book gaps” we discover when we look at trends in our reading. A feeling, as one of my 8th graders once said, “That’s just not my genre.” For some people is […]

0763676888 August 23

Exploring my Inspiration for the Windsnap World by Liz Kessler

When I started writing my first Emily Windsnap book, over ten years ago, I had no vision of the future for this book. I was living on a narrowboat on the canal, staring into space and thinking of ideas. (This is still a large part of my creative process nowadays, by the way.) I scribbled […]

challenger deep August 22

Ten YA Books You Don’t Want to Miss by Elizabeth Zdrodowski

As part of the Florida Teens Read committee, I have reviewed and discussed over 100 YA books in the last year. I thought I would highlight some of my favorite reads for a Top Ten Nerdy Post. This list contains fantasy, magical realism, contemporary fiction, mental illness, disabilities, mystery, SuperWhoLock (Supernatural, Doctor Who, Sherlock), religion, […]

Sketch113194837 August 21

Pixar This by Ryan Hanna

I had a sad conversation this summer.   I’m a regular at my neighborhood diner, The Echo. During the school year, I go on Saturday morning and read. My favorite server (l’ll call her Tanya) asks me about the books I’ve been reading, and then gives me her latest recommendation on a piece of receipt […]

20454599 August 20

“We’re in the Soup Together”: A Review of Elizabeth Wein’s Black Dove, White Raven by Judy Jester

I fought with my brother tooth and nail when we were kids. We’d often seek to build an alliance with my sister to exclude the other, cleverly titled the “We hate John” or “We hate Judy” club, depending on who’d been able to sway her. Whoever was on the outs would then join the brainchild […]

swan August 19

Co-writing with Myself by Laurel Snyder

When I was a kid, my parents had amazingly vast bookshelves, and when I got bored on rainy days, I’d sometimes pull a book off the shelf.  Often, I had absolutely no interest in what I found.  I distinctly remember NOT reading Anthony Powell’s A Dance to the Music of Time.   But now and […]

a handful of stars August 18

The Power of Choice by Cynthia Lord

When I was a child, my mother gave me two of the greatest gifts a reader can receive: access to books and choice. Though not a reader herself, my mother always let me buy three books from the Scholastic Book Club flyers when my teacher sent them home. I would pour over those whispery pages, […]