June 23

“Eight reasons we’re ready: Human Rights, Social Justice, and LGBTQ Book Clubs” by Emily Meixner, Rachel Scupp, and Rachel’s 8th grade students at Grover Middle School

Last fall, I had the good fortune of being welcomed into Rachel Scupp’s 8th grade IRLA (Integrated Reading Language Arts) classes.  Earlier in the summer, I had mentioned to Rachel that I wanted to develop LGBTQ middle grade curriculum — to which she immediately replied, “Why not my classes? We teach a social justice curriculum!” […]

June 21

TAKEDOWN by Laura Shovan – Review by Bridget Hodder

It isn’t surprising that author Laura Shovan, who won several distinctions for her thoughtful novel-in-verse, THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY, has a new book out this week. However, fans of her last novel might be surprised to learn that the new one is about…wrestling.   So let’s begin this review by pointing out […]

June 18

A Top Fifteen List of Diversity in YA Realistic Fiction by Kristyn Dorfman

Hello again! You may recall I recently posted about Diversity in Speculative Fiction but I felt like it was also important to highlight some amazing realistic reads.   I firmly believe that everyone should be able to see themselves in the stories they read and, of course, also see, lives different than their own. There […]

June 17

Top 10 Things I’ll Miss Over Summer Break by Kris Barr Paquette

It’s the last week of school.  I feel like I’m drowning in my to-do list.  I almost have all of my classroom library re-collected.  Summer Reading Books have been checked out. Field trips are over.  The end is in sight, friends. But, as always the end is a bit bitter-sweet, even for a tired teacher […]

June 16

Top Ten Ways to Keep Your Child Reading Over Summer by Ginger Healy and Stacy Rivas

As fifth grade teachers, we work hard in our classrooms to create a strong reading community by providing lots of choice and opportunities for reading. We are proud of our students for developing their reading preferences, sharing books with their reading communities, and carving out time for reading while in our care. Our classrooms include […]

June 15

Top Ten Books for Young and Young Adult Runners by Kacy Smith

I love reading. I mostly love running. My reading and running lives are not dissimilar; I have reading buddies and running buddies; I have running injuries and reading injuries (papercuts are no joke). I live in Oregon, a state known reading (think Powells and Wordstock) and for running (think Nike and Tracktown). We run at […]

June 13

Crystal Chan Takes on Complex Issues for Teens in New YA ‘All That I Can Fix’ – Interview by Kate Hannigan

Chicago author Crystal Chan doesn’t shy away from challenging subjects. With her debut novel, the enchanting Bird (Atheneum, 2014), she explored loss, grief, and the meaning of family through the eyes of an inquisitive girl, Jewel. The book resonated with middle-grade readers and adults, and was picked up for translation and publication in nine countries […]

June 12

Avi: What Do Writers Write?

I made up my mind to become a writer when I was a senior in high school. I wrote that down in the only diary I have ever kept.   I began high school at Stuyvesant High School in New York City. It was a huge, high-powered school, with some five thousand boys (no girls). […]

June 10

Kids Need Books Everywhere by Jennifer LaGarde and Donalyn Miller

  Indisputably, children and adolescents benefit when they attend schools with degreed librarians and well-developed library collections (Scholastic, 2018). We also know that providing kids with reliable access to books is one of the easiest, most cost effective ways to influence their achievement. (Allington, McGill-Franzen 2014). Unfortunately, too many young people live in “book deserts” without […]

June 09

Let’s Start at the Very Beginning… by Mark Overmeyer

My first year teaching, I was one of the lucky ones.   I had come out of a strong student teaching experience, and my new teacher colleagues provided a perfect balance of providing support and letting me try (and often fail) and try again.   And my class– I will never forget my incredible sixth […]