July 01

TEN SCIENCE FICTION BOOKS FOR ELEMENTARY KIDS by Dr. Emily Midkiff

There’s an old cliché that says that the age of twelve is the best time to start reading science fiction. However, science fiction is too important to wait until 7th grade! This genre can teach science-fictional ways of thinking, a mindset that helps us process new technology and think critically about science. Thanks to that […]

June 27

Why I Wrote ‘Twas The Night Before Pride by Joanna McClintick

My coming out began joyfully: I fell in love my sophomore year of college, it was springtime, and everything about it was warm and beautiful and thrilling. At long last I had what many of my straight peers had already begun, in some cases for many years: a relationship! But aside from the person I […]

June 24

Our Boys Are Not Okay by Melanie Conklin

Last year, I overheard a conversation between my twelve-year-old son and his close male friends that alarmed me. They were talking about Tiktok challenges and how each of them had been pressured into doing something they knew was wrong by their peers. They liked the attention they got from doing these social media challenges, but […]

June 21

HOW TO CREATE A LIFELONG BOOK CLUB IN SEVEN EASY (WELL, NOT ALWAYS SO EASY) STEPS by Chris Rylander

As a writer, you get to be in charge.  You decide a character’s name. What they look like. Are they liars? Do they swear a lot? Are they good or bad or somewhere in between? You get to decide what happens to those characters. You get to choose the words that make a story. This […]

June 18

Ten Picture Books to Enhance Writing Instruction by Shannon Eichele

There is something special about a read-aloud that captures the attention of our young learners. Taking a picture book and transforming it into an engaging lesson can make learning even more meaningful. We can introduce a new topic in science or maybe help our learners solve the mystery of dividing fractions. Picture books can also […]

June 14

The Rule of Thirds by Elana K. Arnold

When A Boy Called BAT was published five years ago, I hoped for the same things I hope for all my books—that readers would find it, and that it would have a big and beautiful life. And in the time between then and now, my hopes for BAT have come true. More than any of […]

June 13

Teachers Make Readers (and Writers) by Danielle Davis

I arrived in Mr. P’s kindergarten classroom not knowing how to read and not knowing that by patiently sitting with me, he would be the key to unlock my ability to parse words and sentences and the worlds they contain. But he was. I arrived in Mrs. A’s fourth grade classroom not knowing that by […]

June 10

Book Walks Are Back by Kate Narita

We just finished our nonfiction book walks, and my students are more excited about reading than ever. Wait! What’s a book walk? I first learned about book walks on Twitter in the fall of 2019 from Maryland school librarian, Karina Hirschorn. She posted pictures book piles on her library tables and students rotating, exploring the […]

June 07

LOOKING FOR IDEAS, INSPIRATION, AND LAYERS by Linda Joy Singleton

When I write middle-grade novels, like my CURIOUS CAT SPY CLUB series, I have a routine of sitting at my computer in the morning and working until words spill across the screen. I challenge myself to write a few pages every day—until the first draft is done. `                 But there’s no routine for writing […]

June 02

Saying Gay In Our Household by Padma Venkatraman

“Mom, what’s a gay person?” When my child asked me this question, some years ago, when she was about eight, my first response was to give her examples of gay couples who are our friends.  “You know, like ___ and ___, or ___ and ___,” I said.  She knitted her brows for a while, and then […]