December 01

Our Tenth Nerdversary: One Nerd Can Make a Difference by Donalyn Miller

How are you? I miss you. I miss the pre-pandemic days when I ran into other book-loving teachers and librarians on my travels. I miss travels. I miss Nerd Camps. I miss conferences and school visits. I miss talking about books in banquet lines and elevators. I miss walking out of a classroom with thirty […]

November 30

The Story Behind Art of Protest by De Nichols

When I was a kid growing up in Mississippi and Tennessee, I learned pretty early about social injustices that exist in the world. I remember defending myself against bullies who did not like me because of my dark skin. I recall watching my favorite TV shows and learning about South African apartheid, police brutality, the […]

November 23

Why History? by Kekla Magoon

When I was young, I would probably have told you I don’t like reading non-fiction. I also would have told you I thought history was boring…and then rushed home and devoured my copy Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry or Across Five Aprils. There was such a disconnect in my mind about what history was […]

November 13

Ten Booty-ful books for laughing and learning by Jocelyn Rish

Kids like books about butts. And farts. And poop. Actually, most adults like them, too. There’s something about a solid scatological joke that sets off peals of laughter. Heck, even just saying the word toot can trigger the giggles. Because books about backsides produce so much laughter, they are a great way to slip in […]

November 11

Own Your Poop by Mark Pett

Were you a weird kid? I certainly was. Hoo boy, I wanted so badly to fit in. I grew up in Salt Lake City, the child of a Lithuanian non-practicing Catholic and a zealous convert to Catholicism. In my grade-school class, it may not surprise you to learn that I was the only Catholic in […]

November 10

Post-Hero YA?  Reading Meg Rosoff by Terry Farish

Meg Rosoff is Boston born, London based, of Ashkenazi heritage. My path to her is wild and rangy by way of Ursula Le Guin who suggested in her writing that the novel is much more than a hero’s journey.  She suggests that the stories of heroes and human triumphs that are the core of the […]

November 06

Ten Books to Support Young Activists by Rochelle Melander

When I started a writing program for young people in Milwaukee, I had one goal: to create a space for children and teens to tell their stories. The students I’ve worked with over the years dream of changing the world. They’ve written about how they would do it, from buying back guns to mandating recycling […]

October 27

DOWN SYNDROME AWARENESS MONTH-NEW BOOKS by Lynn Plourde

Do you remember Corky on the TV show Life Goes On?  Corky Thatcher, a character with Down syndrome, who was played by Chris Burke, an actor with Down syndrome? I was so excited when that show came on. As a public-school speech-language therapist at the time, who worked with students with Down syndrome, I thought, […]

October 18

Feeling small? Your voice is louder than you think by Pat Zietlow Miller

The last few years have been rough. There’s been: A global pandemic. Contentious elections. Economic uncertainty. Hurricanes, wildfires and floods. News story after news story about people behaving badly. Not to mention any personal sadness or trauma you’ve experienced. Any one of those things – or all of them together – could be enough to […]

October 15

Lights in the Dark: balancing honesty and optimism in The Ice House by Monica Sherwood

I never set out to write a children’s book when I began drafting The Ice House. In fact, when I was a kid, I hated anything marketed specifically toward children.  The whole concept seemed to suggest that because I was young, I couldn’t handle serious things, and I took myself incredibly (far too) seriously. This […]