April 12

A Purging of Pity and Fear by Marion Dane Bauer

It was a small town and an even smaller library.  The children’s section formed an open cube, perhaps six feet on each side.  But the small size didn’t matter to me, because every time my mother and I went to the library, I brought home the same book.  That book lives in me still, and […]

April 11

How to Write A Great Children’s Book by Elisha Cooper

10. Be Forgetful. Forget your bad ideas and put them in a box and put that box under your bed. Ten years ago I had an idea for a children’s book about a puppy. One puppy, racing around a backyard, getting in trouble. I gave the idea a good title – Big Trouble – but […]

April 10

Reading the Extreme: 10 Tips for Amping Up your Reading Game! by Ann McCallum Staats

Hey, you there! I dare you. Yes, you. I dare you to become an extreme reader. And no, I’m not talking about laminating a book to bring it underwater while you feed the sharks. Or suggesting you strap it to your torso so you can take it with you when you go skydiving. Reading the […]

On Connections by E.B. Vickers and Jenn Bishop

The Nerdy Book Club is a community built on connections—between educators, authors, and especially readers. I was lucky enough to form a Nerdy connection with middle grade author extraordinaire Jenn Bishop, whose latest book, Where We Used to Roam, is gorgeous and heartfelt and beautifully written. When I realized all the connections between Jenn’s book and my […]

April 06

I Was Never Matilda by Louie Stowell

When you’re a writer, people expect you to love reading. For me, they’re partly right. I love stories and ideas. I love wandering in a made-up world that feels realer than reality, where you can meet impossible creatures and get to know them as people (or sort-of people). The act of reading, though? That’s more […]

April 05

What I Stole to Write War and Mille McGonigle by Karen Cushman

For my new book, War and Millie McGonigle, I committed grand theft. Fortunately, the victim is my husband and my ill-gotten goods are his memories of growing up on San Diego’s Mission Beach. For many years I’d heard his stories about the small colony on the bay side, long before it was dredged and Mission […]

April 03

Ten Books that Encourage Teens to Speak Up and Speak Out by Kasey Short

Middle and high school students have strong sense of justice, innovative ideas, and the potential to make a significant impact on their communities. They need encouragement to use their voices to speak up and speak out for their lives, their school, their community, and our world. These books provide examples of teens speaking up for […]

April 01

The Joining of the Inner and Outer Worlds by Mark Karlins

On a cold New Mexico night I walked down the driveway, the sky huge with winter stars. At the mailbox I pulled out an oversized envelope, my author’s copy of Kiyoshi’s Walk. It was a picture book I had worked on for years, a story which begins with Kiyoshi asking his Grandfather Eto “Where do […]

March 30


Writers write stories.  Writers write characters.  What we don’t write are themes.  But our themes always find us.  After we’ve been writing for some time, we come to realize:   The same themes – maybe four or five at most – show up in our work over and over again, although we’ll dress them in […]

March 29

Reconsidering Red Riding Hood by Eli Brown

When did I first scratch my head about Little Red Riding Hood? Kids are experts at shrugging at the imperfect world. They believe us when we tell them how Wednesday is spelled and then they move on to more important matters. After all, there are bugs to poke. Recently, I have been thinking a lot […]