September 20

Les Paul, the OG by Kim Tomsic

Though I love to brag about sitting first chair flute at Rancier Middle School from 6th-8th grade, I am sad to say I never learned to play the guitar. I am, however, the proud parent of a guitarist. Here’s the thing about being the mother of a young guitarist—you must visit dozens of guitar stores […]

September 19

Bluebirds, Deadheads, & Side-Growth by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

I was five, and starting first-grade in a new school.   That first week, my teacher divided us into reading groups. Our class became flocks of Bluebirds, Redbirds, and Yellowbirds that gathered in a circle around her, taking turns reading out loud from our Sally, Dick, and Jane readers.   The Bluebirds were the best […]

September 18


It all started when my mother read me The Magic Faraway Tree stories by Enid Blyton. I couldn’t have been more than three or four years old, but it changed everything for me – I remember being surprised and delighted that the characters could step out of our world and into these strange and magical […]

September 17

Video: Kate DiCamillo on Louisiana’s Way Home

Kate DiCamillo is here to visit Nerdy Book Club to talk about her latest book, Louisiana’s Way Home (Candlewick, hitting bookstores October 2, 2018), in the video embedded below.     Kate DiCamillo is one of America’s most beloved storytellers. She is a former National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and a two-time winner of the Newbery […]

September 15

Searching for Biographies by Mélina Mangal

“Where are the biographies?” I asked at the children’s library in Bordeaux, France.   The librarian looked at me quizzically and asked me to repeat myself.  I wondered if it was because my French was a little rusty, since I don’t speak it every day in the U.S. When I asked again, she told me […]

September 13

The Power of Literacy: Changing the Narrative of Toxic Masculinity by Travis Crowder

“…And of course there must be something wrong in wanting to silence any song.” -Robert Frost   “I want to question the idea that it’s weak to be emotionally open, to demonstrate that it’s fine for men to be vulnerable and kind, and to recognize the courage it takes to be different.” -Ben Brooks   […]

September 11

How a Writer Reads by Meg Medina

I’ve always had a rangy heart for reading. Just when I decide I don’t care for one genre, along comes a book in that very genre that steals my heart. Those shifting appetites have been both the path to pleasure and also the way I’ve broadened my toolbox as a writer and teacher.   So, […]

September 09

On Becoming a Black Girl Reader by T.R. Simon

I can’t remember when I wasn’t a reader. Because I was an only child, and my father’s job required that we move every few years, I was often alone. I dealt with feeling lonely by making up stories. Everything in my room became a character: stuffed animals, dolls, Barbies, even our dogs and cats. The […]

September 08

Ten Middle Grade Book Beginnings Begging to be Read by Kris Barr Paquette

It’s the beginning of the school year, and you have all your favorite summer reads stacked up in your mind to book talk.  I know.  It’s exciting.  The kids are going to love each and every suggestion you give them!  Let’s fast forward a few weeks, suddenly you are buried beneath a stack of personal […]

September 06

Get Back Up by Ben Thompson and Erik Slader

It was a hot summer day in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, and Orville and Wilbur Wright were about to show off a project that was over two years in the making.  They’d tested designs, built blueprints, double-checked calculations, and built a machine with their bare hands in the burning heat of Kill Devil Hills that […]