fish in a tree - final cover October 04

Beyond the Labels by Nancy Paulsen

If we are lucky, we have had them in our lives—the teachers who try to understand us and look beyond any labels we may have been given (no matter where in the range from “smart-aleck” to “troublemaker” to “knucklehead” we may fall!); the teachers who listen to us and take the time to see the […]

Jkt_0590929974 October 03

Top Ten Picture Books to Build Character by Anna Sedenka

  At the beginning of the school year I always take a look at my collection of picture books and try to decide which ones I absolutely have to share with my class.  Of course I would love to share all of my picture books with my students, but there just isn’t enough time in […]

Screen Shot 2015-08-03 at 9.12.13 PM October 02

Project Book Giving by Katie Hartman

It was in January, around the middle of the school year. I had just shared a brief explanation of International Book Giving Day with my readers and posed the questions to my two classrooms of fourth graders: How can we get books into the hands of people in our community who might not have any? […]

gncelebration_square October 01

We’re All Hooked by Katherine Sokolowski

Graphic novels. They are a staple in most classroom libraries. In my classroom they are the single most circulated section of the room. Three walls of the classroom are covered in books. Tucked in the back in one section of the book shelves are the graphic novels. Most often, they look like this:   Book […]

Piper Green and the Fairy Tree Too Much Good Luck High Resolution September 30

The Nosy Writer by Ellen Potter

If I ever get arrested in a certain small city in Upstate New York, I am reasonably certain that I could break out of their jail. No, I am not a criminal mastermind; I’m just very nosy.   Since I’m a nosy person, one of the great perks of my job as a writer is […]

stratford zoo revue romeo and juliet September 29

5 Great Picture Books about Relationships by Ian Lendler

Hello out there in Nerd-Land! So the second volume in my Shakespeare-inspired graphic novel series is coming out Sept. 29th (The Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents Romeo and Juliet). While working on it over the past few years, I’ve spent a thinking about great couples in picture books.   I think picture books are some […]

Sketch113194837 September 28

My Love for Reading: Going from a Non-Reader to a Book Nerd by Amy Ralph

As I sat down to write about my reading life my first thought was to reflect on how far I have come as a reader. Every member of the Nerdy Book Club loves reading and most of you have always loved it. Sadly, I can not say the same. When I was a child I […]

rodkey 1 September 27


  Like most comic novels for middle graders, the Tapper Twins books are illustrated—but they’re unusual in that most of the illustrations aren’t drawings, but photographs.   There are two reasons for this. The first is that I can’t draw my way out of a paper bag. Even my stick figures look incompetent. And not […]

something real September 26

Top Ten Worst Parents in Tween Lit by Amy Estersohn

I’ve noticed that my seventh graders take tremendous pleasure in reading about horrible, awful, mean, nasty, and ludicrous parents, no matter the genre, setting, or gender of the main character.     For all other bad-parent-lovers out there, I’ve collected a list of some of my favorite careless caretakers:   Gym Candy by Carl Deuker […]

Sketch11319220 September 25

I Think We Hit the Jackpot! Crossing My Fingers for Literary Excitement in Classrooms by Susan Knell

As a university professor I often visit elementary classrooms to read to children and also to observe what influential teachers do to promote the love of reading.  One elementary school created an after school academy for students each quarter of the school year.  Students could choose cooking, sports, math, art, book club, etc.  My friend, […]