April 30

TACKLING TOUGH TOPICS WITH HUMOR by Robin Reul

When I first sat down to write my YA contemporary debut MY KIND OF CRAZY, I knew that I would be broaching some difficult topics like mental illness, abuse, poverty, and alcoholism. Not exactly the stuff of high comedy, but in taking a page from my own life (see what I did there?), I know […]

April 29

A Lesson from the Little Library by Lindsay Yearta

While Little Libraries are becoming ubiquitous in our town, a few years ago, there was only one in the vicinity and my then six year old daughter decided that simply wasn’t adequate. Grace recognized the Little Library for what it was, a way to share her love of books and reading with our community.  So, […]

April 27

Windows, Mirrors, and #ownvoices by Kate Olson

Have you been paying attention to young adult literature? If so,  you are probably aware of these three amazing new titles ~ American Street by Ibi Zoboi, Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson and The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. All three are spectacular stories, but are also unique for other reasons beyond the […]

April 26

On Building a Picture Book: Failure and Finding Your Voice by Vern Kousky

I first came up with the idea for The Blue Songbird during a trip to the Japanese galleries of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This is a place I often go when I have a spare moment or two. The rooms are generally quiet and dark and much of the work there has an illustrative […]

April 25

FROM FARM TO MOO MOO by Tim Miller

Today is the day that Moo Moo in a Tutu, my debut picture book as author and illustrator, goes out into the world. Writing and illustrating a picture book isn’t something that I ever anticipated, nor is it something that I ever thought I could pull off once I set out to try. So how […]

April 24

Reading Aloud: Or How I Found My Voice I Thought to Have Been Lost by Paul. W. Hankins

I’m not well-known. Not famous for much. However, my bite wings, impressions, and molds placed in articulators have featured in at least two major universities in my lifetime. Professors gather around the display and wonder how a person with this kind of artifact may have survived to his middle-forties. They may also wonder why he […]

April 23

What’s in a Name? by Augusta Scattergood

Most of the writers you and I know agree: giving a character just the right name is crucial to her personality. Motivation, appeal, distrust, dislike, or whatever we’re trying to make you feel as a reader turns on finding exactly the right moniker. Most of us love that process.   Two examples hop quickly to […]

April 22

10 New Books Highlighting the Diversity and Strength of Girls & Women by Brittany Gendron

Far too often girls are shortchanged in literature. They deserve to see the beautiful wide world of humanity, and more definitions of ‘girl’ than just girl-chases-boy, clique-drama tropes. Here are 10 recent favorites of mine showing the beautiful wide-open world of what it is to be female!   Non-Fiction Strong is the New Pretty: A […]

April 21

What Are the REST of My Kids Doing? Fostering Independence in the K-2 Reading Workshop by Lindsey Moses & Meridith Ogden

My (Lindsey) 2-year-old niece regularly calls me on FaceTime and before even saying hello, she says, “Aunty Lindsey, will you read a book?” Of course, I say yes and head over to the bookshelf to select books I think she will like. One of my favorite parts of this ritual is when she adamantly says, […]

April 20

Five Reasons The Red Bandanna Should Be In Your Young Adult Reader’s Hands by Oona Abrams

Welles Crowther, a young executive with Sandler O’Neill and a trained volunteer firefighter from Rockland County, New York, perished on September 11, 2001, but not before he became many people’s rescuer. His heroism might have gone unrecognized had his mother, Alison Crowther, not read an article in The New York Times eight months later, in […]