April 20

Ten Picture Books to Engage Special Needs Students by Jill De Farno

My favorite part of being a school librarian is reading to students. I regularly read to kindergarten and first grade students. Once a month I have storytime with all kindergarten, first, and second grade classes. During this time I read a story and then do an activity or make a craft. However, there is one […]

April 19

Maya Angelou and the Courage to Keep Rising by Bethany Hegedus

Resilience.   Persistence.   Perseverance.   We women know we have always had these qualities—and now we are being sure that society knows it too. Girl power. Women power.  Social activism on any level—“the personal is political”—is no longer radical. Activism is mainstream. And changes can be made not just by picking up protest signs. […]

April 18

An Original Poem by Rhett Miller

Our Nerdy Book Club by Rhett Miller My friends and I, we have a book club. We read and we read and we read. We talk and we laugh and we argue. And books are all that we need. The stories, they bring us together. The world can be lonely sometimes. The Great American Novel, Or some goofy […]

April 17

Books as Safe Haven by Paula Garner

For a writer, this is a strange and kind of awful thing to admit, but it’s the truth: I grew up in a bookless house. Okay, it wasn’t 100% bookless, strictly speaking. There was a bible. And there was a book called Jokes for the John, which, as a very small person, I found far more […]

April 16

I’ve been thinking about the girls of this world by Ali Benjamin

I’ve been thinking about the girls of this world.   I’ve been thinking, for example, about a moment, not so long ago: it happened during one of those “What To Expect Now That Your Child’s in Middle School” programs — the sort of occasion where parents and teachers talk anxiously about how to guide kids […]

April 15

My Reading Life by Toni Yuly

I did not grow up a big reader.  My family was really into sports and we watched a lot of TV, especially cartoons, (I was born in 1954.) I don’t remember hearing a good night story before bed or enjoying reading, except for comic books, as a young child. I loved comic books.   I […]

April 14

The Book Love Foundation Summer Book Club: supporting teachers, supporting learning by Penny Kittle, Clare Landrigan, Fran McVeigh

I feel a tug on the back of my dress as I walk down the hall to debrief with the first-grade team of teachers. I shift my stance wondering if I somehow caught my hem on something. Then I hear her voice. Miss Clare. I turn and see her small fingers wrapped tightly around the […]

April 13

10 Ways to Make Home Reading a Path to Lifelong Literacy by Kyla McDonald

Home Reading is ideally a time for your reader to unplug and instead connect to the world of stories, information and adventures. Unfortunately, the ideal is not always possible. Busy households can make home reading a chore, or worse a battlefield. As a mama, a teacher and a librarian, I have come face to face […]

Nikki Giovanni, Flannery O’Connor, The Dalai Lama, James Baldwin, and Me by Nora Raleigh Baskin

This is the speech Nora gave as a Key Note Speaker at The Wamogo Oratory Invitational on March 22, 2019.   “Writers don’t write from experience, though many are resistant to admit they don’t. I want to be clear about this. If you wrote from experience you’d get maybe one book maybe three poems. Writers […]

April 09

The Story, My Story by Todd Strasser

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the publication of my first young adult novel, Angel Dust Blues. Like many first novels, it was quite autobiographical, the story of a young man living two discordant lives.  In his suburban home town, he is a druggie (or “head” as we called ourselves back in the day). […]