March 19


When my daughter was eleven, she decided to learn Esperanto. We had watched a video about it called The Universal Language, and in twenty minutes, she was hooked. A cool secret language spoken all around the world by a special few—and yet, easy to learn? Sign her up!   I was intrigued by the fact […]

March 18

Why Share Wordless Picture Books? by Carrie Rodusky

A colleague recently brought me a donated pile of books to see if I could use any in my 4th grade classroom. One of the books was a wordless picture book. I cannot remember the title, but it was very abstract and I thought it would be a great addition to the 7th or 8th […]

March 16

Ten Picture Book Biographies You Can’t Experience in a Textbook by Kirsten Leestma

I’m a firm believer in learning about our world by learning about the people who have left their mark on it. The problem is that there are too many people that get overlooked. There are countless scientists, activists, writers, inventors, and dreamers that never get mentioned in a textbook. In second grade, we learn about […]

March 14

The Art of Being Uncomfortable And Still Inspiring Hope In YA & Middle Grade Lit by e.E. Charlton-Trujillo

It was a few weeks before Thanksgiving in rural south Texas when my parents’ bubble gum pink, wall rotary phone rang. It’s the ringing I remember more than the homework I’d been rushing to finish. It was a vivid, piercing sound I can hear to this day. My cousin had committed suicide. Too much drugs. […]

March 13

It’s All in the Names by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

The second I saw him I knew who he was. Through the eyes of my main character, Delsie in Shouting at the Rain, I watched him. He wore black jeans and a black, long-sleeved shirt on a hot July day. And, he stood on the edge of the ocean in the middle of a lightning […]

March 12

Through the Woods: On the Magic Of the Outdoors by Ashley Benham Yazdani

    As a child growing up in the suburbs north of Manhattan, I had the best of both worlds: a bustling metropolis was a short train ride away, but back home my own tree-filled backyard stretched out into relatively undisturbed forest. The city was an accessible electric dreamscape, but the forests that I was […]

March 11

Practicing What I Preach by Heather Del Piano

As a middle school reading teacher, I completely support  the idea of giving students a choice in what they read and modeling reading behavior for them. Since I love reading, it is easy for me to do my own independent reading every day; I even take notes on my reading. I enjoy  writing down quotes […]

March 10

Gaining Visibility: How books helped me find myself by Jessica Rinker

My parents raised me like a free-range chicken. They set me out on eight acres, surrounded by hundreds more, and basically said, “Come home by dark.” Actually, come to think of it, I don’t think they ever said that. I did have a bedtime, however, and that’s quite simply the only rule I ever remember […]

March 09

Top 10 Books Middle Schoolers Love (As Decided by Middle Schoolers) by Olivia Myers

I am, by no means, an expert on the middle grade psyche. They deal in ultimatums, and I find that their opinions are fast, fierce and at times, flippant. However, I love everything about middle grade students. They are so funny, smart and at a unique place where they are coming into themselves.   As […]

March 08

Those Jeans by Rebecca K.S. Ansari

To say I started writing The Missing Piece of Charlie O’Reilly thirty-six years ago due to a fight over a pair of Guess jean wouldn’t be true. It also wouldn’t be entirely false. I was twelve, and those jeans—with their peg legs and five-inch zippers at the ankles barely allowing one’s foot passage through their […]