September 25

22 More Barbara Jordan Books, Please by Chris Barton

I feel I should start by apologizing to the thousands of students and their teachers to whom I gave — in person — incorrect information this past spring. During my school visits, whenever someone would ask what book I was working on at that time, I would generally tell them that my next priority would […]

September 24

Reflections of a Middle School Teacher by Kris Barr Paquette

Picture this.  It’s mid-August.  I have a million thoughts flying through my scattered brain while I speed through the grocery store.  Things to get for my son’s sleepover party.  What I still need to do in my classroom.  I’m in a hurry because I am trying to squeeze in this grocery shopping chore during my […]

September 22

A Tale of Disruption: Teaching The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline – Post by Emily Visness

“We’ve always taught that novel.” “The lesson plans and activities for that novel are already prepared.” “I love teaching that book!” “We have enough copies of the book for all our classes.” “It’s a classic!” The reasons, or rather the excuses, are many, but these are some common responses from teachers when the contentious topic […]

September 21

The Adventure of Inquiry by Marc Aronson

I grew up surrounded by books in Yiddish, Hebrew, and Russian, languages my father spoke, and German, my mother’s native language, and many in English. Books were words and images but they were also something else – connection. Somewhere on those pages, in those strange letters, were the worlds my parents had left behind in […]

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   […]