March 28

HATCHING AN IDEA by David Obuchowski

A topic I write about quite a bit is cars. I don’t write car reviews, I don’t write about how to fix them, I don’t write about them as machines. I write about people’s experiences with them. I am frequently asked why I write about this topic. My answer is that everyone has a car […]

March 17

Taking Stories on the Road by Tara Dairman

Many writers get their first wisp of inspiration from a character who pops into their head, or a plot idea that won’t let them go. But I love starting with setting. Other than writing, travel is my great passion, and I’ve been lucky to visit more than 90 countries. This gives me a huge library of real-life places to draw from when […]

March 15

On Visual Learners by Aaron Becker

It’s perhaps a testament to just how incredibly disruptive the pandemic has been to our sense of time that when I was told I’d written a post for the Nerdy Book club, I actually had no memory of ever doing so. A quick search pulled it up (August 2016) and what a joy it was […]

March 14

A Dozen New Picture Book Biographies to Celebrate Women’s History Month by Sarah Green and Kate Hannigan

Stories of courage in the face of adversity are alway irresistible. As humans, we need to hear about happy endings—that someone just like us can face down a dragon and ultimately come out victorious. What’s easy to love about nonfiction is discovering a good beat-the-odds story and being able to say, “This actually happened!” Women’s […]

March 13

Learning to Understand Comics by Matt Tavares

When people ask what kind of reader I was as a kid, it’s hard to give just one answer. From the time I was very young, my mom read to me and my sisters every night, and our family made countless trips to the public library. There are picture books from my childhood that when […]

March 10

Ten Books That Inspire Kids (and adults!) to Play with Words by Kimberly Behre Kenna

I love wordplay. And it comes in so many packages! I’m not talking about Scrabble or Wordle, which I enjoy, but books that engage us with their snappy dialogue or their spare poetry. Books with text that inspires kids to think deeply, and may persuade them to want to write something themselves. Take picture books, […]

March 09

The Books My Fifth Graders are Reading as we Beg for Spring by Colby Sharp

Hey, Nerdy friends! It has been a minute since I checked in the on the blog to share the books my fifth graders are reading. We’ve had a bit of an interesting last few weeks here in Michigan. We had a very late arriving winter, and now that it is here, it doesn’t seem to […]

March 08

Birds to Live By by Rebekah Lowell

One of my earliest memories is hearing the nocturnal cry of the Whip-poor-will outside my bedroom window and being afraid. But once my father explained that it was a bird, I was intrigued and mystified, all fear vanished. My love of birds started to form. After reading IF I WERE A BIRD by Gladys Conklin […]

March 07


A picture book biography often focuses on its subject’s childhood but A Tulip in Winter spans Maud’s whole life (1903-1970). When Maud was young, she loved playing piano. But before long, a condition she was born with, later known to be rheumatoid arthritis, worsened. Her hands grew too bent and her fingers too stiff to continue. Her […]

March 06

Making Supermoms!: A Conversation about Collaboration by Heather Lang and Jamie Harper

We’ve been friends for thirty years and critique partners for almost as long. When we first discussed collaborating on Supermoms!, we had the same basic idea—to make a fun and fascinating book about moms in the wild. But neither of us had a clear vision of how best to do that. We believed we could […]