Sketch11319220 February 08

Reading Rediscovered by Kim Koehler

Some speak for equations and numbers. Some speak for pens and thoughts. Others speak for stories and pictures. Though we all speak for something different, words are the common thread.  I imagine that even those math folks need words every now and again. I know that as I pretend to be a writer, I use […]

quickest kid in clarksville February 07

Heart, history and a hero: Getting from good to good enough by Pat Zietlow Miller

When I sit down to write, I almost always begin with an idea. But a lot can happen along the way. And where I begin – even if the idea is good – isn’t always where I end up. Which is exactly what happened in the case of THE QUICKEST KID IN CLARKSVILLE, my new […]

give a boy a gun February 06

Top Ten Books That Hook Reluctant Teen Readers into Reading Again by Melissa Sethna

We all have those students – the ones that never found reading to be the cool thing to do and avoid books at all costs.  For the past two years I have coached our 9th and 10th grade reading intervention teachers along with other 9th-12th grade English teachers to promote reading choice in their classes. […]

Sketch113194837 February 05

Newbery Picking by Elaine Fultz

My great aunt Edith made a divine blackberry cobbler.  She and my uncle Harlan lived in a Kentucky holler, and those blackberries were plucked off the bushes on their land.  What could follow this introduction, if this was a cooking site and I had a different kind of girlhood, is a vignette about my elderly […]

SimonThorn_rev003 February 04

Simon Thorn and the Benefits of Trying Something New by Aimée Carter

For the past sixteen years, I’ve written novels for teens. Most of those went unpublished – a good two dozen, in fact – but every manuscript I wrote, whether it went into the trash or into bookstores, was always about a teenager. A few years ago, however, I got an idea about a boy named […]

SweetHome_FINAL February 03

How Laura Ingalls Wilder Influenced Sweet Home Alaska by Carole Estby Dagg

When I realized that the first two Little House books came out about the time that a New Deal program sent kids in two hundred and two families north to Alaska, I wondered: Had any of those children read Wilder’s books? Were they excited about the chance to be 20th-century pioneers?  I decided that at […]

snappsy February 02

Chocolate Cake by Julie Falatko

Is all reading important? You bet. Because you never know which words will steer your life in a new direction. A nonfiction (grownup) book came out in December 2015 called First Bite: How We Learn to Eat by Bee Wilson. One of the things Wilson talks about is that we dislike food we’re forced to […]

Groundhog's Day Off by Robb Pearlman February 01

Myself on the Shelf by Robb Pearlman

The library was an eleven-minute walk from my house. I know this because I just Googlemapped it and the Internet doesn’t lie about my childhood. Much. But to my kindergarten-aged self, it felt like an eleven-hour walk. Eleven days in the summer, which was when my mother and I walked it most often. Eleven months […]

TiaraOnTheTerraceCoverFinal (5) (1) January 31

“You Should Write Something for Us”: A Full Circle of Inspiration by Kristen Kittscher

At the National Council of Teacher of English conference dinner this past year, other authors and I were asked to share a story about an educator who made a difference in our lives. The heartwarming, and often hilarious stories poured out, one after the other: there was the librarian who shared the a book that […]

nerdybookclub-transitionalreaders January 30

Top 10 (or so) Chapter Books for Transitioning Readers by Arika Dickens

As an elementary teacher-librarian and a mother of two young readers ages 6 and 8, finding entry-level chapter books that have both a kid-friendly design (white space, font size, spacing, illustrations) and engaging characters/plot has been daunting.  But it can be done.  Below are 10 sure-fire hits in my school and home for the transitioning […]