lumberjanes February 25

5 Series My Emergent-Bilingual Readers Are Loving by Priscilla Thomas

Over the past 11 years, I have defended the necessity of independent reading in a wide variety of high school English classrooms. Whether my students were 9th grade boys in a vocational school or honors-level 11th graders, I have always believed in the value of reading for joy, reading by choice, and reading on your […]

halfway-normal-front-cover February 24

Cover Reveal for Halfway Normal by Barbara Dee

When people hear that your son has cancer, they say a lot of dumb things: I’m so sorry (as if it’s their fault). Is there anything I can do? (You mean besides curing cancer?). Be strong (Sure. Because what’s the alternative?) When they know you’re a writer, they say this: Well, maybe you’ll write about […]

the-nest February 23

The Nest by Kenneth Oppel, Illustrated by Jon Klassen – Review by Jody Lee Mott

Warning: The Nest, written by Kenneth Oppel and illustrated by Jon Klassen, is not a book for everyone. It is the kind of story that burrows itself into your brain and revisits you in the deep, dark midnight in the shape of slithering phantasms and shadowy nightmares.  It is the kind of book that, if you […]

whats-the-big-deal-about-first-ladies-cover February 22

Why I Chose To Write About First Ladies by Ruby Shamir

Back in America’s early days, it was considered scandalous for women to attend parties where no hostess was present.  For proper receptions, like official events at the White House, a hostess had to be there to greet female guests.  And so the position of first lady was born.   As the roles and expectations of […]

not-quite-narwhal February 21

Losing and Finding Yourself in the Library by Jessie Sima

As I write this, my debut picture book, Not Quite Narwhal, is on the brink of publication. There’s so much to be excited about and thankful for, and I’ve found myself spending a lot of time reflecting on what brought me here. The truth is, I didn’t grow up dreaming of being an author-illustrator or […]

little-women-cover February 20

Comforted by Little Women by Millicent Flake

Last spring I was feeling melancholy, to use an old fashioned word. Our little cat Nellie had died after living with us for 14 years. Cats always choose us, not the other way around, and he had been a big part of the family. I missed his presence on the bed at night, his little […]

julie-k-1 February 19

A Gift I Give Myself by Julie Potvin Kirchner

When I got home from NCTE last November, there were several colleagues surprised to hear I had paid for the entire trip, with the exception of the cost to cover a reserve teacher, out of my own pocket. They wondered how and why I would choose to do this. The reasons are many and continue […]

karyn-lewis-1 February 18

One Book + One School = One Reading Community by Karyn Lewis

As a school librarian I gush over books, I hug books, I smell new books, and I treasure all the stories that come into my life. I became a librarian to share with my students the joy that books bring me. So after 3 years as the librarian in an affluent elementary school, I was […]

wkcg-3 February 17

Realizations on Writing and Reading by Allan Wolf

Writing nearly killed me. Reading saved my life.   At least that is how I saw it, almost thirty years ago, when I was fresh out of grad school teaching freshman composition at Virginia Tech.   I was twenty five years old. As a child I had endured years of manic writing binges that started […]

scar-island February 16

Scar Island by Dan Gemeinhart – Review by Angie Moore

I’ve never been an adventure story reader. Hatchet? White Fang? 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea? Nope. I have not read one of those. Which makes it really hard to recommend books for my students who love adventure stories. If I’ve read any, it was because of high recommendations from family, friends, students, and coworkers, or […]