Sketch11319220 April 24

Finding Your Own Reading Community: It All Started with a Book … by Jill Culmo, Robin Johnson, and Micheal Kessner

Micheal Kessner: My reading life changed after hearing Tina and Mandy, aka Red and Black, speak about their book, What I Learned About Life When My Husband Got Fired!  Their book is written from their string of emails and text messages as one sister helped the other learn “a real approach to personal finance and […]

9780803741294_large_Castle_Hangnail April 23

I Was a Weird Kid by Ursula Vernon

I was a weird kid.   It seems like we could start at least half the author biographies that you read with that line—I was a weird kid.   We were kids reading books when we were supposed to be doing something else. We were bad at…something. Math, or geography or P.E. or all three. […]

audacity April 22

Audacity by Melanie Crowder – Review by Vanessa Capaldo

I will admit, when I picked up this book and saw the free verse format it was written in, I thought, “Ugh, how can this serious subject be conveyed in this form?” I am pleased to say that this format made the story more real, more beautiful and heartbreaking to me. Crowder’s words are haunting, […]

Princess in Disguise April 21

Greater Greensward and Back Again: The Road to the Fairy Tale World by E. D. Baker

A cloud of fairies dances in the moonlight with a twirling fairy princess. A unicorn rests his head on the lap of a frightened girl. Family and friends search for an infant prince turned into a tadpole and lost in a far-off swamp. A girl turns herself into a dragon to stop a fight between […]

despereaux April 20

Parenting, Bonding, and Reading Aloud by Jenny Houlroyd

To my dearest daughter,   I was deceived to believe that the answers to my parenting questions could be found in the non-fiction section of any bookstore. My analytical mind wanted to solve each problem like a complex scientific experiment. This method worked in the beginning. When you cried, I made a hypothesis and tested […]

scott pilgrim's precious little life April 19

You Have Chosen Wisely by Michael Guevara

Remember this classic movie moment? With the bulk of the school year now fading into remember-whens, thoughts have turned to that most glorious of time for students and teachers—summer! In my office, we are frenetically gearing up for all the professional development we will offer teachers throughout the summer, and in classrooms and department meetings around […]

For Students & Teachers April 18

Top 10 Blog Post Ideas for Students (and Teachers!) by Casey Robertson

Student blogging is a growing practice within the classroom. With district & parent permission and the right privacy settings in place, this is an excellent format for students to express their ideas to an authentic audience. Blogging incorporates the use of technology and writing, helping to bridge the gap between student interest and classroom assignments. […]

hat April 17

Sharing Our Love of Picture Books by Katherine Sokolowski

It was this photo that started it. Nine weeks ago I looked up from a reading conference with a student and saw this, took the photo, and posted it to Facebook and Instagram.     It really wouldn’t be an unusual sight in my classroom of fifth graders. When we have independent work time, kids […]

the way home looks now April 16

The Way Home Looks Now by Wendy Shang – Review by Jeff Anderson

If you haven’t read Wendy Shang’s work, you’re in for a treat when you do. Her award-winning middle grade novel, The Great Wall of Lucy Wu, has delighted many readers with laughs. Two third-grade twin boys I know insist it’s the best book they’ve ever read. In her latest middle grade novel, The Way Home […]

The Detective’s Assistant April 15

The Detective’s Assistant by Kate Hannigan – Review by Brianna DuMont

Historical fiction doesn’t get enough love. Sure, it’s not as flashy as science fiction—literally in some cases—and of course, there aren’t any vampire love triangles or undead zombie attacks, but historical fiction has something better. It has truth. The “you can’t even make this stuff up, it’s so crazy” stories draw us into our own […]