July 26

Cover Reveal for BACK FROM THE BRINK: Saving Animals from Extinction by Nancy Castaldo

I am so excited to reveal the cover of my next Houghton Mifflin Harcourt title – BACK FROM THE BRINK: Saving Animals from Extinction.   This important book brings stories of hope to an issue that is often seen as helpless. So many species have already been lost in the history of our planet, and […]

July 25

A Case Against the Mainstream by Denise Gosliner Orenstein

What school principal in her right mind brings a Shetland Pony to an assembly in the gymnasium? And what is to be done when there’s an unfortunate, odorous explosion all over the blue and white striped linoleum floor?  When you’re trying to introduce an innovative curriculum to a suspicious faculty and restless student body? You […]

July 24

Not Assessable (Or Is it?) by Patrick Andrus

As I sit on my porch reflecting on the last 172 days, I seem to be “stuck” in thought about the state of education and where we currently are in the realm of assessment.   In my district, the “focus” seems to be the MCA (Minnesota Comprehension Assessment) and other district testing.  We are data […]

July 23

Education Is a Political Act by Donalyn Miller

  Nerd Camp Michigan (#nerdcampmi) kicks off with seven-minute Nerd Talks from a rotating group of speakers. This year’s speakers included Stacey Riedmiller, Chad Everett, Shannon Hale, Teri Lesesne, Tracey Baptiste, and me. This post includes the text of my speech. All Nerd Talk recordings will be featured on the Nerdy Book Cast this fall.  […]

July 22

Leading with Reading or How I Found a Career that Nurtured my Book Addiction by Liz Garden

I have discussed my book addiction with many different people.  The first step is admitting you have a problem, right?  I know I have a problem.  I just can’t say no to books.  I guess there are worse problems I could have.  I have multiple to be read piles, yet I just signed up for […]

July 20

TOP TEN Ways NerdCampMI Saved Our Professional Careers by Jennifer Sniadecki, Melanie Roy, and Kelly Vorhis

NerdCampMI is an “ed camp” annual event where teachers from all over the country (and the world!) meet in Parma, Michigan to learn together with authors, illustrators, and other fabulous educators. We feel that the event is hands-down the best summer professional development out there. Nerd Camp Michigan started 5 years ago and has grown […]

July 18


Books come to their writers in different ways. You see a painting, overhear a conversation, stare at the sky, close your eyes, and suddenly—or not—there is a voice, speaking.   The Summer of Owen Todd, due out in the Fall of 2017 from Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers, came to me from a […]

July 17

The Power of Poetry by Sarah FitzHenry

In my career, I’ve come to realize that the rumors about print and reading going out of style are just that – rumors. If you are lucky enough to work with children and books, you know that young people’s passion for stories is as strong as ever. But even I wasn’t completely confident about the […]

July 16

The Science of a Fiction Picture Book (#STEAM) by Leslie Helakoski

Even a fictional picture book can engage young minds in scientific thought. Comparing and contrasting are great tools for learning and what better way to explore this concept than a fun story?   HOOT & HONK Just Can’t Sleep began as an exploration of a nocturnal owlet, sleeping during the day and active at night, […]

July 15


This is a difficult time for schools, for our country and our world. No matter what your beliefs, parents and teachers can’t help but be concerned about what is happening and how our kids have been exposed to it. Even if we do our best to protect them from the media, they go to school […]