Monthly Archives: September 2012

The Chicken Problem: Jen and Billy Interview Each Other

The Nerdy Book Club is excited to celebrate The Chicken Problems today with Mr. Johnny Schu and Mr. Colby Sharp. Be sure to check out The Chicken Problem book trailer on Mr. Schu’s blog. We think you’ll enjoy reading what his students thought of the trailer. Mr. Sharp was suppose to interview Jen and Billy […]


It pains me sometimes, but the music that colored my adolescent experience is now played on the Oldies but Goodies stations on the radio. It still does not deter me, though, from singing along at the top of my lungs much to the dismay of anyone else in the car.  I love revisiting old songs; […]

How to Inspire Students (with a little help from my friends…) by Cindy Minnich & Gae Polisner

Once upon a time, I read the tweets and Facebook statuses posted by Paul W. Hankins about his students being able to interact with authors online as well as in person and I kept thinking, “Wow. I wish I could do that.” All I could think was that this must be such an incredible experience […]

Literature Unlocked by Corey Rosen Schwartz

October 20, 1973.  That was the day my world changed.  We were driving down the Palisades Parkway.  “It’s a beautiful day,” my mom said.  The sun was shining and autumn was in its full splendor.  I looked out at the blur of orange and yellow.  I was seven and a half and we were on […]

Why Inventions? by Ellis Weiner

What is it about mechanical devices, doohickeys, and gizmos that is so satisfying? Why is it so enthralling to watch elaborate Rube Goldberg-type contraptions chug and pivot and collapse through their paces? Why does this OK GO You Tube video from a couple years ago—-have 37,244,587 (i.e., a little more than the population of Algeria) […]

How Comics Made Me a Reader and a Writer by Jeramey Kraatz

There are thousands of comic books bagged and boarded and meticulously filed in longboxes in my closet. In grad school, I studied comics from an academic perspective and spent a semester as the editorial intern for the X-Men department at Marvel. A lot of what I write—be it nonfiction or middle-grade novels—has to do with […]

Top Enjoyment Reading for My 11th Grade Guy by Teresa Rolfe Kravtin

As this school year commences, I have little time left to kick into gear to insure my son has some opportunity to read for his own enjoyment before he graduates from high school. We do not lack for book stacks in our house: in my office, in our garage, on the dining room table, in […]

Embarrassed to Read by Donalyn Miller

A recent National Literacy Trust report found that 17% of children surveyed would be embarrassed if their friends saw them reading.  According to a dictionary, “Embarrassment is an emotional state of intense discomfort with oneself, experienced upon having a socially unacceptable act or condition witnessed by or revealed to others.” Embarrassment is tied to our […]

Skype Tour: Stephen McCranie

When graphic novel author and illustrator Stephen McCranie starting telling me (Colby Sharp) about his idea to Skype with as many classrooms as he could, I got extremely excited. I have found that connecting my students to authors/illustrators via Skype is one their favorite things that we do in our classroom. When Stephen shared his idea of […]

My AFFL Reading Group by J. Michael Hutchinson

I got an intimidating email in my in-box the other day. It was from Colby Sharp asking if I was interested in writing for the Nerdy Book Club blog. Now I had signed up to be considered for the guest blogging role, so I knew I might get tapped, but still being asked to write […]