Monthly Archives: January 2014

Demystifying the Schneider Family Book Award by Alyson Beecher

On Sunday night, #titletalk hosted by Colby Sharp and Katherine Sokolowski focused on six ALA Youth Media Awards.  Of course, the most well known of the six were the John Newbery Award and the Randolph Caldecott Award. The fast-paced hour was kicked off by discussing potential contenders for the Schneider Family Book Award.  As one […]

POLL: What 2014 Books Are You Most Looking Forward to Reading?

One of the things I most look forward to in December and January is the chance to reflect on the titles released in the preceding year. There are awards lists and blog posts and the chance to skim through the highlights of my reading year in Goodreads that leave me nodding your head as I […]

Cross Pollination by Len Vlahos

The Runaway Robot by Lester Del Rey was an entry-level drug for me. The book and I found each other in the fourth grade, changing both of our lives forever. I say that we “found each other,” because that’s how it is with books. They’re searching for you just as hard as you’re searching them. […]

Revising Historical Friction by Laurel Snyder

Often, when I visit schools, I explain to kids that one of the very best things about writing is that it gives me the power to rewrite history, a chance to tell my own story the way I wish it could have happened. I say, “You know how you always think of a perfect comeback […]

Reading as a Lifelong Lifeline by Jane Kise

Say out loud, “Pippilotta Delicatessa Windowshade Mackrelmint Ephraim’s Daughter Longstocking.” That’s the full name of Astrid Lindgren’s classic character. Or, “Villa Villakulla”—the house where she lives. Isn’t it fun? I’m reading Pippi to my mother this month. Why a children’s book? Mom was an elementary librarian. She so instilled a love of reading and of […]

Singing the Praises of the Rarest Kind of Best by Anita Silvey

Recently, the fine people at Nerdy Book Club ask me how I came up with the idea for Children’s Book-a-Day Almanac. I wish I could respond, “Oh that’s me. A great idea a day.” But so much of my life as a writer has been collaborative – with publishers, agents, and editors. In the case […]

Top Ten Bookish Treats by Maria Selke and Crystal Brunelle

It is a fact universally acknowledged that a Nerdy Book Club member in possession of a good book must be in want of nothing. Wait… did we mention that there would be treats? Everything is better if you add in a treat. Let’s update that old saying even more and say that a Nerdy Book […]

Smile by JoEllen McCarthy

Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always. – -Plato Some stories are meant to be told.  Some stories are meant to be written.  All stories are meant to be shared.  After all,  stories are what connect us.  As humans, we are all linked in so many ways. As […]

Enchantress from the Stars by Sylvia Louise Engdahl Reviewed by Gina Boyd

I have never met another person who has read this Newbery Honor book from 1971.  Well, that’s not quite true.  I have students to whom I have read this book aloud, and I have recommended the book to others who have read it.  But I have never met anyone who has read it without my […]

A MAD, WICKED FOLLY by Sharon Biggs Waller – Review by Holly M. Bryan

Title: A Mad, Wicked Folly Author: Sharon Biggs Waller Publisher: Viking Juvenile Release Date: January 23, 2014 Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction Source: I was part of a “traveling ARC” tour Summary (from Goodreads): Welcome to the world of the fabulously wealthy in London, 1909, where dresses and houses are overwhelmingly opulent, social class means […]