Monthly Archives: February 2014

February 28

Battle of the Kids’ Books by Monica Edinger

SLJ’s Battle of the Kids’ Books is a March Madness-style contest for children’s and young adult books now in its sixth year. It begins with the three individuals (myself, Jonathan Hunt, and Roxanne Feldman) that make up the entity known as the Battle Commander reading, reading, and reading before coming up with the 16 contenders […]

February 26

Celebrating Nerdy Book Club With a Fresh New Look

After 829 daily posts with the stock pink background and the familiar header, we have decided that Nerdy was due for a new look. Something bright and friendly, something that would make our site stand out visually in the way that our guest writers’ content has.    We started conversations ages ago, but finding exactly […]

February 26

Nightingale’s Nest by Nikki Loftin – Review by Irene Kistler

For anyone who has ever loved a fairy tale, Nikki Loftin’s Nightingale’s Nest resonates with magical realism. Based on the Hans Christian Andersen story “The Nightingale,” and born of the same spirit as Paterson’s Bridge to Terabithia, Nikki invites her readers along for the friendship journey of Little John, our hero, and Gayle, a magical […]

February 25

What Would Josephine Do? by Patricia Hruby Powell

Josephine Baker might not have been perfect, but who is? Wild wacky Josephine was bold, glamorous, compassionate, even heroic. Once upon a time people asked: ‘What Would Jane (Austen) Do?’ Now they ask: What Would Jackie O/Audrey Hepburn/Grace Kelly Do? It’s time we asked: What Would Josephine Do? That is, WWJD? What if somebody says, […]

February 24

A Nerdy Birdy Invitation by Kirby Larson

In May, a book that changed my life, Catherine Called Birdy, will celebrate its 20th anniversary. Birdy not only opened a new door on what historical fiction could look like, it took the hinges clean off. Though grounded in thoughtful and thorough research, this novel was all about character. And what a character! Catherine/Birdy is […]

February 23

Around the Campfire by Donalyn Miller

While I teach two rotations of language arts and social studies, my homeroom stays with me until past noon because of breaks in our schedule for specials, lunch, and recess. When we return from recess, my fifth graders and I have 25 minutes together before students switch classes. It’s the perfect slice of time to […]

February 22

Ten Zombie Books To Turn Your Stomach by Karin Perry

Sometimes our mood determines what we want to read. Every once in a while you might need a good cry, so you’ll pick up something like The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.  Sometimes you really need to laugh, so you choose Beauty Queens by Libba Bray. AND, for those times you really want […]

February 21

Taking the Book to the Next Level by Patrick Andrus

When looking back over my teaching career of twenty-three years, I am most proud of the read aloud books and book club selections I have shared with the countless students who have passed through my classroom.   It wasn’t until last year, however, when my world opened up and I realized I could take the “book” […]

February 20

It All Started with a Black Bear Cub: Author Ben Mikaelsen – by Chris Dexter

One of my favorite middle grade and young adult authors is Ben Mikaelsen.  Maybe it is because he lives in Bozeman, Montana, less than two hours away from where I live.  Perhaps it is because his first book that I read was Rescue Josh McGuire, and I recognized some of the setting locations that he […]

February 19

In the After by Demitria Lunetta – Reviewed by Naomi Bates

In the After by Demitria Lunetta HarperTeen, 2013 Amy lived with her mother and father in the typical life of a suburban teenager.  But now everything is different.  Amy’s perception of time is different – “the past is Before, and the present is After.  Before was reality; the After, a nightmare.” Her mother is gone […]