January 22


Global warming. Sustainability. Carbon footprint. Water scarcity. Terms rarely mentioned twenty years ago, now are being discussed with children on a regular basis. A 2021 survey conducted by The Week Junior and YouGov found that children born since 2010 list protecting the environment as their second most-pressing concern – right behind access to quality education. […]

January 21

Alexandria Rogers on The Witch, the Sword, and the Cursed Knights: My Witch’s Hope in this Arthurian Tale

I’ve always found stories that might have been true wondrously tantalizing. It’s the magic in plain sight. The history that became a legend, that morphed into a myth, that struts across the shared pages of our stories today.  The Lochness Monster. Atlantis. And, the story that captivated me most of all, King Arthur.  In many […]

January 20

Cover Reveal: Nothing Is Little by Carmela Van Vleet

I’m a slow writer. For me, stories can take years to simmer before I find the right approach. (One of my picture books took ten years from idea to final manuscript!) And more than any other book I’ve written, this one has evolved the most. But the heart of it has always been my main […]

January 18

Living Off in LaLa Land by Brady Smith

When I sat down to write and illustrate my first graphic novel, I had about a novel’s worth of thoughts racing through my head, mostly in line of “I’m going to write and illustrate a graphic novel. Yep. That’s what I’m going to do. How? I have no idea. About what? Hmmm. Well I don’t […]

January 14

Reflections in a Mirror: Writing Identity in YA by Kelly McWilliams

If you’ve ever been a teenager, you don’t need me to tell you that mirrors are tricky things.  You remember. There was a time in all our lives when we had a face, but no settled identity, not quite; and there was that morning we woke up and saw ourselves, for the first time, through […]

January 12

Disrupting Our Ignorance by Alice Faye Duncan

“Ignorance is not bliss. It is deadly!” These were the words of my favorite teacher—Shirley Owens Prince. The recent movement to ban library books has revived my memory of her relentless refrain. She was a small Black woman with a booming voice. On Tuesday nights in a North Memphis church, she taught a weekly Bible […]

January 11

Knowing Tama by Maggie Tokuda-Hall

The question of inheritance can be so ugly. Money and family are a poor combination. Money and anything, really. But when my grandmother Tama died, there was no discussion of inheritance. She had been preparing for her own passing for years, and so when it finally happened, there wasn’t any sorting or fighting to be […]

January 10

DON’T BE AFRAID OF GHOSTS by John David Anderson

What is the scariest place you could imagine? A dilapidated amusement park inhabited by cannibal clowns? A centuries-old Victorian with brittle bones and fleeting faces frosting up the windows? A creepy basement with one lonely hanging lightbulb flickering off and on like an irregular heartbeat? A farmhouse in the middle of nowhere, complete with swaying […]

January 09

The Emotional Lives of Boys and the Books They Read by Donna Gephart

           Our youngest was in T-ball when the baseball took a bad hop and clocked him on the cheek. He returned to the dugout, lips pursed, nostrils flared, about to explode into wild tears of hurt. I was part-way down the stands, ready to give him a hug while he cried it out. Before I […]

January 07


A few years ago, I saw a photograph of a woman walking a pet cheetah through the streets of London, as if this was the most natural and obvious thing in the world. I had no idea that big cats were sold as pets in the UK throughout the 1960s and early 1970s. Even Harrods, […]