April 19

What It Means to Hope by Cordelia Jensen and Laurie Morrison

When we decided to write our middle grade novel Every Shiny Thing, our point-of-view characters materialized quickly, their voices pouring out of us.   First came Sierra: a fiercely loyal thirteen-year-old who has been separated from her alcoholic mother and placed into a loving foster home, where she resists connecting with her foster parents because […]

April 17

Stay Wild by Alison Oliver

When I began a meditation practice as an adult, I was struck by how familiar it felt. It was almost like deja-vu, the sense that you’ve already lived the present moment. I realized that the experience of meditation wasn’t new to me; it was one I’d felt often as a child.  Meditation begins when your […]

April 16

Reading Lives: How Queer Lit Helped Me Read Again by Josephine Swaney

I am a serial book-starter. The numbers of books I’ve picked up and put down in the past few years pains me. Books that I wanted to read and started up but never found the motivation to continue. Books I’ve had on my reading list for years that I never committed to reading. I’m a […]

April 14

Top Ten LGBTQ+ YA Novels for All Tastes by Haylee Geisthardt

Diversity of representation is important for a lot of reasons; everyone needs someone they can relate to or that will allow them to learn more about others. As a queer teenager, LGBTQ+ representation is especially important to me. Luckily, if you know where to look in YA lit, you can find characters all over the […]

April 11

Students Choosing Birthday Books by Leah Gannon

I am a primary school librarian serving students from 4K-2nd grade.  Our school library has a Birthday Book Club. On his/her birthday, each child gets to choose a brand new book free of charge.  Students who have summer birthdays may select a book the last week of school. I can’t take credit for the idea, […]

April 10

How Jeremy Bentham Lost his Head by Carlyn Beccia

If philosopher Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) could see the average cost of a funeral today, he would be rolling in his grave (if he was buried in a grave). Which is why, whenever I hear someone complain about the cost of living, I like to remind them to stay upright — dropping dead is really expensive. […]

April 09

“Dear, Mama”—Remembering & Celebrating Early Family Literacy Practices by Dionna N. Roberts

My earliest memories of literacy take me back to the warm musty attic of my family’s small house, on Belvidere Street in Detroit, MI in the early 80’s. My mother transformed this unlikely space into a sanctuary for creativity, stories, and intentional learning. In that tiny intimate space on Saturday mornings, my mother and I […]

April 08

Talking to Kids About Bad News: The inspiration behind THE BREAKING NEWS by Sarah Lynne Reul

The news can be scary. Faced with terrible events we can’t control, we often feel helpless.   The story for THE BREAKING NEWS was born after the Paris attacks in November 2015.  My husband’s family is from France; my girls go to a French afterschool.  Pulling into the parking lot for pickup, I suddenly received […]

April 07

Top Ten Picture Books for Secondary Students by Brett Vogelsinger

Today’s Top Ten list shies away from graphic novels, as book lists on this topic have already appeared on this blog.  Instead, it explores wordless picture books, creativity manuals, engineering or nature explorations, and books that feature primarily photography. I call this shelf in my ninth-grade classroom library “Illustration, Photography, and Design.” 100 Diagrams That […]

April 05

Nerdy Reader, I Believe in Picture Books by Will Hillenbrand

THE MAGIC OF PICTURE BOOKS by Will Hillenbrand Again, I am reminded that as a child, I often played on my own. In the dirt of the side yard, I built roads for my cars and trucks. Sometimes, friends came over and played, which was nice. When it rained I went inside. I would make […]