Author Archives: CBethM

November 30 Helping Older Students Fall in Love With Reading (Again) by Nicole Kronzer

I teach a lot of twelfth grade. Newly adults, they are often in one of two places: ready to graduate yesterday, or clinging to their swiftly dwindling childhoods. Sometimes, they’re in both of these places on the same day. I love seniors. I love their vulnerability and the way their eagerness for independence clashes against […]

November 23

How I Found Finding Kindness by Deborah Underwood

Getting an idea for a picture book can be the trickiest part of the process. But sometimes you get lucky, and an idea is given to you.   In March of 2017, I was out of town caring for my dad, who’d been seriously ill. I had been too stressed and busy with the demands […]

November 22

“I’m Glad You’re My Child’s Teacher” by Torrey Maldonado

“I’m glad you’re my child’s teacher.”   A Black mom recently told me that on the same day that a white dad did. During my twenty years of teaching middle school, families and kids of all backgrounds have told me they’re glad I teach. As class ends, kids say, “I wish we had you for […]

November 21

How When Stars Are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed Came to Be

How did you two meet? OMAR: We met when Victoria visited Church World Service, the organization I work for that is dedicated to showing welcome to refugees, immigrants, asylum-seekers and other uprooted people within the United States, who are seeking safety and the opportunity to rebuild their lives. I was introduced to her by my coworker […]

November 20


Like many people, my first introduction to rhyming was through music. As a child, I memorized lots of songs at my mother’s pre-school as she strummed away on her auto-harp. Then there was the Free to Be You and Me album, Multiplication Rock, Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein—it seemed like the ̓70s were filled with […]

November 19

Tornado Brain: a love letter to the useless child by Cat Patrick

Do you know that child? The one who appears disheveled. Or the one who refuses to read aloud in class—or sit near classmates. The one with the dauntingly disastrous locker or bedroom. The one with obvious intelligence but failing grades. Maybe the one who has trouble remembering instructions. Or the one who’s grabby. Too loud. […]

November 16

The Book Matchmaker by Eva Goins

My main goal each year as a teacher is to turn my 8th grade students into readers.  I am a matchmaker of twenty-first century minds that are more interested in connecting to a good hotspot over texts that could quite possibly influence their lives. So how does an educator compete with all of the technological […]

November 14

Five Ws About This Promise of Change by Debbie Levy and Jo Ann Allen Boyce

Sixty-three years ago, the nation’s newspapers were full of reports about a drama unfolding in a small southern town. Twelve students in Clinton, Tennessee were attempting to desegregate the only high school in their community. This was 1956, a year before Little Rock, and two years after the Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of […]

November 13

Cover Reveal of Fighting Words by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Newbery Honor-winning, #1 New York Times bestselling author of THE WAR THAT SAVED MY LIFE, Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, and her editor at Dial Books for Young Readers, Jessica Garrison, introduce Kimberly’s newest middle grade novel, FIGHTING WORDS, a candid and fierce story about sisterhood and sexual abuse.   JG: Kim, it has been extraordinary working […]

November 12

The Uninvited by Lesléa Newman

I have been invited to hundreds of schools as a visiting author over the last several decades. And there are hundreds (thousands!) of schools who haven’t invited me. But I have never been uninvited to a school. Until now.             Here’s what happened: my publisher set up several days worth of school visits at a […]