Author Archives: CBethM

October 28


Cardigan. Estuary. Bask.   I have, I must admit, a giant crush on the English language. I am embarrassed to say it is the only language I know fluently. But English is extraordinary. We English speakers have stolen, borrowed, invented, flipped, adapted, coined, misused, repurposed, and dreamed up so many words for so many different […]


I love history, and always have for as long as I can remember. It is a love fostered by my mother, who for years dragged her children to every stately home, castle, cathedral and landmark she could find, with the full conviction that this was simply THE most fun we could possibly be having on […]

October 22

Finding Answers in the Mysteries Around Us by Rebecca K.S. Ansari

Saying goodbye to summer this year is unquestionably harder than in non-pandemic times. However, I still can’t suppress my love for autumn, with its campfires, ruddy cheeks and Halloween shivers. It’s the season to walk through crunchy leaves, drink cider and hide under a blanket with a flashlight to indulge in the best kind of […]

October 21

About The Mysterious Disappearance by David Levithan

            When I started writing YA, I was writing into an absence – creating the books I wished I’d had, and summoning stories that I wasn’t seeing on the shelves.  By doing this, I inadvertently made myself a writing career, and have been very gratified to see that the absence I was writing into no […]

October 19

The Magic of the ABCs by Michelle Blanchard Ardillo

Can you actually remember learning to read? Can you remember the sheer magic of decoding the strange marks on a piece of paper or a page of a book? I don’t exactly remember it either, but I have been fortunate enough to experience it through the eyes of others. As a former middle school English […]

October 14

What Magical Stories Do by Hayley Chewins

Magical stories have a superpower: they make the abstract concrete.   In real life, depression, shame and loneliness hold a painful paradox. They are both extremely real and entirely invisible. They shape our reality forever, then slip away from us, evasive.   But magical stories can give depression, shame, and loneliness physical form. These real […]

October 13

A Grandmother’s Birthday, A Granddaughter’s Gratitude on Pub Day by Victoria Bond

In 1942, in Newark, New Jersey, a pretty, petite Black girl named Dolores Hill tested into an honors English class. A high school sophomore, an excellent dancer, and an avid reader, Dolores felt uncomfortable in the course. Her new classmates, who had been on the same college preparatory track for at least a year were […]

October 12

When Reality Isn’t Enough by Shannon Takaoka

Ever since I was young, I’ve always been drawn to stories that are a bit off kilter and weird. Stories that depart, in some way, from the “real world.” Give me all the kids raised in graveyards, the mysterious doppelgängers, the characters who slip in and out of time. I don’t know why this is, […]

October 11

Student Role in Virtual Libraries by Clare Landrigan

You know that saying … if you build it, they will come?  For me, this saying has manifested in ways I could have never imagined with the virtual bookroom I created last April.  Since then, this virtual space filled with hyperlinks has connected me to educators and students across the world.  It has inspired students […]

October 09

What’s in a Name? 5 Children’s Books Inspired by Authors’ Own Experiences by Ashley Marron

Our name is the first word we might hear, the first word we might say, and often the first word we write. Names allow us to build empathy, self-esteem, and a sense of belonging.  Learning students’ names – whether the educator or the student is essential in making our classroom communities. Kohli (2018) expressed that […]