Author Archives: CBethM

May 11

The Pain of Returning by Lisabeth Posthuma

A few weeks ago, the last video store in my zip code closed for good. On one of its final days in operation, I visited for a last look around. There wasn’t much left—some candy, a few posters, DVDs of titles all easily accessible on streaming services. The merchandise that remained was shoved into one […]

May 10

A Season of Bravery by Lisa McMann

It’s been a season of bravery. I’ve always loved books with underdog main characters who must dig deep within themselves to overcome near-impossible obstacles. When I think back to stories that captivated me as a child and as a young bookseller (my first job in an independent bookstore came at age 17), I come up […]

May 07

Birth of a Batpig by Rob Harrell

There are a few different origin stories for this particular super pig. There’s the Batpig that appears in my novel WINK, a creation of the main character Ross Maloy. And there’s the origin story of that character you can find in my new graphic novel WHEN PIGS FLY – that involves a mildly radioactive bat, […]

April 30

Nerdy Book Club Cover Reveal — EGG MARKS THE SPOT by Amy Timberlake, with pictures by Jon Klassen

Amy’s questions for Jon! 1. Where did the cover design come from? I know you collect books, so any inspirations from your collection? Also, I love how much of the story is compressed into that cover! Where did that come from?  This cover was so much fun. When we started this series I had a rough […]

April 29

Flavors of Summer by Ira Marcks

Like a recipe, the perfect summer can be conjured with the right ingredients. Here are my personal favorite flavors of summertime. There are too many flavors of friends to get into here. I like to have a balance of sweet and sour. Make sure a few of them contain some essential vitamins. Growing up, I’ve […]

April 26

Letting Go of Labels and Trusting Reading Identity by Dr. Jennifer Scoggin and Hannah Schneewind

My son pours over illustrations and devours graphic novels, especially those with sophisticated potty humor.  Dav Pilkey has mythical status in our house. Garfield comics abound.  Chris Van Dusen’s illustrations merit hours of close study.    Yet despite his love of reading at home, my son did not see himself as a successful reader at school.  […]

April 25

The Beautiful Complexities of Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas – Written by Nawal Qarooni Casiano

I inhaled Maverick’s story in just a few breaths, never wanting to leave his side amid the daily saga of his teenage life. I read at the park; I read in the car. As with all good storytelling, the characters feel like friends, and Maverick is one I won’t soon forget. Maverick shows up on […]

April 20

Finding My Happy Ending for Negative Cat by Sophie Blackall

We all want kids to read. To read widely, and happily, and voraciously. But for lots of kids, reading can be a challenge, and even a chore. For some kids, it might be about finding the right book. For others, it might be about finding the right cat. An extraordinary thing has been happening in […]

April 19

Why I Will Always Read Aloud to my Middle School Students by Beth Jarzabek

On a given day this fall, someone who passed my classroom may have heard my heartwrenching recitation of Johnny’s famous “Stay Gold” letter from the timeless novel, The Outsiders.  This spring, passerbys might be relegated to my epic Effie Trinket impression, singing out the wish that the “Odds be ever in your favor!”  While my […]

April 17

Ten Ways to Add Diversity in Aging to Picture Book Collections by Lindsey McDivitt

In childhood we celebrate every birthday and developmental milestone. As adults we cheer on milestone birthdays like ninety and one hundred yet stereotype older adults. Somehow our naturally increasing years are tainted with a sense of doom and failure. This is ageism, not reality. This needs to change, and picture books can be an important […]