Author Archives: CBethM

March 29

Reconsidering Red Riding Hood by Eli Brown

When did I first scratch my head about Little Red Riding Hood? Kids are experts at shrugging at the imperfect world. They believe us when we tell them how Wednesday is spelled and then they move on to more important matters. After all, there are bugs to poke. Recently, I have been thinking a lot […]

March 28

Who (and What) Lives in the Spaces Between Us by Elana K. Arnold

When I wrote A Boy Called BAT, I knew what I hoped: I hoped that it would reach the kids who needed it. What I didn’t expect was the response from readers. Over the past several years, I’ve received hundreds of emails from kids, parents, teachers, librarians, and grandparents, telling me how and why they […]

March 27

We Need True Stories: How Reading Memoirs Will Change You by Jen Kleinknecht

  Life is unbearably hard sometimes.   It has always annoyed me when someone tells me to “Buck up” by pointing out people who have it worse than I do. Telling someone to stop being sad, afraid, or angry is futile. It’s insulting, tactless, and a roadblock to understanding another human being. But it’s true. […]

March 26

Check Out the Author Fan Face Off by Stacey Rattner

Dear Teachers and Librarians of Middle Grade Readers,   Are you looking for something new and exciting for the first 10 minutes of class? The last 10? A different way to promote reading? Look no further! “Author Fan Face-off” may just be what you are looking for.   In late summer, when the pandemic was […]

March 23

What Does a Human Calculator Read? by Ginger Rue

Recently, I was talking with my awesome co-author, Tiera Fletcher, about the kinds of books we enjoyed reading when we were children.   I first met Tiera when I interviewed her for a magazine article. The story told about how Tiera became the amazing woman she is today. Before graduating from MIT with a 5.0 […]

March 19

Welcome to the Party by Kathleen Lane

When I was young, I was frequently run over by cars. Mostly buses, sometimes motorcycles. At every railroad crossing my shoe stuck in the tracks. In every pool a shark made off with my leg. Some nights my bedroom would fill with water, all the way to the ceiling until there was no space left […]

March 18


I’m a Mars fananatic. And with the recent Perseverance rover landing, and two other missions that arrived at the Red Planet last month, Mars is more popular than ever! Maybe it’s because Mars is our closest neighbor in the solar system, and we can see its faint reddish light with our own eyes. Whatever the […]

March 15

Announcing the Flight of the Puffin Read Aloud: Connecting Classrooms Coast-to-Coast by Ann Braden

Last week at the grocery store I was putting cans of beans in my shopping cart when I heard a quiet voice: “Ann? Is that you?” I looked up, and for an absurdly long moment the two of us studied the other’s eyes, the only part of our faces visible between our masks and winter […]

March 13

Dear March 13th, 2020 by Renee Bowman

Dear March 13th, 2020, Given how much I’ve thought about you in the last year, I wanted to write you a letter in the hopes that it would be helpful to me. We have some serious catching up to do. When we were last together, it was the final day that I was an in-person […]

March 12

Dedicating ourselves to “This One’s Dedicated to…” by Chris Barton and Jennifer Ziegler

Eight months or so into COVID-19 lockdown, we finally gave in. After long putting off or downright dismissing an idea that the two of us had for a multimedia sideline (i.e. an unpaid and distracting tangent) to our work as authors, we recognized that conditions had become perfect for giving that idea a try. Namely: […]