Author Archives: CBethM

June 02

Lines Going for Walks by Jenny deGroot

“A drawing is simply a line going for a walk” said artist Paul Klee. The following books celebrate the simplicity and magic of the line and its ability to “go for a walk,” leading into the world in creative and unexpected ways. The authors and illustrators of the these picture books remind us that it […]

June 01

Digital Device + Free Texts = Reading All Summer Long by Tammy Mulligan and Clare Landrigan

When we read the Pew Research Center’s report about access to digital information, it confirmed the work we are doing with digital reading.  Although many students may not have easy access to actual books at home, based on these statistics, they probably have access to a digital device. Devices can give students more reading choices, […]

May 30

Cover Reveal: A Drop of Hope by Keith Calabrese

My first middle grade novel is about a lot of things. A wishing well. An attic cluttered with mystery. A rare, stolen diamond. Lawn care. The enduring power of friendship. Overcoming our fears, whatever shape they make take.  And junk. Lots of junk. But at its heart, it’s mostly about hope. Hope means something different […]

May 29

Wake Up Little Princess (and Prince) by Liesl Shurtliff

It’s inevitable. During a Q&A with a group of kids I will always be asked the following: Are you going to write a princess tale? Cinderella? Sleeping Beauty? Snow White? I get a little squeamish and politely say, “Maybe someday,” or “I haven’t gotten an idea for those stories yet,” while on the inside I […]

May 28

Summer Reading Plans by Katherine Sokolowski

On the day this post goes live, May 28th, my students and I will have said good-bye. It is, officially, our first day of summer vacation. This is a time for many teachers that is bittersweet. We absolutely need a break, as do our students, but we also hate to see them go. This year […]

May 25

Read, Rise, Resist, Repeat by Kacy Smith

A few short months ago, my district was in the middle of a comprehensive ELA adoption, which had a focus of providing diverse and engaging classroom libraries. Expected growing pains had arrived and passed, replaced with increased reading volume, stamina, and enjoyment. That all changed after a parent filed a complaint to have Andrew Smith’s […]

May 23


Perhaps the most common question I get as an author is where do I get my ideas? Usually the answer is relatively simple, but with THE TRAITOR’S GAME series…not so much.   It started with the title, which was all I knew about the story. And as I began asking questions in search of the […]

May 22

Living, Breathing History by Marc Favreau

When I was a child, my dad would get us up early on April 19, to make the short trip from my hometown of Waltham, Massachusetts, to Lexington, just a couple of miles down the road.  He had passed on his history bug to me, and I thrilled to the sights, the crackling muskets, and […]

May 21

How Will Kwame Alexander Change Children’s Literature? by Michelle Ardillo

In 2000, I bought a copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (as it was titled in the UK) in a bookstore in Glasgow, Scotland, as a souvenir for my eight-year-old daughter, an avid reader just like her mom. And, thus began our journey into the Harry Potter world of madness, going to Border’s […]

May 19

Hot Air Balloon Moments by Susan Knell

I’ve never taken a ride in a hot air balloon and never will because I’m scared of heights. I do love love to watch them gliding through the sky with all the bright colors floating by and I would love to see the hot air balloon festival in Albuquerque sometime. My best friend’s father was […]