Author Archives: CBethM

September 10

Honest, Human Characters by Kara Bietz

My elementary school was built in 1922. A sprawling, two-story brick structure with massive, leaded glass casement windows, marble floors and cavernous classrooms. The one thing Charles S. Ashley School lacked in the early 1980’s was a proper library. Instead, it was housed in the enormous auditorium, an afterthought. One long row of metal bookshelves […]

September 07

Scientifically Ever After by Sarah Albee

Nerdy Friends, I’m excited to introduce you to my new book, Fairy Tale Science. I’ve loved fairy tales since I was very young, although my older sister is fond of reminding me what a pain in the neck I was when our babysitters read them to us. I interrupted with lots of questions. For instance: […]

August 31

Weathering the Storm Together by Dan Yaccarino

Across all boundaries of geography and politics, the COVID-19 Pandemic has changed how we live. No doubt it has profoundly affected you and your loved ones. As a children’s book creator, I wanted to dream up a story that would somehow express this very difficult experience we were all going through, with little preparation. We’ve […]

August 30

How I Made Peace With Dogman by Susan Hansen

I confess I was always a little disappointed when my students would choose a Dogman book over one from my carefully curated and painstakingly displayed classroom library. But I would bite my tongue and never let on my true feelings about their choice. From avid readers to emerging ones, everyone loves Dogman. They are graphic […]

August 27

Rebellious Sailors by Rebecca Rode

What drives our obsession with pirates? It’s a fair question. Pirates are criminals, after all. There shouldn’t be much to admire about those who plunder and kill rather than lead a so-called honest life, yet Captain Jack Sparrow remains one of the most popular Halloween costumes year after year. To date, the TV series “Black […]

August 26

Cover Reveal of Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle by Nina LaCour; artwork by Kaylani Juanita

When my daughter was three, I was offered a job teaching in a graduate program that allowed me to work from home year-round—with an exception. Each January, I would travel to take part in a residency devoted to the study of children’s literature. The trip would last for ten days, during which my colleagues and […]

August 22

An Anchor Text For Literacy—Ten Truths About Why I Wrote You Are a Reader!/You Are a Writer! by April Jones Prince

It’s a new school year, with new faces, new routines… and new books! As you look to encourage and empower your new crew of readers and writers, the two-books-in-one You Are a Reader!/You Are a Writer! can be an anchor text to kick off literacy workshop and invigorate your class throughout the year. You Are […]

August 21

Reaching All Readers with Personalized Book Baskets by Melissa Williams

Readers’ advisory is my favorite part of my job as a Middle School Librarian, and offering a personalized book basket service communicates to students that they are all readers; they just need to find the right books to stoke their reading flame.  Implementing a book basket service encourages struggling readers by supplying titles that they […]

August 20

Under Books, Bridges, & Other Stuff by Adam Borba

I spent most of my childhood under things. Underwater during the scorching summers growing up in Palm Springs, California. Under the kitchen table reading and doing homework. Under my older brother’s top bunk. And most importantly, under a rotating pile of books that covered my bed. I was a quiet kid who loved to read. […]

August 16

The Magic of a “Real Book”: How a Blank Hardback Book First Inspired One Author by Kim Howard

When I was young, I folded pieces of printer paper in half to make my books. Three staples up the side bound them together. I wrote stories about everything. Dinosaurs, Corduroy the bear, the adventures of my stuffed pig, Popcorn. I loved making these books, but to me, this was always just a part of […]