Author Archives: CBethM

April 05

Names by Connie Wanek

Once there was a child of six. No, seven. She had just had a birthday, and it was better, being seven. She was already thinking about what eight would be like. She loved all animals, and her father had brought home a blue birthday parakeet for her. It had no name yet. She like to […]

March 29

On Theater Vs. Book Nerds by Janet Key

Even before I was a loud-and-proud, card-carrying book nerd, I was an all-out, full-tilt-boogie theater nerd. The thing about being a book nerd is it kind of depends on being able to read, which might take a few years of life to figure out. But a theater nerd? We’re born whenever the lights drop and […]

March 24

In the Generation After the Butterflies by Julian Randall

I’ve only seen my mother cry a handful of times. I want to tell you a story about the first time I realized that she could. My mother was sitting in a room downstairs of the house we lived in on Talman ave, in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago. I walked in and saw, […]

March 22

The Lost Things Club by J.S. Puller

When it came to writing THE LOST THINGS CLUB, I did a lot of the work backwards.  Many authors tell you that when they get an idea for a book, they go on to do a lot of research about the setting, events, or history before sitting down to write.  It’s logical and it’s how […]

March 19

Let’s Have a Few Words by Jennifer Ziegler

Hello, readers. I join you here today with a confession: I, Jennifer Ziegler, am a ginormous word nerd. And my new middle grade novel, Worser, is a love letter to words and the people like me who adore them. The book’s main character, Worser, shares this aspect with me. He and I both have favorite […]

March 12


Graphic nonfiction can present an interesting conundrum to librarians, as we tend to like our nonfiction meticulously cited, with no dialog unless it’s a primary source. Yet most graphic nonfiction is full of dialog, as dictated by its form! What I suggest to students is that they view graphic nonfiction as a jumping off point […]

March 04

Changing Landscapes and Shifting Friendships by A. J. Sass

I remember the moment things started to change between my best friend and me. I was just a couple of years younger than Ellen, the eponymous character in my novel, Ellen Outside the Lines, and my friend and I were at school, eating lunch. Together, we studied a poster advertising the upcoming talent show taped […]

March 02

A Conversation with Amy Ludwig VanDerwater and Emma Virján about IF THIS BIRD HAD POCKETS

An ideal gift for children who love animals, IF THIS BIRD HAD POCKETS A Poem in Your Pocket Day Celebration (Wordsong), written by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater and illustrated by Emma Virján, is a charmingly illustrated collection of playful poems about 19 different creatures. Featuring fascinating information about the animals (yes, sea otters have pockets!) tucked […]

March 01

Time-Traveling with Clara Barton and Illustrator Christopher Cyr

How does an illustrator accurately depict a figure from our long-ago past? Here, illustrator Christopher Cyr explains how he created the illustrations for TO THE FRONT: Clara Barton Braves the Battle of Antietam, a powerful tribute to Civil War nurse Clara Barton and her heroic efforts during the Battle of Antietam. The book reveals how […]

February 16

A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow – Review by Kacy Smith Paterson

A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow Tor Teen, 2020 288 pages, Grades 8 and Up Bethany C. Morrow writes in multiple genres for both adult and young adult audiences She weaves speculative fiction, magical realism, and social justice into her 2020 release, A Song Below Water, a story of black magical teenagers in […]