Author Archives: CBethM

quickest kid in clarksville February 07

Heart, history and a hero: Getting from good to good enough by Pat Zietlow Miller

When I sit down to write, I almost always begin with an idea. But a lot can happen along the way. And where I begin – even if the idea is good – isn’t always where I end up. Which is exactly what happened in the case of THE QUICKEST KID IN CLARKSVILLE, my new […]

give a boy a gun February 06

Top Ten Books That Hook Reluctant Teen Readers into Reading Again by Melissa Sethna

We all have those students – the ones that never found reading to be the cool thing to do and avoid books at all costs.  For the past two years I have coached our 9th and 10th grade reading intervention teachers along with other 9th-12th grade English teachers to promote reading choice in their classes. […]

Sketch113194837 February 05

Newbery Picking by Elaine Fultz

My great aunt Edith made a divine blackberry cobbler.  She and my uncle Harlan lived in a Kentucky holler, and those blackberries were plucked off the bushes on their land.  What could follow this introduction, if this was a cooking site and I had a different kind of girlhood, is a vignette about my elderly […]

SimonThorn_rev003 February 04

Simon Thorn and the Benefits of Trying Something New by Aimée Carter

For the past sixteen years, I’ve written novels for teens. Most of those went unpublished – a good two dozen, in fact – but every manuscript I wrote, whether it went into the trash or into bookstores, was always about a teenager. A few years ago, however, I got an idea about a boy named […]

SweetHome_FINAL February 03

How Laura Ingalls Wilder Influenced Sweet Home Alaska by Carole Estby Dagg

When I realized that the first two Little House books came out about the time that a New Deal program sent kids in two hundred and two families north to Alaska, I wondered: Had any of those children read Wilder’s books? Were they excited about the chance to be 20th-century pioneers?  I decided that at […]

snappsy February 02

Chocolate Cake by Julie Falatko

Is all reading important? You bet. Because you never know which words will steer your life in a new direction. A nonfiction (grownup) book came out in December 2015 called First Bite: How We Learn to Eat by Bee Wilson. One of the things Wilson talks about is that we dislike food we’re forced to […]

Groundhog's Day Off by Robb Pearlman February 01

Myself on the Shelf by Robb Pearlman

The library was an eleven-minute walk from my house. I know this because I just Googlemapped it and the Internet doesn’t lie about my childhood. Much. But to my kindergarten-aged self, it felt like an eleven-hour walk. Eleven days in the summer, which was when my mother and I walked it most often. Eleven months […]

TiaraOnTheTerraceCoverFinal (5) (1) January 31

“You Should Write Something for Us”: A Full Circle of Inspiration by Kristen Kittscher

At the National Council of Teacher of English conference dinner this past year, other authors and I were asked to share a story about an educator who made a difference in our lives. The heartwarming, and often hilarious stories poured out, one after the other: there was the librarian who shared the a book that […]

nerdybookclub-transitionalreaders January 30

Top 10 (or so) Chapter Books for Transitioning Readers by Arika Dickens

As an elementary teacher-librarian and a mother of two young readers ages 6 and 8, finding entry-level chapter books that have both a kid-friendly design (white space, font size, spacing, illustrations) and engaging characters/plot has been daunting.  But it can be done.  Below are 10 sure-fire hits in my school and home for the transitioning […]

Chester January 29

Laughter In the Library: Reading and Sharing Books That Make Kids Smile by Larnette Snow

As school librarians we have two principal missions: to teach children to be lifelong learners and to teach them to appreciate books and reading. Because these are such serious tasks, I like to incorporate humor into my lesson plans whenever, and as often as possible. That’s why I love books that do double duty by giving students […]