Author Archives: CBethM

May 27

10 Impressive (and Popular) YA Novels According to Mrs. Krajewski’s Students

Reading is a true passion of mine, and I make it an integral part of my high school English classroom. Ask any of my students, and they will tell you I know a lot about books. I have to, for if I didn’t, I don’t think my passion would be as contagious. Now that we […]

May 25

Reframing “Pieces” in Three YA Novels: Gabi, Girl in Pieces, Girl in Pieces, All in Pieces by Sarah J. Donovan

As I scroll through the nearly two hundred poems and comments teens wrote today, I know that I am at once reading into pieces of their existence and all of who they are in the moments they composed the verse. They are at once complete and partial. Some would say such pieces are the nature […]

May 24

What I Was Thinking About by Laurel Snyder

The thing about unlikeable characters is… nobody likes them. The thing about sad endings is… they make people sad. The thing about unsolved mysteries is… they drive some people crazy.   Almost exactly three years ago, I finished writing the first draft of Orphan Island, a project I’d been keeping secret up to that point. […]

May 23

​Celebrate the Weird Stuff in Life by Tammi Sauer

For me, the hardest part about writing a picture book is coming up with an idea. I’m not talking about a regular idea. Nope. I’m talking about a good idea. A fresh idea. An irresistible-to-readers idea. Each year, I present at lots of schools and conferences. One thing I like to tell people is to celebrate the weird […]

May 21

A SERIES FICTION KIND OF GIRL by Heather Alexander

Have you ever played Nancy Drew the Spy On the Prairie? This game filled my fourth-grade afternoons. It’s best explained as a mash-up of storylines from three of my favorite literary heroes at the time—Nancy Drew, Harriet M. Welsch, and Laura Ingalls—intertwined as only a bookish ten-year-old can. Each day brought a new adventure and […]

May 20

Ten Types of Books That Are Hooking My MOST Reluctant Readers by Wendy Gassaway

I teach reading to middle schoolers who read two or more years below grade level.  I am a fierce believer in the power of reading workshop and choice, but I continue to struggle with a sizable minority of students who Won’t. Read. ANYTHING.  I feel like I offer a wide range of material, and I’m […]

May 19

Saving Wonder by Mary Knight – Review by Mary Alice Ramsey

“Words are thoughts and thoughts are things” Papaw tells Curley.  And Mary Knight uses them exquisitely her debut novel Saving Wonder. Curley Hines, a seventh grade boy, shares his life story with us.   Being someone who came to love reading late in life, I was captivated by Curley. His joy. His wonder. Living with […]

May 16

Moon Shadow and the Magic of Author-Teacher-Student Collaboration by Erin Downing, Jason Lewis, and Lynn Flynn

Today’s Nerdy post is a joint essay from an author and two teachers about editorial collaboration. We wanted to share an example of how authors, teachers, and students can work together for mutual benefit. Our hope is that by writing this post, other authors and teachers might connect to create similar experiences for more student […]

May 15

GIVING READERS A FRONT ROW SEAT by Patricia Newman

When I was a kid, I loved science. It was so relevant. It helped me make connections to the rest of the world, like the time my second-grade class designed an experiment to understand the concept of one million by making Xs on graph paper during our free time. (It took us forever!) Or when […]

May 14

Celebrating Nerdom With Mike Merschel’s ‘Revenge of the Star Survivors’ – post by Kate Hannigan

As a nerd, someone married to a nerd, and a mom raising three little nerds, I’ve always felt among my people at Nerdy Book Club. When I had the chance to read Revenge of the Star Survivors (Holiday House, April 2017) by Michael Merschel, I knew this was the perfect place to share it. It’s […]