Author Archives: donalynm

Fake News, George Washington, and the Plight of the Overworked History Educator by Ben Thompson

For any of you who have been unlucky enough to find yourselves unexpectedly tractor-beamed into the horrific quagmire of misery known as the Internet Political Comment Flame War, you’ve almost certainly encountered a particularly wide-ranging and equally-noxious sub-section of humanity that loves to spray the phrase “Fake News” around, repeatedly, in full-capslock, with all the […]

June 20

Fenway and Hattie Up to New Tricks – Cover Reveal By Victoria J. Coe and Olivia Van Ledtje

Do you judge a book by its cover? I do. And I wonder if kids do, too. Because they’re always asking me if the covers of the first two Fenway and Hattie books are real. As if Fenway is out living these stories somewhere and all the Penguin design team did was snap a picture. […]

June 19

How Does That Make You Feel? by James Ponti

One night, as my wife was about to fall asleep, I told her I was thinking of writing a novel. She looked up at me from her pillow and with surprising clarity said, “Shouldn’t you be able to read a book before you try writing one?” This is the danger of being married to a […]

June 11

The Key to Summer Reading? Invest in Children’s Reading Lives All Year

  It’s easier to maintain my reading life in the summer. Scorching Texas days provide excuses to lie under the ceiling fan and read all afternoon. Occasionally, I stay up all night binge reading—burning through epic historicals or fantasies in one sitting. I travel quite a bit during the summer, and books keep me company. […]

May 31

Cover Reveal: The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson

The Parker Inheritance is a puzzle mystery, and was certainly influenced by The Westing Game, the Newbery-winning masterpiece by Ellen Raskin. But The Parker Inheritance also tackles real social justice issues, which are just as important to the story as the puzzle. Specifically, much of the novel was inspired by an interaction with my brother […]

May 26

Cover Reveal: Hurricane Child by Kheryn Callender

It’s not always easy being away from home—it’s where my family lives, where my childhood house stands, and even though it wasn’t so easy to see when I was a kid because it was all I’d ever known, St. Thomas of the US Virgin Islands really is paradise.   I felt a little differently when […]

May 22

Classics, Colonization and a Call for Change by Padma Venkatraman

Last year, I gave in to horribly un-American behavior. Confident that my citizenship would not be revoked if indulged in censorship, I picked up a thick sharpie and blackened out offensive words in A Child’s Garden of Verse on my daughter’s shelf. Other “classics” just plain aren’t on her shelf. I’m confident her childhood can […]

May 07

Love and Books by Donalyn Miller

  Yesterday, Don, Sarah, and I drove three hours to Cedar Park (near Austin) for Don’s sister and brother-in-law’s 40th wedding anniversary celebration. The trip got off to a rocky start. Sarah was grouchy and argued with me about her outfit of blue jeans, Gatsby t-shirt, and Converse, which I deemed inappropriate for the occasion. […]

April 14

GBF-Literally the Place to Be on May 20th! by Melissa McDonald

We don’t celebrate many book festivals on this site, but taking children to an event that celebrates reading and books is a can’t miss opportunity. Nothing excites kids more than meeting authors, learning about books, and communing with other readers. The Gaithersburg (Maryland) Book Festival on May 20th is an upcoming event for folks in […]

April 09

Desertification by Donalyn Miller

Our oldest granddaughter, Emma, is eight. She looks just like her mother did at the same age. Long limbs accessorized with a rotation of Band-Aids that move from one knee to the next. Wind-blown dark blonde hair that needs brushing. Piercing blue eyes that have already mastered the skeptical shade throw passed down through generations […]