Category Archives: Author Posts

October 16

Miracles by Kekla Magoon

“Styx Malone didn’t believe in miracles, but he was one,” begins my new middle grade novel, The Season of Styx Malone. Caleb Franklin is stuck feeling ordinary, trapped in his small town. He desperately wants to be special, particularly after his father tells him he’s not merely ordinary but “extra” ordinary. Caleb misunderstands, and is […]

October 13

Rules and Roadkill by Heather L. Montgomery

The gravel crunches as I pull my red RAV 4 to a halt at the edge of a dusty highway. I can just imagine my car asking: “Why is she stopping? What is she doing now? And, how come she’s poking at that DEAD BODY?” Wait, . . . that’s not how a blog post […]

October 09

Let’s Indigenize Our Bookshelves & Fully Welcome Native Kids As Readers by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Abracadabra! I sought out how-to books about card tricks, guidebooks to seashells, and page-turning mysteries. Shortly after second grade, I’d begun perusing the Newbery Award shelf and won the summer reading contest at my local library in Grandview, Missouri.   It was my parents who, each in their own way, first introduced me to books. […]

October 08

A Big Helping of Poetry by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong

How can we serve up poetry in a fresh new way? This is the question we ask ourselves each time we start a project. In our early books in The Poetry Friday Anthology series, we provided a “Take 5” approach that emphasized participatory readings and skill connections; in the Poetry Friday Power Book series, we […]

October 05

COVER REVEAL: The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad

“What’s in a name?” Shakespeare asked that very famously centuries ago in a play you might be familiar with. I always took umbrage at that question. You see, in many cultures, including mine, names have power, meaning, and functions beyond the obvious. The earliest version of The Candle and the Flame wound itself around Shakespeare’s […]

October 04

Cover Reveal: YORK: THE CLOCKWORK GHOST by Laura Ruby

It’s been eighteen months since I wrote this post about York: The Shadow Cipher—the first volume in my middle grade alternate history adventure—and my cancer diagnosis.  A lot has happened since then. I’ve gone through chemo, surgery and radiation. I lost my hair, grew a bunch back, and dyed it purple and blue. I got my nose pierced.  […]

October 03

THE RECKLESS CLUB / When adults are the bullies by Beth Vrabel

When my dad was eight years old, his greatest ambition was for his teacher, Miss Hagley*, to ignore him. “She just didn’t like me,” he says now, nearly 60 years later. “I don’t know why, but she just didn’t like me.”   “I can picture her now, walking toward me.” His shoulders hunch at the […]

October 02


There’s a special kind of anxiety that grips you when see your child’s school on Caller ID. You can generally assume a teacher isn’t calling to say, “Your kid did nothing objectionable today—keep up the good work!” So when I answered the call from my daughter’s second grade teacher, I braced myself—correctly—for some unhappiness on […]

October 01

How Can Two Authors Make One Story? A BACK and FORTH between Ally Condie and Brendan Reichs

Reichs: Hello, Ally! I’m excited that the amazing Nerdy Book Club is willing to let us chat in their forum about our new middle-grade scare factory, The Darkdeep. I’m going to dive right in with both feet, because I love it when we get this question, mainly because of how incredibly hard we worked at […]

September 28

Book Chat with the Illustrator: Oge Mora

Book Chat with the Illustrator: Oge Mora from LB School on Vimeo.   Oge Mora is a painter residing in Providence, RI. She grew up in Columbus, Ohio and graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) with a degree in Illustration. She’s a fan of all things colorful, patterned, or collaged, and she […]