Category Archives: Author Posts

November 21

Literary Lifeguards by James Ponti

Like so many of the great lessons in my life, this one starts on a beach.  Waimea Beach to be exact, on Oahu’s north shore. I was there for a television shoot (I know, rough life) and interviewed a lifeguard. When I asked him about saving lives he gave me an answer that caught me […]

November 16

COVER REVEAL: Everything Else in the Universe by Tracy Holczer

I have always believed in, “write what you know.” Not so much in a literal way, such as, “I grew up in an apartment building and so I’ll write about a kid growing up in an apartment building.” But more along the lines of writing what I know about the emotional truth of that experience. […]

November 14

Life on Surtsey by Loree Griffin Burns

About a month before I was scheduled to fly to Iceland, rendezvous with nine local scientists, and travel with them to the uninhabited, fifty-years-young volcanic island that was their research study site, I had a nightmare. In it, I had fallen into the North Atlantic Ocean while weighed down with hiking boots and a backpack […]

November 12

Cover Reveal: EVERYTHING I KNOW ABOUT YOU by Barbara Dee

The summer after my freshman year in college, I visited Spain, and  at the end of the trip found that I’d gained a few pounds. So, without telling anyone or seeing a doctor or getting any nutritional advice, I went on a diet, which basically consisted of limiting calories. Severely. The diet felt good. It […]

November 10

Keep it R.E.A.L.! Relevant, Engaging, and Affirming Literacy for Adolescent English Learners by Mary Amanda (Mandy) Stewart

As a twenty-two-year-old, I completed my student teaching in an 8th grade Reading class for students new to the country. My cooperating teacher told me, “It’s just like teaching Pre-K to teenagers!” Even my much younger self knew something was not quite right about that statement. Did these adolescents with nearly adult bodies and often […]

November 09


It’s incredibly exciting to be featured anywhere in the pages of the New York Times, but to be picked as one of the ‘Best Illustrated Books of the Year’ is toe tingling. To be picked twice is beyond amazing. I was in Montreal when ‘The Promise’ was featured as among the best picture books of […]

November 07

Cover Reveal for THE JIGSAW JUNGLE by Kristin Levine

  I had a great plan.   My first three books were historical fiction, and each one required a lot of research. So for book number four, my plan was to do something easier, something that would be quicker to write. I decided on a contemporary story, set in my hometown of Alexandria, Virginia, a […]

October 27

Making Friends with Our Dragon by Barbara Joosse

Picture books are small but mighty.  Consider the way you read to a child: wrapped in each others’ arms, the child’s ear just at your heartbeat with the book you share the seal of the hug.  I call it The Reader’s Hug.  This is where magic happens. Because favorite picture books are read many times, […]

October 25


CLAYMATES (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers) came out in June and something special has been happening, maybe even more special than kids crawling into my lap to get a better look, or giddy smiles, or belly laughs.  Though those things are pretty much totally great and certainly hard to top.   Librarians, teachers, parents, […]

October 24

Mining Emotion to Bring History to Life by Andrea J. Loney

For the past few years, I’ve spent one Saturday each month reading to second graders. We sit in a circle on the colorful classroom rug, share stories about our lives, read a picture book chosen by their teachers, share how the book relates to our own lives, and then we make crafts to turn the […]