Category Archives: Author Posts

April 19

What It Means to Hope by Cordelia Jensen and Laurie Morrison

When we decided to write our middle grade novel Every Shiny Thing, our point-of-view characters materialized quickly, their voices pouring out of us.   First came Sierra: a fiercely loyal thirteen-year-old who has been separated from her alcoholic mother and placed into a loving foster home, where she resists connecting with her foster parents because […]

April 17

Stay Wild by Alison Oliver

When I began a meditation practice as an adult, I was struck by how familiar it felt. It was almost like deja-vu, the sense that you’ve already lived the present moment. I realized that the experience of meditation wasn’t new to me; it was one I’d felt often as a child.  Meditation begins when your […]

April 10

How Jeremy Bentham Lost his Head by Carlyn Beccia

If philosopher Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) could see the average cost of a funeral today, he would be rolling in his grave (if he was buried in a grave). Which is why, whenever I hear someone complain about the cost of living, I like to remind them to stay upright — dropping dead is really expensive. […]

April 08

Talking to Kids About Bad News: The inspiration behind THE BREAKING NEWS by Sarah Lynne Reul

The news can be scary. Faced with terrible events we can’t control, we often feel helpless.   The story for THE BREAKING NEWS was born after the Paris attacks in November 2015.  My husband’s family is from France; my girls go to a French afterschool.  Pulling into the parking lot for pickup, I suddenly received […]

April 05

Nerdy Reader, I Believe in Picture Books by Will Hillenbrand

THE MAGIC OF PICTURE BOOKS by Will Hillenbrand Again, I am reminded that as a child, I often played on my own. In the dirt of the side yard, I built roads for my cars and trucks. Sometimes, friends came over and played, which was nice. When it rained I went inside. I would make […]

April 03

The Story We Found in the Woods by Paul Noth

While writing my middle-grade novel debut, How to Sell Your Family to the Aliens, I found myself reflecting on other stories I created for kids over the years. Growing up with eight siblings, I often had to babysit while still a child myself. I learned early on that stories got kids to listen and engage. […]

April 02


The well-known comedian who once wondered what dogs did on their day off because lying around was their job must not have known the modern day wonder that is the service dog—and how hard they work every single day to bring comfort and independence to people who have a disability. RESCUE & JESSICA: A LIFE-CHANGING […]

April 01

The Importance of Mentoring Young Writers by Marcha Fox

I wrote my first story when I was in 1st grade. I had a scrap with my best friend, which I wrote up as a play-by-play narrative with illustrations. I made it into a tiny book, which I stapled together. By sixth grade, I’d graduated to science fiction stories written on yellow lined paper. These […]

March 27

Who’s THE BEST MOTHER? How a picture book can be a mystery and a search for truth by C. M. Surrisi

I practiced law for 28 years before I decided to do the thing I always longed to do, write books for children. Being a super planner, and a lover of school, I headed for Vermont College of Fine Arts and an MFA program in writing for children and young adults.   During my time in […]

March 26

WHAT IF…We Told You the Story Behind the Story? by Mike Curato and Samantha Berger

Greeeeetings!   Thanks for being a part of the Official What If…Blog Tour. Nerdy Book Club reminds us of three things we both love: nerds, books, and clubs! Put ‘em all together, and it’s magical. Maaaagical! (Insert big glittery PUFF of magic dust here, because who doesn’t love special effects? Sam and Mike do!)   […]