Category Archives: Author Posts

August 22

An Anchor Text For Literacy—Ten Truths About Why I Wrote You Are a Reader!/You Are a Writer! by April Jones Prince

It’s a new school year, with new faces, new routines… and new books! As you look to encourage and empower your new crew of readers and writers, the two-books-in-one You Are a Reader!/You Are a Writer! can be an anchor text to kick off literacy workshop and invigorate your class throughout the year. You Are […]

August 20

Under Books, Bridges, & Other Stuff by Adam Borba

I spent most of my childhood under things. Underwater during the scorching summers growing up in Palm Springs, California. Under the kitchen table reading and doing homework. Under my older brother’s top bunk. And most importantly, under a rotating pile of books that covered my bed. I was a quiet kid who loved to read. […]

August 16

The Magic of a “Real Book”: How a Blank Hardback Book First Inspired One Author by Kim Howard

When I was young, I folded pieces of printer paper in half to make my books. Three staples up the side bound them together. I wrote stories about everything. Dinosaurs, Corduroy the bear, the adventures of my stuffed pig, Popcorn. I loved making these books, but to me, this was always just a part of […]

August 15

How to Write a Science Fiction Novel, Minus the Actual Writing Part by John David Anderson

Dear Me,     Happy 5th Birthday. Today there will be cake. Tomorrow your father will take you to see a little movie called The Empire Strikes Back. Having not yet seen the movie that comes before it, you will have no idea what’s going on, but there are giant walking tanks and laser swords and […]

August 14


When I host elementary school class visits at my library, one of the most frequent questions I hear in the nonfiction section is “Where are the cookbooks?” The popularity of competition cooking shows like MasterChef Junior or The Great British Baking Show may help fuel this interest, but whatever the reason, it’s a great idea […]

August 10

No Place Like Home by Jaime Berry

My hometown of Antlers, Oklahoma is so small that on most maps it doesn’t even warrant a dot. But that town takes up a huge spot in my heart and is the basis for the fictional town of Hope Springs, Texas in my debut novel. I love a book with a strong sense of setting, […]

August 07

Ten Ways to Make Storytimes Interactive by Abi Cushman

At nErDCampPA this year, I got together with fellow kidlit creators, Josh Funk, Valerie Bolling and Carol Gordon Ekster to chat about making storytimes interactive. How can we get kids actively involved and keep their interest piqued during the reading and even beyond? It was a great discussion with many educators chiming in with their […]

August 04

How Authors Sneak into Their Stories by Christina Uss

I was feeling sort of lost in 2018 after a painful round of editors’ rejections for my latest novel, ERIK VS. EVERYTHING. I wondered if this beloved book of mine would ever see the light of day.  ERIK VS. EVERYTHING is the story of Erik Sheepflattener, a modern boy whose family looks to their Viking […]

July 30

How Colby Sharp, nErDcamp, and the Nerdy Book Club Inspired a Book by Melissa Stewart

Back in 2012, I was feeling frustrated. The manuscripts I was writing received good feedback from my critique group, but editors just weren’t interested. In an effort to better understand the wide world of nonfiction children’s books and determine what kinds of manuscripts publishers would be most likely to acquire, I began thinking about ways […]

July 29

NARRATING REZ DOGS by Joseph Bruchac

Writing and narrating a novel about people caught in a pandemic during that same event, is pretty unique. But, then again, everything about REZ DOGS was different from anything I’ve done before. To begin with, I wasn’t traveling as I usually do, doing storytelling programs, visiting schools. For months at a time I was home, […]