Category Archives: Surprise Sunday

February 10

Writing for the Middle by Laurel Snyder

When I was in the sixth grade, there was this girl—we’ll call her Liv—who “developed” earlier than I did. Liv was the sort of girl grownups refer to as “fast.” She wore skimpy clothes. She was loud and sometimes rude.   She was also my friend. One night, during a sleepover at Liv’s house, we were […]

February 03

You are enough, just as you are by Deborah Underwood

Bearnard’s Book came about in an unusual way—appropriate for a book about being yourself!   Usually a picture book author writes a manuscript, and if she’s lucky enough to sell it, the editor and/or art director at the publishing house choose the illustrator, who then designs the characters.   With Bearnard’s Book, Misa Saburi’s adorable […]

January 20

Teachable Moment by Stacy Tell

Picture walks confused me. There, I’ve said it. I’m already feeling better about this post.   Throughout both my undergraduate and graduate school experiences, I spent a lot of time absorbing strategies and skills that would allow me to become an effective reading teacher. I’d heard the term picture walk before, as educators love a […]

January 13

What Happened to My Reader? by Sarah FitzHenry and Jared Passmore

“What happened to my reader? Last year, he was in the library every week picking out books. I had to take his book away at meals. Now, I can’t get him to read anything. It’s like he has no interest in it.” This mystery baffles parents, librarians, and teachers alike. As students pass through middle […]

September 09

On Becoming a Black Girl Reader by T.R. Simon

I can’t remember when I wasn’t a reader. Because I was an only child, and my father’s job required that we move every few years, I was often alone. I dealt with feeling lonely by making up stories. Everything in my room became a character: stuffed animals, dolls, Barbies, even our dogs and cats. The […]

September 02

Looking for Light by Ginger Johnson

I am a great believer that small things can have a big impact. So on January 1, 2017, I began a yearlong search for the beauty in everyday life—in people, in places, and in the world around me. I wrote on Facebook:   One specific thing I’m going to do this year is to look […]

August 26


A child’s journey of reading books can seem pretty linear. They start with board books and picture books, usually read to them by an adult. Soon enough, many begin to recognize words in early readers. Sometimes an adult will read them chapter books, and often a young reader will begin reading those books on their […]

August 19

Fellow Travelers by Donalyn Miller

I have packing rituals—habits I follow each time I prepare for a trip. I can pack my carry-on suitcase, Little Red, like a racetrack pit crew—quickly slotting my clothes, computer cords, and shoes into their proper places. After packing the essentials, I examine the available remaining space in my bag and fill it with books. […]

July 22

WE RISE, WE RESIST, WE RAISE OUR VOICES Content Reveal + Cheryl and Wade Hudson Interview Author Tony Medina

When we asked you to contribute to WE RISE, WE RESIST, WE RAISE OUR VOICES, did you toss around different ideas for your story, or did you always have in mind that you would write a piece about immigration?   When you asked me to contribute to We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices, […]

June 17

Top 10 Things I’ll Miss Over Summer Break by Kris Barr Paquette

It’s the last week of school.  I feel like I’m drowning in my to-do list.  I almost have all of my classroom library re-collected.  Summer Reading Books have been checked out. Field trips are over.  The end is in sight, friends. But, as always the end is a bit bitter-sweet, even for a tired teacher […]