Category Archives: Surprise Sunday

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

THINKING OUTSIDE CATEGORIES FOR READER SUGGESTIONS by Ariel Bernstein

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 […]

June 10

Kids Need Books Everywhere by Jennifer LaGarde and Donalyn Miller

  Indisputably, children and adolescents benefit when they attend schools with degreed librarians and well-developed library collections (Scholastic, 2018). We also know that providing kids with reliable access to books is one of the easiest, most cost effective ways to influence their achievement. (Allington, McGill-Franzen 2014). Unfortunately, too many young people live in “book deserts” without […]

May 13

Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly – Book Review by Lynne R. Dorfman

“The stars tell us everything. It’s fate, Gen. Fate in the stars. There are no coincidences.” (p. 101)   The 2018 Newberry Award winner by Erin Entrada for middle schoolers will capture them in its honesty, its mystery, and its charm. The book is written in short, easy-to-read chapters in the perspectives of the four […]

May 06

One Author, One Librarian, One Teacher; Three Nerds by Nora Raleigh Baskin, Beth Parmer, and Jimmy Sapia

Nora: When I was asked if I would be willing to teach creative writing at an underperforming middle school in an urban neighborhood with a very small budget, my first question was: What does “underperforming” mean? But I was willing– despite how little they could pay or what that meant exactly– because I’ve been feeling, […]

April 29

Book Trailer Premiere: Bob by Rebecca Stead and Wendy Mass

Ah, Bob. Our little green not-Zombie. And Livy, the girl who saves him. Or does he save her? Let’s agree that they save each other. Writing their story was a true labor of love that Rebecca and I escaped to for over seven years. We passed chapters back and forth while working around our other […]