Category Archives: Surprise Sunday

July 16

The Science of a Fiction Picture Book (#STEAM) by Leslie Helakoski

Even a fictional picture book can engage young minds in scientific thought. Comparing and contrasting are great tools for learning and what better way to explore this concept than a fun story?   HOOT & HONK Just Can’t Sleep began as an exploration of a nocturnal owlet, sleeping during the day and active at night, […]

July 09

How Soldier Boy by Keely Hutton Came to Be by Kate Olson

An incredibly powerful YA book with an amazing creation story – read on to learn about how Soldier Boy by Keely Hutton came to be…..   Several months ago, I was sent a box of books from a publisher, mostly advance reader copies. When I get these books, I always put them on my ARC […]

July 02

My Reading Journey by A.F. Harrold

Jorge Luis Borges said, “I think of myself as being essentially a reader. As you are aware, I have ventured into writing; but I think that what I have read is far more important than what I have written. For one reads what one likes – yet one writes not what one would like to […]

June 25

Talking about THE ENEMY with Sara Holbrook by Gary Anderson

Many Nerdy Book Clubbers are already familiar with Sara Holbrook through her books of poetry for young readers, including I Never Said I Wasn’t Difficult and The Dog Ate My Homework. We also know Sara through her work with “partner-in-rhyme” Michael Salinger that helps students and teachers from around the world understand how writing poetry […]

June 18

An Open Thank You Letter to Kwame Alexander

Dear Kwame Alexander,   Thank you for making us openly weep last year at the ILA conference when you said, “The mind of an adult begins with the imagination of a child,” and “all kids are the good kids”  When we heard you say those words and the room burst into thunderous applause, we knew […]

June 04

Finding Your Passion by Stephanie Burgis

I’ve always loved books about ambitious girls pursuing their passions, whether it’s the Fossil girls in Ballet Shoes fighting their way onto the stage, a young violinist playing her first big solo competition in Virginia Euwer Wolff’s The Mozart Season, or the members of the Babysitters’ Club forming their own successful business as kids.   […]

May 21

A SERIES FICTION KIND OF GIRL by Heather Alexander

Have you ever played Nancy Drew the Spy On the Prairie? This game filled my fourth-grade afternoons. It’s best explained as a mash-up of storylines from three of my favorite literary heroes at the time—Nancy Drew, Harriet M. Welsch, and Laura Ingalls—intertwined as only a bookish ten-year-old can. Each day brought a new adventure and […]

May 14

Celebrating Nerdom With Mike Merschel’s ‘Revenge of the Star Survivors’ – post by Kate Hannigan

As a nerd, someone married to a nerd, and a mom raising three little nerds, I’ve always felt among my people at Nerdy Book Club. When I had the chance to read Revenge of the Star Survivors (Holiday House, April 2017) by Michael Merschel, I knew this was the perfect place to share it. It’s […]

May 07

Love and Books by Donalyn Miller

  Yesterday, Don, Sarah, and I drove three hours to Cedar Park (near Austin) for Don’s sister and brother-in-law’s 40th wedding anniversary celebration. The trip got off to a rocky start. Sarah was grouchy and argued with me about her outfit of blue jeans, Gatsby t-shirt, and Converse, which I deemed inappropriate for the occasion. […]

April 30

TACKLING TOUGH TOPICS WITH HUMOR by Robin Reul

When I first sat down to write my YA contemporary debut MY KIND OF CRAZY, I knew that I would be broaching some difficult topics like mental illness, abuse, poverty, and alcoholism. Not exactly the stuff of high comedy, but in taking a page from my own life (see what I did there?), I know […]