Category Archives: Surprise Sunday

October 04

Where Are the Introverts–in Your Books and in Your Classroom by Donna Gephart

Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Or something in between? An ambivert? Before researching for my book, Abby, Tried and True, I’d have told you I’m an extrovert with a sprinkle of introvert thrown in for good measure.  Was I ever wrong! After reading articles and watching Susan Cain’s wildly popular 2012 TedTalk, The […]

May 24

An Indie Bookstore During a Pandemic w/ Joanna Parzakonis by Colby Sharp

My favorite independent bookstore is Bookbug in Kalamazoo, Michigan. I’ve had the opportunity to get to know the owners Joanna and Derek over the years, as I worked closely with them during each Nerd Camp Michigan. The work that they do is inspiring. With the state of Michigan being pretty much shutdown the last couple […]

April 26

It’s Time for a #VirtualFieldTrip to the Everywhere Book Fest! by Anna E. Jordan

There were plenty of things about field trips in the “before times” that were difficult. Budgets for busses were minimal, permissions slips never came back, charging for events magnified inequities between students, and chaperones were often hard to find. Even so, we know that authentic experiences with experts inspire children and give classroom learning context. Our […]

January 05

History with a Side of Humor by Michael Spradlin

Every writer who writes history for young readers, struggles to make it relatable and relevant. In my new book, CLOSE CALLS: How Eleven US Presidents Escaped from the Brink of Death, I felt I had some exciting subject matter to deal with. Presidential assassinations have been studied for years. But what about the time the […]

December 01

Past, Present, and Future (Our Eighth Nerdversary) by Donalyn Miller

This Thanksgiving, we were blessed with fifteen dinner guests—spanning four generations of family and friends. Although my mother and aunts have passed the bulk of holiday meal preparation to younger family members, they still hold sway over details like meal times, dress codes, and the menu. It’s tricky to please and honor everyone at the […]

October 20

Finding Where I Belonged by Katie Zhao

There’s something magical about Chinatown: The bustling streets crowded with diverse populations, the air filled with the smells of potstickers and rice, the loud conversations held in many different Chinese dialects. As a young girl, I felt visiting Chinatown was like being transported to a pocket of home — or rather, the place that might […]

October 13

In Defense of Graphic Novels and Those Who Read Them by Liesl Shurtliff

It happened at a school visit. I was between presentations, sitting in the library. A few students were quietly searching for books. A boy, maybe nine or ten-years-old, came into my view, scanning the shelves. He seemed a bit lost and overwhelmed. One of my greatest joys is helping children find books they will love, […]

October 06

Readers, in Spite of School by Donalyn Miller

  I am endlessly fascinated with readers—what and why they read, how they became readers and sustain a reading habit, and the ways reading has shaped their worldview and their identity development.   I know other folks are endlessly fascinated with other aspects of reading and reading instruction including phonics, comprehension, or vocabulary. All of […]

September 29

Learning How to Navigate Feelings by Tom Percival

Okay! So… can we all just agree on something here?   Well, actually—no the sad truth is that we probably can’t. Sometimes it feels like all we can do is disagree with each other. Disagreeing is just one of those things that human beings are especially good at, and that’s a good thing. If we […]

August 25

Eat Your Rocks, Croc! Cover Reveal – Interview with Dr. Sugar Glider and Jess Keating

Hello Nerdy Book Club! Jess Keating here. As some of you may know, I’m a zoologist as well as an author. I’m always sniffing around for new stories to tell and new natural worlds to explore. But the planet is so big – where do I even begin?! Sometimes, you need to go straight to […]