Category Archives: Surprise Sunday

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 […]

May 05

Being Seen by Emmy Kastner

On Being a Kid I was a kid prone to exaggeration. Conveying what really happened often felt boring. I wasn’t lying to get myself out of trouble, just stretching the truth because that’s what made people laugh or would pique their interest to ask me questions. A snake followed me all the way home from […]

April 28

AN EDUCATOR’S READING WISH by Laural Matthews

As a child, I can remember how books were always a part of my life. I can remember sitting down with my family and obsessively finding the Lowly Worm in the Richard Scarry books. Or reading Goodnight Moon to the point of parental exhaustion and boredom. I can remember a grade 4 classroom where my […]

April 14

The Book Love Foundation Summer Book Club: supporting teachers, supporting learning by Penny Kittle, Clare Landrigan, Fran McVeigh

I feel a tug on the back of my dress as I walk down the hall to debrief with the first-grade team of teachers. I shift my stance wondering if I somehow caught my hem on something. Then I hear her voice. Miss Clare. I turn and see her small fingers wrapped tightly around the […]

March 31

Why We Need Summer Stories by Gillian McDunn

Toward the end of first grade, my son started wearing glasses.   Once we got past certain logistical issues, such as: where to store them? (not on the floor!) and when to wear them (not while swimming!)–he loved his new, improved vision. Reading had always been his favorite activity, and with the new glasses he […]

March 10

Gaining Visibility: How books helped me find myself by Jessica Rinker

My parents raised me like a free-range chicken. They set me out on eight acres, surrounded by hundreds more, and basically said, “Come home by dark.” Actually, come to think of it, I don’t think they ever said that. I did have a bedtime, however, and that’s quite simply the only rule I ever remember […]

March 03

The Kindred Spirits of Nancy Churnin by Gary Anderson

Since Nancy Churnin’s publication debut, The William Hoy Story in 2016, she has consistently produced high-quality, award-winning picture book biographies.  Manjhi Moves a Mountain; Charlie Takes His Shot; Irving Berlin, the Immigrant Boy Who Made America Sing; and The Queen and The First Christmas Tree comprise a remarkable body of work produced in a relatively […]

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 […]