Category Archives: Surprise Sunday

April 22

It’s Not Complicated by Donalyn Miller

I have been blogging, writing, and talking about children’s independent reading lives for over ten years—starting with my first Ask the Mentor column for Education Week Teacher in 2007. I am not the first or the last educator to take on this topic. Scores of literacy leaders, like Daniel Fader, Rudine Sims-Bishop, Stephen Krashen, Teri […]

April 08

Talking to Kids About Bad News: The inspiration behind THE BREAKING NEWS by Sarah Lynne Reul

The news can be scary. Faced with terrible events we can’t control, we often feel helpless.   The story for THE BREAKING NEWS was born after the Paris attacks in November 2015.  My husband’s family is from France; my girls go to a French afterschool.  Pulling into the parking lot for pickup, I suddenly received […]

April 01

The Importance of Mentoring Young Writers by Marcha Fox

I wrote my first story when I was in 1st grade. I had a scrap with my best friend, which I wrote up as a play-by-play narrative with illustrations. I made it into a tiny book, which I stapled together. By sixth grade, I’d graduated to science fiction stories written on yellow lined paper. These […]

March 25

Kidlitwomen: Combating Invisibility of Transgender Kids by Lindsay H. Metcalf and Traci Sorell

Starting March 1st, we’re celebrating Women’s History month with 31 days of posts focused on improving the climate for social and gender equality in the children’s and teens’ industry. Join in the conversation here or Twitter #kidlitwomen and access all the #KidlitWomen posts this month on our Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/kidlitwomen/.    Personal and professional lives […]

March 18

Bridging Sides and Understanding Villains by Diane Magras

Middle grade fiction is often a battleground for good and evil. It’s a crucial part of plotting; this clash between heroes and villains is a primary conflict from the oldest stories of many cultures. Often the antagonist emerges from another experience, one very different from the protagonist’s, and has motivations that are diametrically opposed.   […]

March 11

An Interview with Joy McCullough, Author of Blood Water Paint – by Jennifer Ansbach

Today, Nerdy Book Club member Jennifer Ansbach is in conversation with author Joy McCullough, whose novel Blood Water Paint came out this week.   Told alternately in verse and prose, this novel takes us to the high Renaissance where Artemesia Gentileschi paints in her father’s studio, creating art he takes credit for. Comforted after the […]

March 04

Showering Students with Short Texts—Top 10 Poetry Books For Any Day, Not Just a Rainy Day in April by Dionna N. Roberts

In honor of February being the shortest month of the year, I would like to dedicate this top ten list to poetry—one of my favorite forms of short text. Short texts are sure to engage and inspire readers of all ages. There’s something about rhythm and rhyme that engages young people and causes them to […]

February 25

Cold Feet, Warm Heart: A Content Reveal by Beth Ain

When I was 12, my father came out of the closet. Nowadays, that maybe doesn’t seem so shocking, but in 1980’s Pennsylvania, it was a bit of a thing. My parents were already long divorced, but this was new and worrisome and it became something I carried around with me and stashed in my locker […]

February 18

THINKING SMALL by Adriana Brad Schanen

“Thank you for writing what it’s like to be a person.” A slight, brown-haired boy came over to me and whispered those words, barely, after my Fall 2016 visit to Doyle School in Wood-Ridge, New Jersey. He was shy, and vanished back into the crowd before I could get much else out of him. But […]

January 28

Missing Stories by Emily Visness

I’ve been a book collector for many years.  My collecting began because I have two children of my own and I wanted them to be surrounded by books in our home since birth.  My obsession with books for kids of all ages enabled me to begin this school year, in my move from special education […]