Category Archives: Surprise Sunday

1455672248746 September 25

A MIND IN THE GUTTER by Deborah Freedman

I’m obsessed with books. Obviously. I’m in the club, after all, and isn’t an obsession with books our only membership requirement?   I do read eBooks, but like so many members of our tribe, my husband and I also have actual books in every room of our house, piles of them, as though they have […]

Memory of Things_HiRes September 11

THE MEMORY OF THINGS: On a Stark Anniversary, Connecting Students to their History through Story by Gae Polisner

It is eleven o’clock at night and I’m sitting on the bathroom floor pulling a nit comb through my older son’s conditioner-soaked hair. He has just started the first grade, and at six years old, has a thick mop of brown curls we somehow miraculously cut short just a few days before. I’ve been doing […]

Sketch11319220 September 04

Breakfast with Books by Patrick Andrus

My wife and I had a 50th birthday party to attend on Sunday, July 31st.  The gathering started at 4:00 PM.  I told my wife we needed to be home by 7:00 PM.  When she asked why and I told her there was a #titletalk on launching the reading year, she looked at me like […]

DearDragon_cover August 28


The following letter exchange occurred over email between the dates of August 15 and August 27, 2016.     Dear Rodolfo,   So, we’re premiering the book trailer for DEAR DRAGON on the Nerdy Book Club and I’m supposed to write a post to go along with it, but I’m not sure what to write. […]

towers falling August 21

It’s a Wide World by Donalyn Miller

Tomorrow morning, our younger daughter, Sarah, starts her senior year of high school. After two decades of first days with our daughters, this marks our final first day of school as parents. Shopping for school supplies, Sarah joked that this was the last time she would need a cart full of folders. I suppose our […]

Thornghost jacket August 14

Or, You Could Go Play in the Woods by Tone Almhjell

Are you bored, my dear? Then take some cookies and head into the woods. The lynxes and wolverines usually stay clear of humans, so as long as you don’t fall into the lake, you should be fine. Have fun! That never happened, of course. No one actually sent me off to the woods. Not because […]

Page Through The Parks (1) (1) August 07

PAGE THROUGH THE PARKS by Janet Fox, Barb Rosenstock, and Liz Garton Scanlon

“Inside all of us is a wild thing…” – Maurice Sendak Most writers care about nothing more than the imagination, that wild playground that is the heart and mind inside all of us. It is that imagination that has given us the books we adore – from WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE to FINDING WILD – and […]

the distance to home July 31

When Readers Don’t See Themselves as Readers – A Discussion Between Jenn Bishop and Amy Estersohn

One of us (Jenn) is the author of The Distance to Home, a brand-new book for middle grades readers.  Another of us (Amy) teaches middle grades readers.   In The Distance to Home, Quinnen is mourning the loss of her older sister, Haley.  Quinnen’s grief and her guilt over the circumstances surrounding Haley’s death create […]

Sketch113194837 July 17

Let’s Step Up by Anne Lee

July 14 was a day of great highs and lows. A group of almost 500 educators congregated in Leesburg, Virginia for the Scholastic Book Fairs Reading Summit. We heard from Nancie Atwell, Donalyn Miller, John Schu, Sara Pennypacker and many others. Our spirits were buoyed by the power of independent reading and the strength of […]

nine ten rev front cvr July 10

Where Were You? Nine, Ten, A September 11 Story by Nora Raleigh Baskin – Review by Patrick Andrus

Where were you on March, 30, 1981?  I was home sick spending the day with my mom.  This was the day President Reagan was shot.   Where were you on January 28, 1986?  I was a senior in high school eating lunch.  This was the day that the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded.   Where were […]