Category Archives: Surprise Sunday

November 27

Top Ten Picture Books to Use to Teach Digital Literacy by Erin Marone

According to Common Sense Media, children spend an average of six hours a day with media while teenagers spend an average of nine hours a day with media. With screen time at an all time high, it is important educators tackle digital literacy topics within their curriculum such as balancing time off and online, standing […]

November 13

Reading with Your Ears: An Audiobook Poll by Donalyn Miller

Traveling to visit schools and conferences, I spend a lot of time in rental cars. Continuously searching for a radio station becomes tiresome and long drives can be lonely and boring, so I load a few audiobooks onto my phone before every trip. Well-performed audio productions bring a book alive and engaging narrators provide companionship. […]

November 06

November 9th by Donalyn Miller

Yesterday, we celebrated our oldest daughter Celeste’s birthday by going to lunch at Red Robin, then watching the Trolls movie. The movie was cheesy, but cute and heartwarming. My oldest granddaughter, Emma, and I sat next to each other. We discussed how much we liked the felt, yarn, and stitch textures in the animations. We […]

October 30

Bookstores, Berkeley, and My Where by Dev Petty

A childhood in Berkeley was an extraordinary experience that is hard to explain in just a few words or even in entire books.  Berkeley is often a place that ends up as caricature- hippies running around in Birkenstocks, wearing tie-dyed Berzerkeley shirts and drinking wheatgrass juice.  While there are elements of that, it’s not its […]

October 23

Of Hamilton and Hoof stock: Why I Wrote a Middle Grade Novel as a Play by Erica Perl

(to the tune of Alexander Hamilton, from the Broadway musical, Hamilton)   How does a hairy, homely, world’s largest rodent and a pest, who most of South America detests, Be found today – hooray! – in a novel that’s a play? And the kids want to read this way? What’s this book, man?   Capybara […]

October 16

Cover Reveal of Orphan Island by Laurel Snyder

I’ve been writing books since I was eight years old, and for most of my life, I wrote just for myself. I wrote because I had stories in my head, and I wanted to see how they’d end.  I wrote because I loved to play with words.  I scribbled my books, and bound them in […]

October 09

Becoming Sherlock by Elizabeth Eulberg

When I was in elementary school, I devoured Encyclopedia Brown, Harriet the Spy, and Nancy Drew novels. I enjoyed going along on a case with these pint-sized detectives and trying to figure out “who done it?”   Oddly enough, I wasn’t really into Sherlock Holmes. Sure, I was familiar with the Baker Street detective and […]

October 02

Melissa Sweet’s Some Writer: The Story of E. B. White – Review by Monica Edinger

I wasn’t much of an E. B. White fan as a young teacher. Stuart Little was reasonably amusing, but Charlotte’s Web —what a tearjerker! And so in 1990, off to study classical children’s literature at Princeton University and not wishing to spend money on a new copy, I brought along a tattered used paperback edition […]

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 […]

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 […]