Category Archives: Uncategorized

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 10

Book Access During a Pandemic – A conversation between Donalyn Miller and Colby Sharp

Colby: A year and a half ago Donalyn Miller and I published a book on book access (Game Changer! Book Access for all Kids). With the current state of our world, we thought it would be a good idea to talk about what book access look like during this pandemic. You can listen to our […]

February 29

The Books My Students Are Reading by Colby Sharp

Each month, I ask my students to leave behind the book they are currently reading as they head to lunch. I take the books, try to figure out what I can learn about my class as a group of readers, make a video about their books, and then return the books to their lockers. I […]

January 31

The Books My Students Are Reading (January 2020) by Colby Sharp

Spending the day with a group of fifth grade readers each day is magical. The love of story they have in their hearts gives me hope for the world. Each month, when they go to recess, I ask them to leave the book they are currently reading in a pile by the door. During my […]

January 27

A Book About a Book: Alice by Heart by Steven Sater

For a long time, books were my everything.  To be fair, I had a rather unusual childhood.  Bedridden due to respiratory ailments, I was regularly shuffled from home to the hospital, and was rarely allowed out — rarely even attended school.  But my mother, who’d returned to college to complete her degree, used to read […]

January 24

DON’T LEAVE SPORTS BOOKS OUT OF THE GAME! FOR SOME STUDENTS, THEY ARE A WINDOW TO THE WORLD AND A SPARK FOR LIFELONG READING by Andrew Maraniss

When I was five years old, my grandfather mailed me my first set of baseball cards. I remember sitting on the floor of my parents’ apartment in New Jersey, sorting the cards in different ways – one day by team, the next by color. And my parents tell me I learned to read by devouring […]

January 22

Because of Winn-Dixie Turns 20! by Colby Sharp

Kate DiCamillo’s Because of Winn-Dixie turns 20 years old this year. It is one of my all-time favorite middle grade novels. The idea that kids that had this book read aloud to them when they were kids, are now reading it aloud to their own kids/students, makes my heart happy. Last week, I called Kate […]

January 21

No Matter Who You Are, You Can Achieve Remarkable Things by Joseph Elliott

When I was fifteen, I trekked from the west coast of Scotland to the east coast – a similar journey to that made by the characters in the book – with nothing but a tent, a sleeping bag, and a (much needed) waterproof coat. When it stopped raining long enough for me to appreciate the […]

January 01

The 2019 Nerdies: Middle Grade Fiction Books Announced by Colby Sharp

I LOVE middle grade fiction! For so many young readers, the books they read in upper elementary and middle school become the books that they hold in their hearts forever. I believe that the books on this list are some of those forever books. I am excited to announce the 2019 Middle Grade Fiction Nerdies! […]

December 20

Books My Fifth Graders Are Reading On Winter Break by Colby Sharp

The two week break that I get each year in the winter is one of the most magical reading times of the year. I love sitting next to our Christmas tree with a cup of coffee and a great book. We spend a lot of time in my fifth grade classroom getting ready for two […]