September 09

10 Books for the Jewish Fall Holidays by Stacey Shubitz

  Some people think Chanukah is the most important Jewish holiday since it is typically celebrated in December. Many Jewish children deem it significant since they receive presents, often one on each of Chanukah’s eight nights, on this holiday. Now that I’m a fully-grown person (who doesn’t give or receive gifts on every night of […]

September 08

Pets & Poetry by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong

As we watch the news reports of the impact of hurricanes, flooding, and storms across our country, we’re united in our concern for neighbors or strangers affected by these disasters. Scenes of help and rescue are inspiring, and glimpses of pets reunited with their families are heartwarming and reassuring. At times like these, the beloved […]

September 07

Looking Back, Looking Forward by Sheila Greenwald

I started illustrating books for children in 1956 and began to write them in 1975. As a freelancer involved with many publishing houses, I had an outsider’s view of quickly changing styles, rules, and acceptable content. The pendulum swing of change seemed faster and wider as time went on. Children’s book department offices in the […]

September 05

My Inspiration for Elsie Mae Has Something to Say by Nancy J. Cavanaugh

So, who ever heard of the Okefenokee Swamp?  Well about twenty years ago, I hadn’t; but today I’m celebrating pub day for my book, Elsie Mae Has Something to Say, which takes place in the Okefenokee Swamp in the 1930’s.   So how do you go from not even knowing about a place to writing […]

September 04

An Ode to the Books of My Childhood . . . And to the Ones I Missed by Maggie Bokelman

In the box of things my mother saved from my childhood is an “about me” book written and illustrated by my third-grade self. On one page, a stick figure with a creepy grin and no nose is stretched out on a couch holding a book; nearby is an enthusiastically polka-dotted window. The text reads, “I […]

September 03

How Parental Guilt Syndrome Led to The Adventures of Caveboy by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen

I know that I’m often a disappointment to my family. They’ll tell you something different – they’re good people who love me and don’t want me to feel badly. But I know in my heart that I fail them from time to time. Sometimes, when I’ve had to work, I didn’t make it to every […]

September 02

Letting Go by Kim Hole

Reinventing Intervention. This statement described my goal this past school year. After 7 years as a K-6 reading specialist I knew things had to change. I had just sent 6th graders off that started with me in kindergarten, those student who for various reasons needed on-going reading support. In 7 years those students’ views of […]

September 01


The dictionary defines adventure as engaging in typically hazardous and exciting activity, especially the exploration of unknown territory.  Minus the words, “typically hazardous,” I believe that’s an apt definition of research.  As a writer of historical nonfiction, I’m usually on an adventure into someone’s life or the details of an event.  I move into different […]

August 31

No longer hidden from history: The Life of Vivien Thomas, Medical Pioneer by Therese Nagi

Hidden historical pioneers who overcame great odds grab my attention, but not usually medical ones. However, Gwendolyn Hooks’s picture book Tiny Stitches – The Life of Medical Pioneer Vivien Thomas, hooked me with Thomas’s perseverance to realize his dream. The biography begins with illustrator, Colin Bootman’s muted water color of a studious Thomas in a […]

August 30

Cover Reveal: Between the Lines by Nikki Grimes

Fifteen years have gone by since the release of Bronx Masquerade. I’ve published many books in that time span, but none have diminished the pull of Mr. Ward’s classroom. Through the magic of literature, mere months have passed since we were last in Mr. Ward’s room, where open-mike poetry readings changed the culture of the […]