April 26

It’s Time for a #VirtualFieldTrip to the Everywhere Book Fest! by Anna E. Jordan

There were plenty of things about field trips in the “before times” that were difficult. Budgets for busses were minimal, permissions slips never came back, charging for events magnified inequities between students, and chaperones were often hard to find. Even so, we know that authentic experiences with experts inspire children and give classroom learning context. Our […]

April 23

When the Pandemic Came to Town by Clare Vanderpool

So here we are. Hunkered down. Social distancing. Sheltering in place. What now?   Many of us have turned to books. Reading is kind of like sheltering in place. It’s something we do mostly alone, but something we are also doing in common. We come to our books from different places. A lunch break. A […]

April 22

The Last Night in the Nursery by Nicole C. Kear

When my son was twelve years old, he became nostalgic for his childhood. “How can you miss being a kid,” I asked him, “when you’re still a kid?” “Because,” he said. “I know it’s about to end.” At first this sentiment seemed unusual to me. I thought kids couldn’t wait to grow up. If the […]

April 21

Bringing Harold Home: The Transformative Magic of Reading Aloud by Kara LaReau

In elementary school, during our weekly visit to the library, our librarian, Mrs. Vaughan, would read to us. (Yes, I still remember her name, even after forty-four years.) The first book I heard and saw her read was Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson. I remember this because the experience changed me, and […]

April 20

Ground Zero Cover Reveal by Alan Gratz

On September 11, 2001, I was an eighth-grade English teacher in Tennessee. When news of the attacks in New York City hit our school community, we collected the students in the gym, wheeling in blurry TVs with bad reception as all of us—teachers and students—struggled to understand what was happening. No one had a smartphone. […]

April 18

Movie Night with the 90-Second Newberys! by Aaron Zenz

Grab some popcorn.   Grab some kids.   I want to introduce you to one of the most joyous celebrations of children’s literature I know.   For 9 years, the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival has inspired readers and young film-makers around the nation.  The challenge issued: for kids to create videos telling the entire story […]

April 16

A Bit About Wink – Rob Harrell

I was thirty-six when I was diagnosed with a crazy-rare cancer in the lacrimal gland above my right eye. It was the 25th reported case of its kind at the time. I’ve had a lifelong knack for catching the rare stuff. I won’t go into the malaria or the worm in my foot on our […]

April 15

YOU CAN FIND YOUR WAY: Map Reveal and Excerpt of QUINTESSENCE by Jess Redman

When I was twelve years old, my family moved from Philadelphia to West Palm Beach, and my panic attacks returned. I had been having panic attacks off and on since I was nine, the first one breaking like a rogue wave inside of me one night as I lay in bed, adrift on a sea […]

April 14

This Boy and the Myth of the Happy Novel by Lauren Myracle

My editor, annoying though rightly, has been telling me for the last twenty years that there’s no such thing as “a happy book.” Meaning, a book in which the characters just go along doing their thing, tra la la, without, ya know, having their parents get divorced or losing the love of their life. Or […]

April 10

Picture Books in Grief and Crisis: A COVID19 Reflection by Oona Marie Abrams

On April 3rd, my mother-in-law died due to COVID19 complications. Here in New Jersey, flags are flying at half-staff to honor those who have succumbed to the virus, a number which now exceeds that of state residents who died on September 11, 2001.    Prior to sheltering in place with my family, and long before […]