October 15

Lights in the Dark: balancing honesty and optimism in The Ice House by Monica Sherwood

I never set out to write a children’s book when I began drafting The Ice House. In fact, when I was a kid, I hated anything marketed specifically toward children.  The whole concept seemed to suggest that because I was young, I couldn’t handle serious things, and I took myself incredibly (far too) seriously. This […]

October 14

On Monsters by Anne Ursu

I have a fair few monsters in the books I’ve written, and something I’ve noticed about them is that monsters tend to crawl out of places societies have tried to keep hidden. After the Brett Kavanaugh hearings I desperately needed to find something to say to young people about power and patriarchy but I could […]

October 13

When a Teacher Becomes a Peer by Kate McGovern

It was the first session of an Advanced Novel in Progress workshop at GrubStreet, the writing center in Boston where I’ve taken many classes and met many writerly friends over the years. I was sitting at the long table in the middle of the room, waiting for the rest of the class to drift in. […]

October 12

The Story Behind Sorry For Your Loss by Joanne Levy

Hi again, Nerdy Book Club friends. In case you missed it, I was here about a year ago, talking about my book FISH OUT OF WATER. That book touched on toxic masculinity and was a gentle but frank look at gender stereotypes while encouraging kids to find and follow their passions. Today, I’m here to […]

October 11

ASSASSINATIONS AND DIRTY HANDS – AMBUSHED!: The Assassination Plot Against President Garfield by Gail Jarrow

Early Friday afternoon, November 22, 1963, I was sitting at my desk in Mrs. Wonderlich’s classroom. One of the boys brought a message from our elementary school’s office. The news was on the radio, he said. President Kennedy has been shot. The world was transfixed by the events of the weekend––first the death of the […]

October 10

Oh, the Places You’ll Go (with books)! by G. Neri

What I love about books is that they take you to worlds beyond your imagination. What I love about being an author of books is that it literally takes you to worlds beyond your imagination. Like the time I found myself in the Ural Mountains of Russia, in the middle of winter, looking for a […]

October 09

Reading and Writing sitting in a tree, D-R-E-A-M-I-N-G by Claire McFall

I grew up in rural Scotland. Get your mini-violin out, because this is about to get a little pitiful. I moved from England when I was ten (on my tenth birthday, in fact) and I very much had the wrong accent for the new world I was dropped into. It was a small place, everyone […]

October 08

Asking Kids Unanswerable Questions by Alex Perry

I am not nearly as entertaining as I think I am. For four years I dreaded seeing my sixth-grade student’s faces slowly glaze over in boredom. Sometimes, one of them might try to liven things up by throwing something across the room or making creative use of the stapler.   I faced moments of recurring […]

October 07

My Father’s Books by Eugene Yelchin

My father’s books filled the entire wall of our room. We lived in the USSR, in a Soviet-style communal apartment, in which five of us—my parents, my grandmother, my brother, and I—had to share a single room. The room was small, and my father’s books occupied more space than any one of us. My father […]

October 06

Growing Up to Be Superman by Dean Robbins

I was 7 years old, watching TV before bedtime in my footie pajamas. Suddenly, the screen turned blue. Trumpets blared, followed by a whooshing sound. Voices cried: “Look, up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s…Superman!” There, hands on his hips, stood a guy with a rippling cape and a big red […]