January 02

THE 2021 NERDIES: YOUNG ADULT FICTION (PART ONE) ANNOUNCED BY A CONVENTION OF NERDS

At this time of year, when “Best Books of 2021” lists pop up daily, we educators and community members cannot forget that it doesn’t matter which books win awards for best children’s and young adult literature if young people never see the books in their schools, libraries or homes. National efforts to censor books in […]

January 01

THE 2021 NERDIES: MIDDLE GRADE FICTION ANNOUNCED BY COLBY SHARP

One of my favorite emails to receive each year is the list of middle grade Nerdies from Donalyn Miller. The first thing I do when I get the list is check to see how many of them that I have read. I’ve read 17 out of the 19 books on the list. The second thing […]

December 31

THE 2021 NERDIES: LONG FORM NONFICTION ANNOUNCED BY DONALYN MILLER

I’ll just admit it–I have probably learned more about history from the children’s and young adult literature I have read since leaving college than anything I learned as a student. Most of the history classes I took relied on filmstrips, textbooks, and lectures to deliver content–told predominately through the points of view of white people […]

December 30

THE 2021 NERDIES: POETRY AND NOVELS IN VERSE ANNOUNCED BY DONALYN MILLER

While many teachers and librarians enjoy sharing poetry with students, many of my middle school students claimed to detest poetry or actively avoided reading it over the years. For some, poetry was silly–like the Shel Silverstein and Jack Prelutsky poems they remembered reading in elementary school. For others, poetry was hard to understand–like the “classic” […]

December 29

THE 2021 NERDIES: GRAPHIC NOVELS ANNOUNCED BY KATHERINE SOKOLOWSKI

Every year I am honored to share the winning books in the graphic novel category for Nerdy Book Club. Donalyn’s email hits my inbox right around Christmas day and it’s my own gift to open it up, see what titles I know, place orders for those I don’t. I am grateful, as always, to the […]

December 28

THE 2021 NERDIES: EARLY READERS AND CHAPTER BOOKS ANNOUNCED BY ALYSON BEECHER

Every year, I look forward to the email from Donalyn asking if I will write a post announcing the winners of the Nerdies Early Readers and Chapter Books. And every year, I scroll back through all of the previously recognized books from this category to see how the books have changed over the years. Though […]

December 27

THE 2021 NERDIES: NONFICTION PICTURE BOOKS ANNOUNCED BY LYNSEY BURKINS

To tell the truth is justice. Each of these nonfiction informational stories tells the truth about history or science that leads to a greater understanding which in my mind is justice. When we understand the workings of the world we are better able to make decisions based on truth and facts. These 15 nonfiction books […]

December 26

THE 2021 NERDIES: FICTION PICTURE BOOKS ANNOUNCED BY JOHN SCHU

Happy Sunday! I’m honored to kick off the eleventh annual Nerdy Book Club Awards. First up is fiction picture books! A HUGE thank-you to everyone who nominated titles. Congratulations to this year’s winners! Bear Is a Bear by Jonathan Stutzman; illustrated by Dan Santat “Jonathan Stutzman’s manuscript for Bear Is a Bear carried a lot of heart […]

December 17

What are your winter break reading plans? by Colby Sharp

Holy smokes! I am so tired. I’m guessing that you are pretty tired, too. If you are an educator you are either on break or pretty darn close to winter break. Congratulations! One of my favorite things about the lead up to a school break is making reading plans. I love watching my fifth graders […]

December 15

Being a Nerd, Weaponizing Hope, and the Art of Being Happy in Bad Times by Preston Norton

2020 was a bad year. I don’t need to tell you this. The four or so years leading up to 2020 were bad in their own way for reasons I probably don’t need to explain. So now here we are, almost all the way through 2021, and still, for whatever reason, everything still feels bad. […]