May 16

Moon Shadow and the Magic of Author-Teacher-Student Collaboration by Erin Downing, Jason Lewis, and Lynn Flynn

Today’s Nerdy post is a joint essay from an author and two teachers about editorial collaboration. We wanted to share an example of how authors, teachers, and students can work together for mutual benefit. Our hope is that by writing this post, other authors and teachers might connect to create similar experiences for more student […]

May 15


When I was a kid, I loved science. It was so relevant. It helped me make connections to the rest of the world, like the time my second-grade class designed an experiment to understand the concept of one million by making Xs on graph paper during our free time. (It took us forever!) Or when […]

May 14

Celebrating Nerdom With Mike Merschel’s ‘Revenge of the Star Survivors’ – post by Kate Hannigan

As a nerd, someone married to a nerd, and a mom raising three little nerds, I’ve always felt among my people at Nerdy Book Club. When I had the chance to read Revenge of the Star Survivors (Holiday House, April 2017) by Michael Merschel, I knew this was the perfect place to share it. It’s […]

May 13


When I teach writing I say, “If you want to write, read.” Taking that motto to heart, these ten books have guided me as I’ve written HALF-TRUTHS, my first young adult novel.   BLUE by Joyce Moyer Hostetter   In Hickory, North Carolina in 1944, Ann Fay Honeycutt assumes responsibilities after her father leaves for […]

May 11

Well, That Was Awkward by Rachel Vail – Review by Kari Riedel

Middle school.  Just the words can evoke very specific images and feelings for many people. Laughter with BFFs. Drama with BFFs. Awkward first crushes. Burgeoning independence.  Added responsibility. Homework. Stress.  As the parent of a current middle schooler, I often wonder how middle school is different for kids today than it was for me. How […]

May 09

Female Authors Aren’t Funny (And Other Lies You May Have Heard) by Betsy Bird

I poll children for fun and profit.  That makes it sound worse than it is, though, so I’ll endeavor to explain.   Our story begins when I was an innocent children’s librarian working the desk at one of the lovely branches of New York Public Library.  The kids that walked through my doors were smart […]

I Found It! Using the “It” Factor in Booktalks by Amanda Sass-Henke

Anyone can share a book by stating the title and author, reading an excerpt, or sharing a glimpse into the plot, but booktalks require more than the basics. There’s an art to selling a book, and it requires the booktalker to capitalize on the “it” factor. In a booktalk, the “it” factor is an appealing […]

May 07

Love and Books by Donalyn Miller

  Yesterday, Don, Sarah, and I drove three hours to Cedar Park (near Austin) for Don’s sister and brother-in-law’s 40th wedding anniversary celebration. The trip got off to a rocky start. Sarah was grouchy and argued with me about her outfit of blue jeans, Gatsby t-shirt, and Converse, which I deemed inappropriate for the occasion. […]

May 06

“E” is for “Entertaining” and “Educational”: Ten Picture Book Biographies Tweens, Teens, and Teachers Will Love! by Maggie Bokelman

Even though the “E” on a picture book spine stands for “Everybody,” sometimes it’s mistaken for “Easy.” That’s unfortunate, because many picture books are complex and thought-provoking. In their 2009 book, Teaching Literary Elements with Picture Books, Susan Van Zile and Mary Napoli write, “A majority of current picture books are particularly geared for adolescents.” […]

May 04

Undeniably a Powerful Read: An Unstoppable, Underrepresented Hero in Sports History by Shelli Thelen

Incredible. Incredible. Incredible. Moving through the pages of Steve Sheinkin’s new book Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team, I found myself talking to anyone who would listen about this incredible diverse athlete. While I am not a sports fan, I am a fan of stories that reveal the lives of those […]