April 14

GBF-Literally the Place to Be on May 20th! by Melissa McDonald

We don’t celebrate many book festivals on this site, but taking children to an event that celebrates reading and books is a can’t miss opportunity. Nothing excites kids more than meeting authors, learning about books, and communing with other readers. The Gaithersburg (Maryland) Book Festival on May 20th is an upcoming event for folks in […]

April 13

Growing Up Amid Unrest in Palestinian Writer Ibtisam Barakat’s ‘Balcony on the Moon’ by Kate Hannigan

One of the most endearing images in Ibtisam Barakat’s beautifully written memoir Balcony on the Moon: Coming of Age in Palestine (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) is when 13-year-old Ibtisam and her little sister, Mona, watch Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci win gold medals at the 1976 Olympics.   “On the inside of our closet, Mona and […]

April 12

The Power of Representation by Ellen Oh

When I was little, I loved books so much I would eat them. Literally. Yes, I found the taste of paper as delightful as candy. So it was no surprise to anyone that I became an avid reader, although it took a while to break the paper-eating habit.   Librarians are the best people in […]

April 11

The Nine Lives of a Children’s Book Author by Susanna Reich

A cat may have nine lives, but a children’s book author can have more. With each book, I  live an entirely new life. This is true when I write fiction, and perhaps even more so when I write biography. I become completely immersed, like an actor inhabiting a role.   As a novelist, I conjure […]

Make New Friends, but Keep the Old by Michelle Blanchard Ardillo

Over Christmas break, I gave my 7th and 8th grade students a one-sentence homework assignment: read a good book. I told them it didn’t matter if it was long or short, above or below grade level, fiction or non-fiction. Just read a good book.  Upon their return to school, I asked them to write on […]

April 09

Desertification by Donalyn Miller

Our oldest granddaughter, Emma, is eight. She looks like just her mother did at the same age. Long limbs accessorized with a rotation of Band-Aids that move from one knee to the next. Wind-blown dark blonde hair that needs brushing. Piercing blue eyes that have already mastered the skeptical shade throw passed down through generations […]

April 08

Donating Character-Developing, Idea-Generating, World-Building Books: The Beginning by Rhonda McCormack

In the mid-1970s, my older sister convinced my parents to buy me a monthly subscription to the Dr. Seuss Beginning Reader club. When a book arrived, we’d crack the spine and turn the pages, lingering over the rhymes, humor, and art. As the 70s gave way to the 80s, my sister invited me to read […]

April 07

What I Love About the Cover for THE WAR I FINALLY WON by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

So—drumroll, please—today is the day you I have been waiting for: the official cover reveal for my forthcoming novel THE WAR I FINALLY WON. Cover reveals are kind of funky in that they assume that readers are waiting in such breathless anticipation of the release of the book that the first sight of the cover […]

April 06

Why Poetry? by Susan Knell

“One of the richest gifts we can give children is the gift of poetry,” as stated by the great children’s poet/anthologist Lee Bennett Hopkins  Sharing poetry is such an easy thing to do, but many times neglected by teachers who think they have to “teach” poetry and therefore feel inadequate to do so. However, they […]

April 05

Travel Partners by Sarah Dooley

We played the alphabet game. We played tic-tac-toe on the backs of gas receipts. We played make-believe about the houses along the road. We read to each other, handed snacks back and forth, and sang with the radio. We argued over who had it first and who took who’s spot and who started it. We […]