May 30

Squint by Chad Morris and Shelly Brown – Review by Susie Highley

Yes, the cover of Squint is very intriguing and appropriate: a bright green textured background that blurs out of focus, with a large pair of glasses and… a superhero?   Flint Keith Minett is in a race against time: he is nearing the deadline to finish his entry for a comic book contest at the […]

May 28

“HEY, YOU GOT YOUR FICTION IN MY NON-FICTION!” OR TWO GREAT TASTES THAT TASTE GREAT TOGETHER: THE TRUTH OR LIE SERIES by Erica S. Perl

I’ve always been a fiction writer. You might even call me a fiction snob. But whenever I do author visits, I meet some kids who prefer non-fiction. Kids who dismiss fiction as “made up.”   I usually go to great lengths to show them that fiction can be every bit as fun/interesting/cool. To write fiction, […]

May 27

A Year in Read-Alouds by Carrie Rodusky

  Another school year is ending and that is always time for us teachers to reflect on what went well, what we can change, and so on. The one thing I always look back on is my year in read- alouds. It could possibly be my favorite part of the day. Not because I like […]

May 25

The Power of a Name: A Top Ten List by Amber McMath

On the first day of school while students are reading silently around the room, I scoot around to each one and we introduce ourselves. I left my interaction with Shouacua feeling defeated because, even after listening to her say her name several times, she said I wasn’t pronouncing it correctly.  I was one of at […]

May 24

Be Yourself, with Silliness and Self-love by Aidan Cassie

I love myself, just as I am.   Well, okay, maybe not everything about myself…   I mean, I wish I weren’t such a talented procrastinator (yup, just got sidetracked “researching” TED talks on procrastination), I’m not too fond being diabetic (I’m slightly “bionic,” but not in the cool, Six Million Dollar Man kinda way), […]

May 23

Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan – Review by Shilpa Mehta

Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan is a compilation of stories tied together in a timeless thread by the power of music. The harmonica, featured prominently on the cover and the book’s spine, travels through time and across continents and oceans through the hands of three magnanimous children, and brings to each comfort and the confidence […]

May 21

A TASTE FOR CHOCOLATE: REVIVING GRANDPA CACAO by Elizabeth Zunon

I always took chocolate for granted. As a child growing up in the Ivory Coast, we always had a chocolate bar or two nestled in the cold of the refrigerator door away from the tropical heat. We made cupcakes and chocolate mousse just for fun: “gateaux au chocolat” on special occasions and “pains au chocolat” […]

May 20

JERKS ON A PLANE – WHY BOYS NEED TO READ MORE by Donna Gephart

It happened on a plane. On a plane! I tend to board at the end when I have an assigned seat. Less time on the crowded plane feels right to me, and I rarely need overhead storage. A bearded man next to me had the same idea. “Why spend more time on a crowded plane,” […]

May 17

Turning Readers into Writers by Carrie Rodusky

I stumbled upon this rock while walking my dog through the woods. It is about to be a creative writing prompt for my upper elementary students. Who knows where it will go.     As an ELA teacher I have to find a way to include reading, grammar, language, and writing in a 60 minute […]

May 16

Forward Me Back to You by Mitali Perkins – Review by Kacy Smith Paterson

Farrar Straus Giroux/FSG Books for Young Readers 432 Pages, Ages 14-18   Mitali Perkin’s new novel, Forward Me Back to You, is an epic and layered read of identity and family, similar to her earlier works, such as You Bring the Distant Near and Tiger Boy. The narrative encompasses multiple characters, families and countries, which […]