August 06

History’s Beating Heart, in Family Heroes and Superheroes by Kate Hannigan

“She died of the Spanish flu, leaving nine children behind.” “He boarded a boat in Derry after his younger brother joined the Irish Republican Army.” “She was a maid like all the other Irish immigrants. They called them Bridgets.”   For lots of people, history is boring and gray-toned. But for me, it’s always been […]

August 05


As a Chicagoan, I find it especially rewarding to write about Chicago’s own remarkable residents. And certainly one of the most remarkable is Gwendolyn Brooks, who among her many accolades was the first Black person to win a Pulitzer Prize.   I’m thrilled that the Nerdy Book Club is sharing the cover reveal of my […]

August 03

Reading is a Forever Thing by Brooks Spencer

As part of a High School English conversation, a couple of teachers were overhead saying “My students won’t read outside the classroom, so there is no need to assign independent reading. It’s a waste of time.” They felt their classroom novels were enough. I don’t understand how you teach English without expecting students to read […]

August 01

“Why Are You So Sad?” Kids, Feelings, and Fiction by Rebecca Donnelly

When I was around seven or eight, people often asked me why I was so sad. These people were mostly adults but sometimes children. At that point in my life, I had a few things to be sad about: my parents were getting a divorce, and I had just moved across an ocean from England, […]

July 31

The Story Behind Unstoppable Me! by Susan Verde

Thank you, Nerdy Book Club for the chance to share a bit of the backstory for my newest picture book Unstoppable Me! Many of my books come from things I have experienced as a kid or have seen and dealt with firsthand as a teacher and a parent and this is no different. But THIS […]

July 29

Reading For Them by Alicia Abdul

A few years ago I wrote a blog post on my professional site called “I’m the lucky one” bidding goodbye to five special students that I had the pleasure of being their librarian for four years of high school. Several of them I still maintain regular contact with and one in particular still revolves around […]

July 28

Maybe He Just Likes You by Barbara Dee | Review by Colby Sharp

I love children’s literature. I read a lot of books written for kids, and I love trying to convince educators and my students to try some of the books that capture my heart. Barbara Dee’s latest book just might be the most unforgettable book I have read in ages. I finished it on a plane […]

July 27

Graphic Novel Geeks Only: Create Your Own After-School Club by Sarah FitzHenry and Megan Grant

If you’re a reading teacher, librarian, or parent, then you probably already know: graphic novels are all the rage. They’re fun to read, they’re deep and evocative, and they engage all kinds of readers at first glance. If you’re not convinced yet that graphic novels are real and worthwhile texts to bring into your classroom, […]

July 24

Talking to Kids About Immigration by Lisa Schroeder

In the second grade, I became friends with Matai. She was so fun and funny, I loved spending time with her. At some point during our friendship, we discovered Amy Grant and fell in love with her music. And her mom let us watch scary movies, even though I wasn’t sure I really liked scary […]

July 23

Cover Reveal for A Place at the Table by Saadia Faruqi and Laura Shovan

Laura: This book started with a question: What does it mean to be an American when your parent is an immigrant? It’s an identity I struggled with as a child. Was I more American and Jewish, like my father, or did I feel most at home in my mother’s British culture? First generation American kids […]