January 01

The 2020 Nerdies: Middle Grade Fiction Announced by Colby Sharp

Middle grade fiction is my jam. Each and every year it is the bulk of what I read. I can’t get enough of the unforgettable characters, the captivating stories, and the way that these books tug at my heart strings. In 2020, I didn’t just love middle grade fiction, I needed it. Many of the […]

December 31

The 2020 Nerdies: Long Form Nonfiction Announced by Carol Jago and Donalyn Miller

The world shrank in 2020. Many kids lost connections and opportunities to pursue their interests. The global shutdown because of the COVID-19 pandemic closed schools and libraries, cancelled after school programs and field trips, and ended or postponed indefinitely many enrichment opportunities. High quality, engaging nonfiction remains a powerful way to keep the world open–through […]

December 30

The 2020 Nerdies: Poetry and Novels in Verse Announced by Heidi Mordhorst

CHALLENGE. Every good book–even nowadays a poetry collection–needs a compelling challenge for the characters or for the reader.  In this year’s Nerdy Award winners, poets capture our central human challenge: becoming and being true to ourselves, claiming our identity, resisting the limits of easy stereotypes and assumptions.  Whatever “they” may say or believe, these books […]

December 29

The 2020 Nerdies: Graphic Novels Announced by Katherine Sokolowski

Every year I am filled with gratitude when I find this list of winners in my email inbox from Donalyn Miller. It gives me a chance to sit in my living room over our holiday break, pouring over titles. I see classroom favorites as well as books I’m unfamiliar with. It often finds me placing […]

December 28

The 2020 Nerdies: Early Readers and Chapter Books Announced by Alyson Beecher

Sometimes I wonder how to tackle the category of Early Readers and Chapter Books. Authors, publishers, teachers and librarians all define these books in different ways. Though these books fall within this category, they, also, fall into a variety of genres and formats. It may begin with something as simple as a basic reader with […]

December 27

The 2020 Nerdies: Nonfiction Picture Books Announced by Lynsey Burkins

Nonfiction Picture Books can bring about a feeling of wonder and thirst to know more in ways a traditional nonfiction text may not. The pictures coupled with narrative and facts allows readers to dig in and dream. Maybe see things in ways they haven’t before and learn in ways that are pleasurable. This year’s picks […]

December 26

THE 2020 NERDIES: FICTION PICTURE BOOKS ANNOUNCED BY JOHN SCHU

Happy Saturday! I’m overjoyed to kick off the tenth annual Nerdy Book Club Awards. First up is fiction picture books! A GIGANTIC thank-you to everyone who nominated titles. Congratulations to this year’s winners! A Gift for Amma: Market Day in India by Meera Sriram; illustrated by Mariona Cabassa “One cannot think of India without thinking […]

December 21

Cover Reveal: June Almeida, Virus Detective! The Woman Who Discovered the First Human Coronavirus by Suzanne Slade

    Without a doubt, the world was turned upside down by coronavirus this year. When news of this strange virus broke early last spring, I was shocked by how quickly Covid-19 seemed to be spreading across the globe. Grappling to understand the situation, many questions filled my mind. As a children’s author, I could only […]

December 20

Do You Want to Join a Book Club? by Donalyn Miller

I’ve been open about my inability to read much during the initial pandemic shutdown last spring. My anxiety was out of control and I couldn’t focus. Working in my flowerbeds and writing helped me find some joy and calm, but my reading life consisted of news articles and planting guides. Sometimes, readers don’t read much. […]

December 18

What Are Your Winter Break Reading Plans? – by Colby Sharp

I always love reading, but there is something special about reading during winter break. More than ever, educators need to take time to read whatever they want for a couple of weeks. Teaching in 2020 has been quite the adventure, so please take some time to read: romance novels, magazines, the latest book in your […]