April 25

The Story of Sarah Rising by Ty Chapman

Writing a book is never easy and creating my debut picture book SARAH RISING was no exception. When the thought first struck me to write a picture book about the racial uprising that followed the murder of George Floyd, I was in my home in Minneapolis, and events were still actively playing out. Coincidently, I was also in […]

April 20

Omar Rising and Reading Aloud by Aisha Saeed

Since childhood, I’ve loved losing myself in stories. Every weekend my parents would cart my brothers and I to our local library and we’d haul home as many books as we could carry. There’s something special about grabbing a good book and diving into a different world all without leaving the comforts of your home. […]

April 19

IF I TRY TO BE LIKE SOMEONE ELSE, WHO WILL BE LIKE ME? (Yiddish proverb) by Nora Raleigh Baskin

A Very Different Kind of Glossary (in no particular order): B’nai Mitzvah: “The plural form for the Jewish coming of age ceremony for boys or a mix of girls and boys. The plural form for girls is b’not mitzvah.  Don’t say bar mitzvahs or bat mitzvahs unless you want to make your Hebrew School teacher […]

April 15


Cooking and eating is something we all have in common, and it’s something kids easily relate to. Reading about food from around the globe and cooking traditions is a great way to teach children to learn about other cultures, embrace and celebrate differences across race, ethnicity, gender, and appearance. Here are top ten multicultural children’s […]

April 14

The Art of “Getting Through” by Lauren Wolk

Nobody thinks it odd to listen to a song more than once. To revisit a movie or watch reruns on TV. To read a poem again and again over time. To look often at a painting, or a photograph, or a sculpture. Quite the contrary. Part of the pleasure is knowing what’s to come – looking forward […]

April 13

Not Necessarily Keats by Linda Williams Jackson

“A shack with only a dozen or so books is an unlikely place to discover a young Keats.” – Alice Walker, In Search of our Mothers’ Gardens A dozen or so books? I doubt that many books could be found in the shacks in which I grew up. I actually only recall having one book […]

April 09

Crafting Story to Generate Empathy by Heather Mateus Sappenfield

America is wading through a divisive era. Theories abound as to why, and social media—the great forum of false fronts, of defacing the individual, of stripping away our shared humanity—stands as culprit in many of them. Social media’s great irony is that many of us wander there seeking connection. The work of middle-grade readers is […]

April 08

Cover Reveal: The Edge of In Between by Lorelei Savaryn

Check out the excerpt of the middle grade retelling of The Secret Garden, available April 19, 2022 from Viking BYR. Lorelei Savaryn (loreleisavaryn.com) is an author of creepy, magical stories for children. She holds a BA in creative writing and is a former elementary teacher and instructional coach. When she isn’t writing, she spends her […]

April 07

Those Kids from Fawn Creek: A Conversation with Erin Entrada Kelly by Maggie Bokelman

Newbery medalist Erin Entrada Kelly wants kids to know that they matter. Her latest book, Those Kids From Fawn Creek (Greenwillow, March 8,2022), explores many of the same big ideas as her previous books: friendship, belonging, self-acceptance, and empathy. But unlike her earlier titles, Fawn Creek features an entire ensemble of viewpoint characters. Each one […]

April 06

Books: My Connecting Thread by Christine McDonnell

I can’t imagine my life without books. I am a reader, writer, teacher, librarian, bookbinder, and bookseller— books connect them all. In grade school in the 1950s, at the beginning of every year we were given school books to bring home and cover with brown paper from grocery bags. My best friend and I always […]