Tag Archives: Donna Gephart

October 04

WE CAN’T ALL AFFORD GOOD TOILET PAPER: WHY YOU AND YOUR STUDENTS NEED TO READ STORIES ABOUT KIDS WHO STRUGGLE FINANCIALLY by Donna Gephart

Growing up in a tiny row house in Northeast Philadelphia with my single, working mom, my older sister and I couldn’t afford reduced-price lunch tickets at school. They cost 40 cents a piece. So every Friday, we stood in line to be handed a strip of five bright orange tickets, which entitled us to free […]

October 04

Where Are the Introverts–in Your Books and in Your Classroom by Donna Gephart

Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Or something in between? An ambivert? Before researching for my book, Abby, Tried and True, I’d have told you I’m an extrovert with a sprinkle of introvert thrown in for good measure.  Was I ever wrong! After reading articles and watching Susan Cain’s wildly popular 2012 TedTalk, The […]

May 17

WHY BOOKS ABOUT HARD TOPICS ARE ESSENTIAL by Donna Gephart

            I had a secret fear when I attended Solis-Cohen Elementary School, which I carried with me every day, along with my books. My classmates, I was convinced, would tease me for wearing the same thing to school every day because I owned only two pair of pants and a few tops. Then I borrowed […]

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,” […]

December 03

Empathy and Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus: An Interview with Dusti Bowling by Donna Gephart

One of the superpowers of books is helping readers grow their empathy skills. While all books invite you to walk in someone else’s shoes, certain ones accomplish that on a grand scale, like Dusti Bowling’s Insignifcant Events in the Life of a Cactus. I relished my time spent in the flowered ballet flats of Aven […]

March 03

ONE THING HAS THE POWER TO CHANGE THE WORLD by Donna Gephart

  Some days I’m a black man marching in the 1960’s in a hostile town in the South.  Other days I’m a boy living on a reservation, trying to get a decent education at the “white” school despite myriad obstacles placed in my path.  Still other days, I’m a girl growing up in Iran during […]

September 30

Share Bravely by Donna Gephart

When our son, Andrew, was about eleven, I found a book he was going to read: Jumper by Steven Gould. I read the first couple pages. “Uh, NO!” The opening scene was about a boy being abused by his father – his father with a very large buckle on the belt that was in his […]

May 26

MIRRORS, WINDOWS AND . . . PENGUINS by Donna Gephart

Here’s what I didn’t have when I was growing up in our tiny row house in Philadelphia:  a dad who lived with us (my parents divorced when I was really young), enough money to buy even reduced price lunch tickets at school (they cost a whopping $.40 a day, so my sister and I received […]

September 09

Rocks at My Head by Donna Gephart

The day Frankie Hammer launched rocks at the back of my head all the way home from school, I charged up the steps to our Philadelphia row home, jammed the key on the string around my neck into the lock and hurried inside.  While Frankie laughed, I slammed the door closed and leaned against it, […]

Dodge Ball by Donna Gephart

What does gym class in my day have to do with reading (and writing) today? Sometimes, a lot. When I took gym (not P.E.), Mr. Rizzo at Solis-Cohen Elementary School blew his whistle and made us climb a thick rope suspended from the ceiling – or in my case, hang there helplessly, while my arms […]