Author Archive

Raising Chickens : Urban Farming for the Intermediate Grades

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The term “urban farming” usually brings up visions of gardens, especially vegetable gardens, in backyards and containers and even on rooftops. Chickens might not seem a good topic for an article on urban… Continue reading

We have a new baby! Hurray?

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Adding a new baby to the family is a wonderful experience…unless, of course, you are the older brother or sister. This picture was snapped at the moment that my older son Alex met… Continue reading

Back to School Angst

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Do you remember your very first day of school? The bus forgot to pick me up on my first day of kindergarten in the Baldwin-Woodville school district, and my mom had to drive… Continue reading

Mental Illness Fiction for High and Middle School

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My last post was a review of Neal Shusterman’s Challenger Deep, a story about a teen struggling through his first schizophrenic experience. With the prevalence of news stories on mental illness, I realize… Continue reading

Mental Illness in Challenger Deep

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Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman. 9780061134111. 2015. Gr 9-12. My older son, Alex, was born 27 years ago around the end of April, and by my first Mother’s Day, I was headed deep… Continue reading

Little Critters Are Beautiful! (Well, Most of Them.)

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Little critters are fascinating…and beautiful, too.  Yes, they are!  When I first saw the mosaics of the wonderful artist Christopher Marley, I thought that he had painted his bugs before arranging them.  Real… Continue reading

Planting the Seeds : Gardening Books for PK-5

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I live in Minnesota, and most people up here are thinking about starting their gardens. Only thinking about it, mind you—it’s still only the first part of April. One year I remember being… Continue reading

Getting Ready for April is Poetry Month

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April is National Poetry Month, and it is just around the corner! I’ve found quite a few excellent poetry titles that have been published since last April, and picked out a few to… Continue reading

Reading the Alex Winners

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Because of my job as a collection development librarian for Mackin, I don’t have much time to read adult books—and so I don’t usually even try to predict the Alex winners. Most years… Continue reading

Family Traditions in Picture Books

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I am a very nostalgic person. When I take people on a tour of my house, I am most proud of the objects that have special memories attached to them. For instance, the… Continue reading