Author Archive

2016 Caldecott Award Hopefuls

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The Youth Media awards are early this year, and I’m just not ready! Last year I used all of January 2015 to read books that were on mock award lists. This year the… Continue reading

Science Fiction and Dystopias for MS and HS

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Speculative fiction is a fairly new term that encompasses several genres that have one thing in common: their settings are not real. Not just unfamiliar, but really unreal. They take place on other… Continue reading

Fairy Tales and Fantasies : Original and Retold

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I honestly will read—and enjoy—almost anything, but fantasies have been my favorite since I first read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe in fifth grade. Here are some of my favorite 2015… Continue reading

Middle & High School Horror : Read with the Lights On!

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In my last post, I offered suggestions for scary books for middle schoolers. You can see that it’s been a good year for horror because I have even more super scary books to… Continue reading

Spirits & Ghosts in Middle School Fiction

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Today’s Halloween attire runs the gamut from fairy tale characters, superheroes, and smiling pumpkins, to monsters, classic ones like vampires and witches as well as current characters such as Sulley from Monster’s Inc.… Continue reading

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