Nonfiction That Reads Like Fiction: Q&A with Doreen Rappaport

We recently had the opportunity to speak with award-winning author Doreen Rappaport, whose books are known for celebrating multiculturalism, retelling folktales and myths, combining historical facts with intimate storytelling and finding new ways to present the lives of world leaders. We asked specifically about her newest nonfiction title, 42 is Not Just a Number, as well as her research process […]

By |October 10th, 2017|Author Posts + Interviews|0 Comments

Refugee by Alan Gratz: Teaching Empathy in the Classroom

By Alan Gratz

It’s sometimes a challenge to get young people—and adults, for that matter—to care for people different from themselves.

One way we can teach empathy in the classroom is through the teaching of history. We can quote statistics—like the fact that six million European Jews were murdered during the Holocaust, and that half a million […]

By |August 11th, 2017|Author Posts + Interviews|0 Comments

Learning to Tell a Story with Charlie & Mouse

This may sound funny, but Charlie and Mouse actually grew out of Facebook. After my kids were born, I began chronicling each sweet or goofy thing they said or did. My intended audience was (of course) my kids’ grandparents, aunts, and uncles. But after awhile, other people started to comment that these moments were interesting, […]

By |August 1st, 2017|Author Posts + Interviews|0 Comments

Turn Struggling Readers into Striving Readers with Hi-Lo Books

Everyone is a struggling reader. We all struggle when we’re reading out of discourse. For example, I’m considered a proficient reader but if you give me a physics textbook, I’d be a struggling reader.

But, imagine struggling across all discourses. Would you enjoy reading? The answer is no. Nobody likes to do things that they’re not […]

By |June 6th, 2017|Author Posts + Interviews|0 Comments

A Close Reading Example Featuring Passages from Loving vs. Virginia

Close reading—the thoughtful, critical analysis of a text—is a valuable skill for today’s students, but it’s one that requires practice. Here, author Patricia Hruby Powell does a close reading of her new chapter-book-in-verse Loving vs. Virginia (based on the landmark civil rights case that legalized marriage between races). Students can follow along with the story and develop their […]

By |May 26th, 2017|Author Posts + Interviews|0 Comments

Novels are Nutritious by Author Lauren Wolk

Lauren Wolk, author of 2017 Newbery Honor Book Wolf Hollow and the recently published Beyond the Bright Sea, talks about the power of novels in the classroom.

There are all kinds of teachers and all kinds of labels for them. When I taught high school English and Creative Writing, I thought of myself as a “Pragamatic […]

By |May 16th, 2017|Author Posts + Interviews|0 Comments

Take a Field Trip! Over and Under the Pond, and the Magic of Place in Student Writing

Guest blog post from Kate Messner, Over and Under the Pond author

When I was eleven, we moved from the center of my small town out to the country, and my world suddenly felt a lot bigger. The property was fifty-five acres, made up of apple orchards, pine woods, hills, and streams, and I remember the […]

By |May 9th, 2017|Author Posts + Interviews|2 Comments

Celebrating the Journey: Sue Ganz-Schmitt on Space, Planet Kindergarten and the 100th Day of School

When I was in kindergarten, I found my power in story dictation. I was a quiet kid and I didn’t have a voice in my boisterous family. Each week, a volunteer parent sat with me listening intently and typing my words­, like they mattered. I illustrated my work with a free hand (no coloring book […]

By |January 31st, 2017|Author Posts + Interviews|0 Comments

Make Good Choices! Author KA Holt on Writing to Explore Consequences

In my family, it’s a little bit of a joke when I yell, “Make good choices!” as my kids go off to school, or to play with friends. They always shake their heads and laugh, but hopefully my words sink in a little bit. It’s hard to make good choices, especially when you’re growing up […]

By |December 5th, 2016|Author Posts + Interviews|0 Comments

Because of a Book, a Scientist

By Lola M. Schaefer, author of Because of an Acorn (Chronicle Books, 2016) 

I still remember the first book that excited me about science. I was eight years old and the title was Insects. It wasn’t a field guide, but an illustrated children’s book all about the bugs in my backyard: katydids, ladybugs, moths, beetles, butterflies […]

By |October 27th, 2016|Author Posts + Interviews|0 Comments