August 17, 2017

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One in Three: Teen Dating Violence and Michelle Carter – a guest post by author Heather Demetrios

Today we are honored to have Bad Romance author Heather Demetrios with us to talk about teen dating violence. She shares her experiences and thoughts regarding this serious issue and her recent release, Bad Romance. As a young adult author, I think a lot about what it feels like to be young and in love. […]

#FSYALit: From Rejection to Reconciliation: Changing Notions of Faith and Spirituality in LGBTQ YA, a guest post by Rob Bittner

“What I would love to see more of in Queer YA with Christian sub-plots is the ability of characters to reimagine their spirituality—their faith—in ways which incorporate gender and sexual identities, instead of feeling the need to abandon all religious and spiritual components of their identities.” –Rob Bittner   Back in 2015 (was that really […]

#FSYALit: From Rejection to Reconciliation: Changing Notions of Faith and Spirituality in LGBTQ YA, a guest post by Rob Bittner

“What I would love to see more of in Queer YA with Christian sub-plots is the ability of characters to reimagine their spirituality—their faith—in ways which incorporate gender and sexual identities, instead of feeling the need to abandon all religious and spiritual components of their identities.” –Rob Bittner   Back in 2015 (was that really […]

ANSWERED: Burning Question of the Day (#3)

On the question of George eating the vet, you have spoken: What a relief – this question has been answered once and for all, rendering any future debate meaningless. Thank you to everyone who voted. Previously . . . ANSWERED: Burning Question of the Day (#1) ANSWERED: Burning Question of the Day (#2)

The Artful Book Display: Getting It Right

The other day I posted my most popular tweet of all time. I didn’t really mean to but, as with most things on the internet, it’s never the tweet or the post that is most important to you that catches on like wildfire. In this particular case I was at Anderson’s Bookstore in Naperville to […]

Interview: Eric Kallenborn on Graphic Novels in the Classroom

I spoke to Eric Kallenborn when I was researching The People’s Comics: Using the Graphic Format to Teach About Current Events, which is the cover story of this month’s School Library Journal. Eric is an English teacher at Alan B. Shepard High School in Palos Heights, Illinois, and he has a lot to say about […]

Coming Soon (ish) on The Yarn

Travis: There are a lot of great children’s book creators coming up on The Yarn. Here’s a preview: Coming soon . . . pic.twitter.com/GXo9K8o5EV — The Yarn (@theyarnpodcast) August 16, 2017

I Went to a STEAMFest and This is What I Learned

Monday night our local school district – where I live, not where I work – hosted a district wide STEAMFest and I took my family, but I also went to scope things out – as one does. Overall, this was a well crafted event that I would love to host (on a slightly smaller scale) […]

Surprising Jolts of Children’s Literature: Of Bunnies, Cats, Monsters and More

It continues! As ever, folks just can’t seem to write books without slipping references to children’s books into them, left, right, and center. And while it seems an odd exercise to collect these titles, it’s also oddly informative. I’m still trying to piece together a unified theory about why this happens at all. No answers […]

Surprising Jolts of Children’s Literature: Of Bunnies, Cats, Monsters and More

It continues! As ever, folks just can’t seem to write books without slipping references to children’s books into them, left, right, and center. And while it seems an odd exercise to collect these titles, it’s also oddly informative. I’m still trying to piece together a unified theory about why this happens at all. No answers […]

Orientation Inspiration 2017

In years past, I’ve written about orientation and strategies for opening the school year. Check out Orientation Inspiration (2013) and Orientation Attitude (2016). This year, I asked folks in my network about their plans on this Padlet and I scanned the blogs I regularly follow. This year, a couple of very clear trends emerged. Engagement. […]

I Tried to Escape the Bus (and Failed!) – An Escape the Bus Review

Last night, the local school district hosted a STEAMFest (more about this in a different post). One of the events they had during this day was Escape the Bus and I want to make sure everyone knows about this. Escape the Bus is a mobile escape room experience hosted by the iSchool Initiative. It is […]

Review: Two Phoebe and Her Unicorn Books

Unicorn Crossing: Another Phoebe and Her Unicorn Adventure Phoebe and Her Unicorn in The Magic Storm (out October 2017) By Dana Simpson Andrews McMeel Publishing Ages 7-12 Dana Simpson’s Phoebe and Her Unicorn books are delightful stories about a young girl Phoebe, and her unicorn, Marigold. Phoebe is pretty much of an everygirl, while Marigold […]

What’s New in LGBTQIA+ YA August 2017

It’s time for another roundup for new and forthcoming YA (and sometimes not YA) books featuring LGBTQIA+ characters.  The titles I’m including here have LGBTQIA+ main characters as well as secondary characters (in some cases parents), as well as anthologies that include LGBTQIA+ stories. Know of a title I missed in this list? Or know of a […]

Books on Film: Grace Lin on Racist Children’s Books

If you haven’t had a chance yet, make sure you watch this PBS Newshour video with author/illustrator Grace Lin. She talks about how to approach children’s books that contain racist content.

Sunday Reflections: Talking with Teens about Charlottesville

Yesterday I spent a lot of time talking with The Teen about the events that happened in Charlottesville. We listened to a lot of NPR and talked about what we heard. We talked about what we didn’t hear in our church (in the sermon, although the situation was mentioned, our pastor did not explicitly come […]

Sunday Reflections: Talking with Teens about Charlottesville

Yesterday I spent a lot of time talking with The Teen about the events that happened in Charlottesville. We listened to a lot of NPR and talked about what we heard. We talked about what we didn’t hear in our church (in the sermon, although the situation was mentioned, our pastor did not explicitly come […]

A Grief Moderated: Middle Grade Fiction for Young Readers Dealing with Loss – Guest Post by Kerry Sutherland

Most tweens and young teens have experienced death, perhaps of a distant, elderly relative or of a beloved pet. What about those who have lost a parent, sibling, or close friend? When a teacher, guidance counselor, or concerned adult approaches us for recommendations for middle grade fiction that will support the management of the complicated […]

Book Trailer Premiere: Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos by Monica Brown, ill. John Parra

Every generation gets the Frida Kahlo picture book biography it deserves.  Now at some point here I’m going to write an article about why some female figures get picture books biographies while others do not, and what trends in the greater pop culture landscape control these choices.  Happily, I am of the opinion that the […]

Hugo Cabret: My Technology North Star

You know what I like about Hugo Cabret? Guy is always on the cutting edge of technology. Whether it’s vintage automatons (see above) or the latest apps, he inspires me to try new things. I mean, he introduced me to Snapchat. He taught me how to use FaceApp. Sometimes I’ll just ask to see his […]