Looking for a Twitter/X Alternative? Try Bluesky.

Among social media platforms filling the void as Twitter/X loses momentum, Bluesky leads in the children’s literature community.


Bluesky illustration by Debbie Ridpath Ohi

As Twitter/X loses momentum, many librarians, teachers, and children’s book creators are searching for new ways to connect, share ideas, and learn from one another in an online setting. A half dozen newer social media platforms, such as Hive, Mastodon, and Threads, are competing to fill the void. But Bluesky is emerging as a leader in the children’s literature community.

“It’s great to see so many authors, librarians, and publishers making their way there!” says Becky Calzada, library services coordinator in the Leander (TX) Independent School District and president-elect of the American Association of School Librarians.

Jillian Heise, an elementary school librarian in Wisconsin and founder of #ClassroomBookaDay, agrees. “I want a place to stay connected to my personal learning community that has built over the last 13 years on Twitter. Many of the people I interacted and learned with have migrated over to Bluesky.”

What exactly is Bluesky? It’s a social media network developed by former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in 2019 and now managed by a team led by CEO Jay Graber. It looks and functions very much like Twitter, but it has a more positive vibe and fewer privacy concerns.

“I'm focusing on Bluesky as my main microblogging platform,” says author-illustrator Debbie Ridpath Ohi, who has long been a leader in online community building among kid lit lovers. “Bluesky reminds me of the early days of Twitter—more casual and welcoming. It’s a great place for having conversations. It’s not just people broadcasting.”

“Welcoming, supportive, and safe” are the words author Michelle Cusolito uses to describe the platform. “I'm still getting my legs under me,” she says, “but I'm so much happier here than I was when I left Twitter.”

Ohi is so impressed with Bluesky as well as third-party apps such as deck.blue and Graysky that she’s created a slew of useful resources, including quick tips for new members and a variety of kid lit–focused threads and custom feeds.

Ohi is a fan of Bluesky’s custom feed functionality, which gives users “a lot of flexibility in controlling their own user experience.”

Calzada appreciates this feature too. “I get to dictate what I see,” she says. “It’s tailored to fit my needs.”

As more authors, illustrators, book reviewers, and publishing professionals join Bluesky, it’s becoming a great place for librarians and teachers to:

  • · engage in conversations with book creators
  • · find out what their favorite authors and illustrators are passionate about
  • · discover great new books and the stories behind them
  • · learn about local conferences, book festivals, and author signings
  • · share innovative teaching strategies.

Although Bluesky currently lacks DMs, bookmarks, and the ability to schedule posts, new features are being added all the time, and third-party apps are helping to fill the gaps.

For now, joining Bluesky is invitation-only to prevent the network’s servers from crashing because too many people are joining at once. Existing members periodically receive access codes to share with others.

If you’d like to join Bluesky, but don’t know anyone already on the platform, feel free to email me through my website. I began collecting codes after receiving requests at the AASL conference in Tampa, FL, and thanks to the generosity of my Bluesky peeps, I now have good supply.

Brian LaRossa, executive art director at Scholastic, and Steve Tetreault, a New Jersey school librarian and co-founder of the School Librarian Learning Network, are also distributing access codes through their Twitter/X accounts.

We hope you’ll join us soon, so we can create a vibrant children’s literature community and have meaningful conversations in a new online setting.

Melissa Stewart is the award-winning author of more than 200 nonfiction books for children, including the Sibert Medal Honoree Summertime Sleepers: Animals that Estivate, illustrated by Sarah S. Brannen.

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