Mining for Heart: “Making Learning Real in Traditional Expository Nonfiction” by Julie Danneberg

Writing expository nonfiction has its own challenges, and finding “heart” may be one of them. Julie Danneberg shares her approach to this genre and how she brings it home to middle grade readers. Her post might send you directly to your closet! Don’t miss Julie’s GIVEAWAY! Leave a comment below for a chance to win … More Mining for Heart: “Making Learning Real in Traditional Expository Nonfiction” by Julie Danneberg

Behind the Scenes: “The Research Roller Coaster” by Kathlyn Kirkwood

Even when YOU are part of the story, research can be a challenge. Kathlyn Kirkwood shares a few of the ups and downs she experienced in the research phase of her debut book, AIN’T GONNA LET NOBODY TURN ME ‘ROUND: My Story of the Making of Martin Luther King Day. This middle-grade memoir about her teen … More Behind the Scenes: “The Research Roller Coaster” by Kathlyn Kirkwood

Mining for Heart: “Hearts Longing to be Free” by Selene Castrovilla

After a bit of a lull, I have lots to share in the new year! If you’re a regular reader, you know I love little-known stories from past. So let’s start with an important new-to-me piece of history— and a giveaway! I appreciate the deeper, more complete understanding of our past these overlooked stories offer, … More Mining for Heart: “Hearts Longing to be Free” by Selene Castrovilla

The Gravity Tree

Here’s a book I’ve been wanting to see… And after seeing it, I had to share it for Perfect Picture Book Friday. Anyone who knows me is probably aware that I am a lover of trees. And fascinated by history. So putting those together in a picture book is pretty irresistible! I hope you’ll check … More The Gravity Tree

Behind the Scenes: “Connecting to Characters” by Kirsti Call

Today I welcome back author Kirsti Call to share a bit about creating COLD TURKEY, her latest picture book. I truly think authors put a bit of themselves in the characters they create. In my case, working with historical figures, I always find a bit of myself in them. That author connection can serve a … More Behind the Scenes: “Connecting to Characters” by Kirsti Call

“Not Just for Little Kids: Five Reasons to Use Picture Books with Older Students” by Carolee Dean

I firmly believe that picture books aren’t just for little kids. And also that they’re not just for Language Arts classrooms. As a teacher, I LOVED using picture books with a wide range of ages for a wide range of skills. Picture books are magical in so many ways and open the door to a … More “Not Just for Little Kids: Five Reasons to Use Picture Books with Older Students” by Carolee Dean

Cover Reveal! Franz’s Phantasmagorical Machine

I was a kid blessed with a father who had a workshop—a section of the basement with work benches, tools, hardware, and LOTS of scraps! I could go down there to create, experiment, and “invent” (crude versions of things that had already been invented). I distinctly remember a stirring device I built with a crank … More Cover Reveal! Franz’s Phantasmagorical Machine

Behind the Scenes: “Finding the Focus in Big Picture History” by Jennifer Thermes

My sister was the one who loved horses in my family. A pair of disgruntled ponies instilled a wariness in me, but as an adult, I appreciate the beauty and power of horses. Jennifer Thermes’ new picture book HORSE POWER: HOW HORSES CHANGED THE WORLD caught my eye after I had spent time thoroughly enjoying … More Behind the Scenes: “Finding the Focus in Big Picture History” by Jennifer Thermes

Behind the Scenes: “Letting Math Tell the Story” by Ann Marie Stephens

As an educator, I’ve always favored engaging stories that support curricular areas. So, math stories? YES! A series with chickens AND math? FUN! And math illustrated by the phenomenal Jenn Harney who did “Smelly” Kelly and His Super Senses? OH, YEAH! Thanks to author Ann Marie Stephens for sharing a bit from “behind the scenes” … More Behind the Scenes: “Letting Math Tell the Story” by Ann Marie Stephens

Mining for Heart: “Embracing and Learning from Your Cultural Heritage” by Songju Ma Daemicke

Today, we get to celebrate a book birthday with this post! Congratulations to author Songju Ma Daemicke and illustrator Lin on the release of TU YOUYOU’S DISCOVERY. Thank you for sharing the cultural heart of the story, Songju, and also, thank you for offering a GIVEAWAY! Leave a comment below for a chance to win … More Mining for Heart: “Embracing and Learning from Your Cultural Heritage” by Songju Ma Daemicke