Friday, September 25, 2015

It is magical and matter-of-fact

If you know any early elementary school students, this book would be a wonderful read-aloud.

If you know a 4th, 5th or 6th grader, this book would be a wonderful addition to their reading collection.

If you know a middle grade or young adult reader, they will love this charming book.

If you know a human who has ever struggled, this is the book for you.

Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate is beautiful, brilliant, and lovely.

Ten year-old Jackson and his imaginary friend, Crenshaw navigate the fine line between making it in the world and not. Jackson's family has fallen on hard times. Anyone who reads this story will rethink what it means to 'fall on hard times' and how they can help others. Readers will see how very, very thin the line between making it and not can be.

This book handles homelessness and hunger and illness and asking for help and telling the truth and coping with loss and being a family. It is magical and matter-of-fact, and readers will love it.

A beautiful spin-off created by the book is #CrenshawFoodDrive. Bookstores and schools can participate in food drives nationwide. For details, checkout

Be honest with kids; they have amazing ideas...

Monday, September 21, 2015

with words. with truth.

Many high school and college students are reading Between The World And Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. For an excerpt check out this article in The Atlantic or my post on Samaritan Blog

If you or a student you know has read Between The World And Me and is looking for a like minded book that's an easier read...  or if you have a middle grade reader who is interested in what it means to be black in America, be sure to read X: a Novel by Ilyasah Shabazz. X is a fictionalized account of Malcolm X's youth.

Written by Malcolm X's middle daughter, X is a historical fiction novel that highlights racial injustice. It is a perfectly timed book for young people today. With students' lives overlapping with the racially charged deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and Eric Garner in New York City, it is the perfect time to take another look at the life of Malcolm X.  This is a brilliant story of the self creation of Malcolm X, and what it means to fight against what is wrong in the world.

"I'm not meant to be part of the things that are wrong with the world, but neither am I meant to run from them. I'm meant to fight against them. I can't hold my own in the ring, but out in the world, I do know how to fight. With words. With truth."

Friday, September 11, 2015

readings and conversations

If you are in Boise on October 6th for The Cabin's exciting kick-off event of the Readings and Conversations 2015-2016 season, look for my silent auction book basket at the gala dinner and auction.

It's a great collection of middle grade books to inspire and engage young adult readers (if I do say so myself).

The money raised from the silent auction directly supports some awesome Cabin programs including "Writers in the Schools" and "Summer Writing Camps".  If you can't make it to The Cabin event but would still like to check out these amazing books, stop by The Library!

Here's a list of the titles:

Hidden by Löic Dauvillier, Marc Lizano, and Greg Salsedo

Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead

The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

Sunny Side Up by Jennifer L Holm and Matthew Holm

El Deafo by Cece Bell

The Boy In The Black Suit by Jason Reynolds

George by Alex Gino

This One Summer by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki

All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley

My wish for you: Happy Reading, Creative Writing, and Inspired Conversations.


Friday, September 4, 2015

the Churchill Club... most were ninth-graders

This is a fantastic, narrative nonfiction book filled with amazing primary source information!

This school year appears to be all about reading nonfiction. The Boys Who Challenged Hitler: Knud Pedersen and the Churchill Club by Phillip Hoose is a book I will recommend eagerly this year.

We spent part of our last two summers in Copenhagen, so this book became a clear choice for a nonfiction read.

From the jacket...
At the outset of World War II, Denmark did not resist German occupation. Deeply ashamed of his nation’s leaders, fifteen-year-old Knud Pedersen resolved with his brother and a handful of schoolmates to take action against the Nazis if the adults would not. Naming their secret club after the fiery British leader, the young patriots in the Churchill Club committed countless acts of sabotage, infuriating the Germans, who eventually had the boys tracked down and arrested. But their efforts were not in vain: the boys' exploits and eventual imprisonment helped spark a full-blown Danish resistance. Interweaving his own narrative with the recollections of Knud himself, here is Phil Hoose's inspiring story of these young war heroes. 

The Boys Who Challenged Hitler will inspire young readers to stand up for what they believe in, to use what they know to make a difference, and to do what they can regardless of their age. 

What more can you ask of a book?