The twisted marriage thriller

Who knew that marriage was such a treacherous business? Married people, maybe, and anyone who’s read Gone Girl.  It should not be a surprise to anyone that terrible people and their terrible marriages are a large part of the thriller genre; apparently, the gruesome methods these people use to torment each other know no bounds. So, whether […]


Children in Black History

One November day, a brave little girl named Ruby Bridges went to her first day of school. She would be the first black student to attend a whites-only school, changing it from segregated to integrated. In 2018, students of different races and ethnicities attend school with each other every day all across America. In 1960, […]

Learning to draw

Do you doodle?Would you like to improve your skills and learn to draw? I know I would. Drawing’s a fun and relaxing way to get rid of stress and be creative, and drawing can be practically free, for the price of a pencil and a scrap of paper, and it’s portable.  And maybe, just maybe, […]

It’s Award Season for Books

Music has the Grammys, TV has the Golden Globes, and movies have the Oscars. There is no single award for books. Books, specifically books for Children and Young Adults (YA), are a little different. On February 12, the American Library Association (ALA) will host the Youth Media Awards Ceremony in Denver, and the entire ceremony […]

Tooth with a toothbrush

Let’s Go to the Dentist

I was always afraid of going to the dentist when I was young. The masks, the too-bright light, the tiny metal picks, the high-pitched whirr of the drill all combined to make a place much scarier than any haunted house. Terrified by dentists, I vowed to never EVER trust one. Never say never, right? One […]

Hail to the Chief: great presidential biographies

Presidents Day is coming soon, and if you’re like me, you like fun facts about U.S. presidents. For example, did you know that Franklin Pierce, our 14th president, is considered to be one of our most handsome presidents?  That “Hail to the Chief”,  the official presidential anthem, first became a tradition because James K. Polk […]

A New Way to Learn

In college, I cringed anytime the syllabus said the dreaded words: “Textbook Required” because I knew that meant that I had countless hours of bland reading ahead of me. More often than not, I would skim the pages hoping that obtaining information through osmosis was real and that I wouldn’t need to read the text at […]

black history

Black History Month: classics to read and watch

February is Black History Month, with such a wide range of voices and experiences, over centuries and continents, that it is hard to present all the rich variety of history, commentary, and fiction. Here are a few classic books by African-American authors to start with:                     […]

Best New YA Authors

Every year the American Library Association (ALA) presents the Morris Award to an outstanding Young Adult book written by a first-time writer. Because of its defining criterion, I like to think of the Morris Award as the ALA’s version of a Rookie of the Year Award. Don’t, however, let these authors’ newness to the scene […]