January 2021

Story Bite #24: Finding Your Beginning Through Touch

When students are having trouble with the beginning of a piece, they’re sometimes advised to think about what their character is feeling. Often, this means emotions. But the actual sense of touch can be effective too. This series of posts—Finding Your Beginning—offers tips for students on how to jump-start a scene through the senses. By… Read more »

Story Bite #23: Finding Your Beginning Through Smell

Students often struggle with the beginning of a piece of writing. (So do many published authors as well.)  This is the second series of posts—Finding Your Beginning—that offers tips for students on how to jump-start a scene through the senses. Using sensory elements can put the reader—and the writer—directly into a piece of writing. For… Read more »

Favorite Reads of 2020—Part 2

Yesterday I posted my favorite middle grade books from the first part of 2020. Here’s the rest from the second half of that year! Class Act by Jerry Craft Jerry Craft’s New Kid, the first book in this graphic novel series, dealt with casual racism and micro-aggressions head-on (in a compelling and sometimes funny story… Read more »

Favorite Reads of 2020—Part 1

I read many incredible middle grade books in 2020. Here’s my list of my very favorites from the first half of of last year. While I liked nearly everything I read, these rose to the top as stories I enjoyed tremendously, thought about long after, and could see many young readers picking up and having… Read more »

Story Bite #21: Writing Symbols

Happy New Year! I hope everyone has a great year of writing ahead. Late in December, I had a lovely chat with a young reader and writer about a story she was working on. She’d come up with a great scenario and there were many places her story could go. Ever since, I’ve been thinking… Read more »