Book review

I am not like Stephen King. (I bet you are not surprised.) I know this because I adore stories without horror that instead have sweet characters and even sweeter endings that hit me straight in the feels. Wishtree is one of those stories. A few years back I wrote about The One and Only Ivan… READ MORE >>

One of the best parts of writing for children is finding authors and their outstanding books. I picked up Fannie Never Flinched at the writing conference I went to in Spokane last weekend and read every word, shocked at how much one woman did for others many years ago. Beautifully written with incredible photos of… READ MORE >>

Angie Thomas told the story my students tried to tell me for many years. In the early 2000s, I frequently read essays my teenaged students wrote about Tupac Shakir. I didn’t know about the artist or his story and learned few details from my students’ writing. But I could often feel their sincerity and the… READ MORE >>

If you want to find a good read, go to a writing conference.  Writers, I have learned, are jittery about their own books. As often as not, we struggle to tell you what our books are about or why we fell in love with our own stories enough to spend days, months, and years writing them. But as soon as… READ MORE >>

When I was a teenager, working in the garden numbed my brain with boredom. I could not understand how my mother spent hours and days pulling weeds and clipping dead branches. I loved the beauty of the place and went to the roses to talk to her often, but I could only do the work… READ MORE >>

I have two places to find books when I want to know what to read next. It was strange to me that in those two separate places I found first Moriarty and then Holmes, two books I adored. 1. My Mother’s Kindle A while back, my six-year-old dropped my electronic book. This is what I… READ MORE >>

As promised after the Super Bowl Sadness, I looked into people who have made mistakes and bounced back. When I googled and asked others about this I found three interesting things: 1. Lots of people have made mistakes. 2. No one wants to talk about their own mistakes. 3. It’s much easier to think even our… READ MORE >>

In looking back over the past year on my blog, I’ve noticed something that surprised me and made my writing heart happy. I posted The One and Only Ivan and a Measure of Peace after reading a kid lit book based on his life. The One and Only Ivan is a fictional story about a gorilla based on a… READ MORE >>