Sunday, January 14, 2018

Places I Have Lived

Places where people are proud, gracious and welcoming.

Read and get to know them.

Share their dreams and adventures.

Books can help battle ignorance racism and prejudice.   Build awareness.

Encourage curiosity and understanding.


Tuesday, December 19, 2017

With Sorrow: Teddy Draper Sr. Navajo Code Talker

 I had the privilege of knowing Teddy Draper Sr. and to learn his story over the last few years.  He passed away on December 16, 2017.

I am a writer and yet he taught me about language.  Not only how it was used with courage and bravery by the Navajo Code Talkers in the pacific in World War II.

I learned from Teddy Sr. that language truly can be sacred.  Words are not just words but they carry the power of the actual things they represent. 

He said,  “It is by our language that the Navajo People know who they are, how we are related and where we come from”. 

I will always remember the time I spent with him.

It is a sorrow to know he has passed.   And a comfort to know he left quietly with his family around him.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Wishing You Hope for the Holidays and into the New Year.

A shout out to Peebles elementary school for this little tree inspired by Circles of Hope.

Hope for the environment and...

 some recycling, creativity, imagination and determination.  Inspired by Galimoto.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

NCTE 2017 Conference 2: One School One Book: Four Feet Two Sandals

One School, One Book indeed!  

One Little Book:   Connections, Kindness, Empathy, Generosity, Caring, Sharing, Friendship....

Thanks to Eva Thomas and the students at Popcopson Elementary School.

Look how they shared Four Feet Two Sandals at NCTE 2017.  Paste into your browser and enjoy.

One Goal:  Peace.  An important goal.  One to keep in mind for the holiday season and beyond. 

Wishing Peace for all of us in the coming New Year.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

NCTE: Saint Louis 2017

It was an honor and a delight to present with Mitali Perkins on the panel: 

Teaching AND Learning from our Students Today, Tomorrow, and Forever--Lessons from our Refugee Students through Texts of All Sorts for All our Students.

Here we are at the National Council of Teachers of English 2017 in Saint Louis.  That's Mitali's latest book You Bring the Distance Near.  Nominated for the National Book Award.

Learn more about Mitali and her books here: 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Why I Love Writing for Children

School Visits are the best!

Dedicated Librarians and Teachers.

Creative Librarians and Teachers and Students.


Good listeners.

Great Questions.

Thanks you all at Hosack Elementary School!

Monday, September 18, 2017

First Grade King a Hit Even Today.

If you follow my posts at all, you know I shamelessly use my grandchildren to promote my books.

And why not?  I wrote First Grade King when my own boys, Peter and Christopher were about the same age as my two oldest grandchildren, Ethan(7) and Evan (4)are now.  It's based on the experiences of my two boys ...kind of.  In fact the book is so similar to life around our house at that time that Christopher, when he heard the rough draft, exclaimed,  "Mom!  You can't steal my ideas like that!"

That gave me pause for thought.  Yes he was afraid of the dog on the corner when he had to walk to school and there was a bully and fears about having a substitute, but wait a minute that was MY first grade experience too.

So get over it kid, your mother is a writer.

Outdated you say?   I thought so too... possibly

But I have reports that Ethan and Evan are enjoying the read-aloud as much as any any 7 and 4 year old might have when my children were that age...when I actually wrote the book...kind of about my first grade experience and yes kind of like Christopher's first grade life too.

Maybe they like it because their grandmother wrote it.  Definitely a possibility....

But it turns out that Ethan, living in Taiwan, going to school, has fears too...bullies and more.  "Why IS Roger so mean?"  He wants to know.  He has questions about the Joey's visually impaired classmate.  Like Joey in the book Ethan is a sensitive kid, like his dad and his uncle at that age and like...I think... most kids.

I am happy to know that my stories cross generations and cultures even if I am using my own grandkids to prove it.

Full disclaimer?  I am listening and watching and might be using my grandchildren's "ideas" next.