Read to Your Dog!

When I think of therapy dogs, I think of dogs assisting blind or disabled people. It turns out dogs can be “Tail Waggin’ Tutors” as well. Yep! Dogs can help teach kids to read! Actually, the dogs are trained to just sit still and listen, which is something we helpful adults are not very good… [Read More]

The Republic of Childhood

Just inside the cover of an 1895 book by Kate Douglas Smith Wiggin entitled The Republic of Childhood is a librarian’s note:  “Attention Patron:  This volume is too fragile for any future repair.” In the aftermath of recent shootings and bombings, it’s tempting to ask if the Republic of Childhood itself (that brief season of… [Read More]

Reid Hospital Goes to the Library!

According to the preschool set, MONSTERS ROCK!!! When a group of Reid Hospital physicians’ spouses were invited to bring their children to Morrisson-Reeves Library in Richmond, Indiana, for the morning, they created a monster craft, ate monster cupcakes, and listened to yours truly reading monster books. Those who participated (and you, If you’ve found your way to… [Read More]

Anatomy of Nonfiction

If you click on the “Resources” tab on the home page of my website, you’ll find all kinds of helpful information I’ve gathered (and continue to gather!) for writers, readers, and educators. The most recent addition is a blog by Peggy Thomas called Anatomy of Nonfiction: Writing True Stories for Children.  A  wonderful nonfiction writer herself, Peggy is… [Read More]

Highlights for Children and Me

Late on a Saturday night a few weeks ago, a writer friend and I arrived at the Boyds Mills, Pennsylvania, homestead belonging to the family that started, and still publishes, the venerable magazine Highlights for Children. The editor, Kent Brown, and his family have been intertwined with the magazine for three generations and my writing… [Read More]

Diana Morón Meets Edith Wharton

When I wrote The Brave Escape of Edith Wharton, I was hoping the book would be discovered by high school teachers and used to introduce a new generation of readers to Edith Wharton. You can imagine my delight when Diana Morón, a sophomore at Porterville High School in Porterville, California, introduced herself to me by… [Read More]

Ericsson and da Vinci – A Conversation Across Time

A group of Italian artisans (Niccolai Teknoart SNC) has undertaken a marvelous project: using the drawings of Leonardo da Vinci to create models of the very machines da Vinci imagined. When I attended one of their exhibits at the Denver Pavilions (which runs through January 31, 2013) I was struck by how much da Vinci… [Read More]

Build a Book Christmas Tree

Of course I’m behind on my shopping, my Christmas cards, etc. and of course I have no time to spare so of course, when a friend sent me a link to a site where people were building Book Christmas Trees I just had to stop everything I was behind on and build one of my… [Read More]

Visit to Northwest Elementary School

The drive to McDermott, Ohio winds through the greenest, most idyllic countryside you’ll find anywhere.  Northwest Elementary School sits 5 miles off of US-23 and is home to around 800 K-5 students.  A step inside the front door brought me into a high-energy zone:  several parents in the office, classes of students filing through the… [Read More]

Writer’s Retreat

In February, I drove east for eleven hours, through Ohio and the very mountains of Pennsylvania I used to call home, to the town of Honesdale, Pennsylvania. I turned left onto the property of the family that created the magazine Highlights for Children and pulled up to a small cabin with two twin beds, a… [Read More]