Five in Five with 5th grade teacher, Mary Lee Hahn

Hello, hello, Mary Lee! I’m so excited to have you join me for this super short and fun Five in Five. First I want to thank you for your dedication to the young people of our country. Teaching isn’t always rewarding, but I so appreciate you! It’s great to have you here as part of… Read more »

Book Review: THE LAST CHERRY BLOSSOM by Kathleen Burkinshaw

The Last Cherry Blossom by Kathleen Burkinshaw My rating: 5 of 5 stars Before I go any further, let me state that this is an important book! The story of 12 year old, Yuriko, will touch you in ways you may not have thought possible. Set in Hiroshima, Japan before and after the dropping of… Read more »

Five in Five with Kathleen Burkinshaw: author of The Last Cherry Blossom

Hey there, Kathleen! I’m so excited to have teamed up with you for the #MGGetsReal campaign—to highlight books with tough topics for “real” kids. I can’t express how important it is for people to be able to find themselves within the pages of a book, especially kids who can be so self-conscious during those awkward… Read more »

The thing about grief in middle-grade books…

The Thing about Loss and Middle School Kids… I initially wrote this as a post for the lovely girls over at Bookish Babes. They are fabulous; go visit them often! I’m reposting here as this topic came up in a discussion recently, and I was reminded of the important responsibility we, as middle-grade writers, have.  … Read more »

Good Dogs, Bad Dogs

These cuties are my rescue pups. Sometimes they escape my yard and run for hours–a not-so-fun game of hide-and-seek–or they’ll fight with each other over food. One is super smart (she’s a Border Collie) and if one of the other dogs is in her spot, she’ll simply go to the door, wait for me to… Read more »


Guys, I am so not tech savvy, and sadly I lost my first website. With it went all my old news posts and journal entries. *cue tears here* Sorry to any of the schools and students I’ve previously visited whose photos and comments are gone forever. I’ll try to add a few here from what… Read more »