Time Traveling in Across So Many Seas by Ruth Behar
Nerdy Book Club Blog
by CBethM
1d ago
When you’re a child it’s so difficult to imagine that all the elders around you were ever children like you. You have the sense that they’ve always been old. That they were brought into the world old. As you grow up, maybe you see a photo of a relative in their youth, and you have that revelation that everyone was a child once. Building on this premise, I decided that in my new middle grade novel, Across So Many Seas, I’d write from the point of view of four different girls in four different eras and four different places. They’d all be twelve years old and share a Spanish Jewish – Sephardic ..read more
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From the Library to the Page by Uma Menon, Author of My Mother’s Tongues
Nerdy Book Club Blog
by CBethM
4d ago
Like many other readers and writers, my love of books was born in the library. As a child, I visited the Winter Park Public Library often with my parents, attending story time and browsing through bookshelves. I remember the first book I ever checked out by myself was Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes, a book that continues to inspire me today by demonstrating how stories can help children find joy and confidence in their own identities. I grew up speaking the South Indian language of Malayalam at home, just like Sumi, the protagonist of my recent children’s book, My Mother’s Tongues. As soon as ..read more
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Childhood Adventures in our Age of Surveillance by Amy Noelle Parks
Nerdy Book Club Blog
by CBethM
2w ago
As a child, I loved E.L. Konigsburg’s book about a brother and sister running away for a week to live in New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. Growing up in the Midwest, I had never seen anything like the automat where Claudia and Jamie could buy everything from pie to baked beans, and sleeping in the velvet-draped beds of the historical exhibits seemed magical. Ditto bathing in the museum’s marble fountain. For a long time, I wanted to write a middle grade story where tweens took off on an adventure just like in The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler ..read more
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We Can be Heroes by Alan Gratz
Nerdy Book Club Blog
by CBethM
2w ago
With great power comes great responsibility. If you’re a fan of superhero comics or movies, you’ve heard this before. It’s Spider-Man’s motto: With great power comes great responsibility. It’s a lesson Spider-Man learns the hard way. You know the story: Spider-Man is bitten by a radioactive spider that gives him super-strength, and the ability to climb walls. But when Peter first gets his powers, he doesn’t immediately make a costume for himself and fight crime. Instead, when Peter sees a robbery happening, he doesn’t stop it, even though he could. Tragically, the robber ends up killing Peter ..read more
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Top Ten Picture Books that Teach Cause and Effect by Abi Cushman
Nerdy Book Club Blog
by CBethM
3w ago
Using picture books is a fun way to teach children about cause and effect. Understanding cause and effect helps kids develop critical thinking, literacy, and science skills. Here are my favorite picture books that use cause and effect in an engaging way. These books also provide a great model so kids can create their own stories based on different cause and effect structures. THE QUIET FOREST by Charlotte Offsay and Abi Cushman(Paula Wiseman Books) In this funny picture book, a mischievous mouse swings on a vine and crashes into a stack of pancakes, which then sets off a chaotic chain of even ..read more
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Patterns and Structure, and Surprises by Elana K. Arnold
Nerdy Book Club Blog
by CBethM
3w ago
I love patterns and structure. This manifests in a variety of ways: at home, I like to eat the same foods, on rotation, at the same times of the day. When I take a walk, I like to trace my way up and down and through the neighborhood in a route that feels pleasing to me. When I dress, I favor outfits with a lot going on: high-waisted trousers; a blouse, tucked in, with a tie at the throat; a sweater vest, buttoned; a coat, open; boots, laced. In writing, this manifests in crafting (both consciously and unconsciously) a series of opportunities for patterns and structure. And when I’m writing a ..read more
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Ten Informational Picture Books to Learn Something New by Bridgitte Rodguez
Nerdy Book Club Blog
by CBethM
1M ago
I love to learn! And I love to learn without realizing that I’m learning! Thus, informational picture books are right up my alley. There are many, many informational picture books out there where you can learn something new! Everything from places, people, culture, animals, experiences, emotions, words, languages, you name it. It’s a happy reading day when I can pick up a book and have a new fact to share with someone. Here are ten of my favorite informational picture books that are not only compelling stories, but will also teach you something new. A Walk Through the Redwoods by Bridgitte R ..read more
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How Reviewing Books Saves Me From My Terrible Memory . . . Sometimes by Phoebe Sinclair
Nerdy Book Club Blog
by CBethM
1M ago
I’ve been talking to other people about books for as long as I can remember, but I didn’t start penning my own reviews until around high school. There’s a story I’ve told so many times about how I came to begin reviewing books for my own enjoyment, it’s become self-mythology. Goes like this: I was reading The Hero and the Crown, a fantasy novel by Robin McKinley. Super into it, like: this book is great (and a bit spooky)! Ok, so what’s going on with that talking dragon skull, and what’s this dude want with our hero-lady? Nearing the final pages, situations start to feel familiar, and next unc ..read more
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Writing and Grieving through Chinese Food by E. L. Shen
Nerdy Book Club Blog
by CBethM
1M ago
My father never really cooked Chinese food. Even though he grew up with Cantonese immigrant parents who managed to whip up Peking duck, pork chive dumplings, cha siu bao, and scallion pancakes in a cramped kitchen in Flushing, Queens, the only Chinese dish my dad regularly made was fried rice. Still, he’d brag about how great that fried rice was—how crispy and flavorful and magically perfect.  When we ate out, we went to American classics like TGI Friday’s and Red Robin where I—at age eight—would consistently order parmesan cheese with a scoop of buttered noodles, despite my dad’s urging ..read more
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JUMPING FOR JOY BUT STILL LOOKING FOR MY DOG by Karen Gray Ruelle
Nerdy Book Club Blog
by CBethM
1M ago
I love dogs. Ask any of my friends and they’ll tell you. One friend made a rule for whenever we’re together: I’m only allowed to say hello to five dogs per outing. Another friend gave me a t-shirt that says, “Sorry I’m late. I saw a dog.” When I meet my neighbors, I sometimes forget their names, but I never forget the names of their dogs.   I’ve been crazy about dogs my whole life. My mom says when I was a toddler, I squealed with glee every time I saw a dog, and I really wanted one of my own. But my folks said no. When I was ten, we moved to London, and I kept asking for a dog. My folks ..read more
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