Reading Blog


The Poem That Inspired The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah


Kristin Hannah's The Great Alone, takes its title from a line in "The Shooting of Dan McGrew", a poem composed by Robert W. Service, whose work inspires the main character throughout the book. Robert W. Service (1874-1958), known as "The Bard of the Yukon," was born in Lancashire, England, the son of a banker and an heiress. He was sent to Kilwinning, Scotland at the age of five to live with his paternal grandfather and three unmarried aunts, who spoiled him shamelessly. He's said to have written his first poem there — an improvised grace — at the age of six, much to the delight and astonishment of his relatives. God bless the cakes and bless the jam; Bless the cheese and the cold boiled ham: Bless the scones Aunt Jean... [More]

Books to Read and Watch With Your Book Club


There's no way around it – winter is dark and cold (so cold this year!) and life can feel circular and repetitive, like you're on a hamster wheel. And we're only halfway through... But books and movies can come to the rescue! Let us help you jump off the wheel and onto pathways filled with all sorts of landscapes and adventures. The memoir, Boy Erased takes you down a path with Gerrard, a gay boy forced to make a choice between going into conversion therapy or losing his family. Another memoir, Beautiful Boy, allows you to walk in the shoes of another young man, Nic, who spirals into a drug addiction and whose father desperately tries to save him. If you want to journey into fiction, check out The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel... [More]

Life Lessons from Twelve Philosophers


Philosophy is the ancient love of wisdom, derived from the Greek word philosophia which means just that. Since the 6th century B.C., profound philosophical thinkers from ancient Greece to present day feminists have laid the foundations for modern thinking. The search for meaning in everyday life has been explored by the likes of Socrates, Descartes, and so many others whose names are easily recognized but whose foundational ideas might be more difficult to grasp.

Happily, the auction site Invaluable has created an easily digestible infographic that summarizes the guiding principles of these great philosophers--from Confucius to Simone de Beauvoir. [More]

Literary Inmates: Famous Books Written in Prison


At BookBrowse, we believe that books are not an end in themselves but a jumping off point to new avenues of thought and discovery. This is why, every time we review one we also explore a related topic. Here is one such "beyond the book" article by Jamie Samson, originally titled "Literary Inmates" and written in conjunction with his review of Denis Johnson's The Largesse of the Sea Maiden: [More]

Debut Novels for Book Clubs in 2019


Let us help you get the new year off to a great start by introducing you to five dynamic authors and their debut novels, all of which are recommended for book club discussion. Historical fiction aficionados should check out Rebellion by Molly Patterson, set in 19th and 20th century China, and rural America. Also, The Floating World by C. Morgan Babst about Hurricane Katrina and the complicated history of New Orleans. If your group is looking for a change from discussing "literary fiction," then how about mixing things up with a thriller? We recommend Alice Feeney's Sometimes I Lie about a woman paralyzed in a hospital with no idea how or why she got there, and Rhiannon Navin's Only Child about a six year-old boy ... [More]

Writing a Better Story by Jen Petro-Roy


They say that you should write what you know to make your story better. If you grew up as a figure skater, you can still feel the crispness of those cold rink mornings, can still hear the scrape of your blades on the ice and the sound of the Zamboni. If you lived by the […]

Reading Lessons Learned by Carrie Rodusky


I am a lifelong reader.  I have always listed reading as a favorite hobby and would choose to sit with a good book over anything else. I was the kid who rode her bike in the summer to the library and sat in the aisles for hours. Once, in the third grade I saw my […]

Top Ten Reasons School Counselors Want Students to Read: Social-Emotional Learning Opportunities! by Sarah Scheerger


Cultivating Empathy When we read, we climb into the minds and bodies of our characters. We feel with them and we feel for them. I explain empathy to students as follows: Empathy is the experience of walking in someone else’s shoes and imagining how you might feel if you were in a similar situation. This […]

Same Page, A Thousand Miles Apart by Brad McLelland & Louis Sylvester


Louis: Howdy, Brad! Welcome to our Nerdy Book Club post! I’m so happy we can take a few moments and chat about our series, Legends of the Lost Causes. Seems the only place we get to connect these days is Google Docs — and deadlines keep us hoppin’ in there — so I’m thankful to […]

COVER REVEAL: The Humiliations of Pipi McGee by Beth Vrabel


When I’m coming up with a new idea, I spend a lot of time thinking about do-overs. If I could go back to some of the trickiest, scariest, loneliest times in my life, what would I do differently? If I knew then what I do today, how would I have handled those moments where I […]



The first thing I wrote for The Lost Girl, back in 2015, was a scene about an identical twin named Iris who, when she was little, had had nightmares about the Pied Piper. Her father told her the fable as a bedtime story, thinking of it, as everyone does, as a fable about people who […]

Graphic Novels are Books, Too! by Stacey DeCotis


Oh if I could count the times I’ve heard adults say that graphic novels are “too easy” or “not challenging enough” or “they don’t count as books”… My 5th grade students this year are devouring graphic novels! Until I started reading them last year, I never understood why (I mean, yeah I got that there […]

Writing for the Middle by Laurel Snyder


When I was in the sixth grade, there was this girl—we’ll call her Liv—who “developed” earlier than I did. Liv was the sort of girl grownups refer to as “fast.” She wore skimpy clothes. She was loud and sometimes rude.   She was also my friend. One night, during a sleepover at Liv’s house, we were […]



Many books are told through the eyes and mind of one person, whose opinions sway the storyline in to what the events and situations were like for them. But there is more than one side to every story. The following books are told by two or sometimes more perspectives. Each one of these books also […]

Children’s Book Creators Join Forces to Provide High Quality Books to Two Worthy Organizations by Lin Oliver


With over 25,000 members strong, SCBWI, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, is the largest professional organization of children’s book writers and illustrators. We have always cared about getting books into children’s hands because we know that books given to them can change their lives– allow them to see themselves, to feel empathy […]


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