100 Scope Notes
Inside 100 Scope Notes

Coming Soon: The Top 20 Books of 2018

Top 20 Books 2018

Beginning Monday, John Schumacher and I are teaming up to count down our 20 favorite books of the year. See you soon.

10 Books I Loved (But Failed to Review) in 2018


Since this blog began over a decade ago, the number of reviews I write has fallen each year. The reason makes no sense: reviews can be difficult and time-consuming to write. Wait. That makes perfect sense. So here, then, are 10 books I loved but didn’t review in 2018. Check them out if you get […]

2019 Geisel Award Predictions

Geisel 2019

Here are my picks for 2019 Geisel glory.

2019 Caldecott Medal Predictions

Caldecott 2019

Here are my picks for 2019 Caldecott glory.

The Ultimate Children’s Literature Illustrator Gift Guide 2018

ALA Store

What are you going to give, a Boxy Girl? Come on. Give art. Recently updated and expanded for the 2018 gift-giving season, here is my collection of children’s literature illustrator shops on the world wide web. This isn’t a comprehensive list – let me hear about what I missed in the comments, and I will […]

The 2018 Bookish Charitable Giving Guide


Interested in giving to a good cause? Are you a fan of literacy? This is the guide for you. Here are some of the literacy-focused organizations doing good work. Pitch in a few bucks to support them. I “adapted” this idea from boing boing, who put together a great Charitable Giving Guide you should also […]

2018 Librarian Lump of Coal Gift Guide

Lump of Coal 2018

Time is running out to get a gift for the insufferable librarian in your life. With help from Etsy, the 2018 edition of the Librarian Lump of Coal Gift Guide has your back.

2018 Children’s Lit: The Year in Miscellanea

2018 Children's Lit

It’s time to take a look back at the year that was in children’s lit miscellanea. Read previous Year in Miscellanea Posts: 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 Tweet of the Year: Reader Reaction to Dear Martin When you catch a student reading at the exact moment that a major event happens in the book…@getnicced #umreads #DearMartin pic.twitter.com/Z7TyhmkZ2D — LibrariBON […]

Notes on November 2018


Nothing lasts forever, even cold November rain. Time to take a look back at my favorite posts from this past month. In November . . . . . . a modern classic took a weird turn. This is what happens when you let Google auto-complete the text from Press Here. . . . we had […]

An Exhaustive List of My Pathetic Read Aloud Injuries


You might think that reading books aloud is an easy gig. Hold the book. Read the words. Absorb the love from the adoring audience (all while playing it off like, “It’s nothing, really”). You are wrong. Reading books aloud is a physical challenge on the level of Over the Top, only more challenging. If it […]

A Cyber Monday Giveaway at The Very Last Castle

Castle Winter

The snow is falling at The Very Last Castle and that means it’s time for some good cheer. If you buy a copy of The Very Last Castle between now and the end of the year, I’ll send you a panda bear backpack clip – just like the one the main character (her name is […]

The Thank You Post

Thank You

Before the turkey comes out, I want to take a moment to thank you for reading, commenting on, and sharing things I write here. Wait, I see the turkey coming out now. Gotta go. Thank you!



Question: What is one of the most effective ways to improve a kid’s desire and ability to read? Answer: Access to books. Cue up Can it Be All So Simple by Wu Tang Clan Research tells us this, but how do we make it happen? Nerdy Book Club co-founders Donalyn Miller and Colby Sharp have […]

6 Things You Can Do with the New Giant Caldecott Medals


The ALA Store is now selling giant Caldecott Medals (made of cardstock, not bronze). Sure, you could use them for a handsome display or helpful hanging signage, but what fun is that?! Here are a few ideas for the more adventurous Giant Caldecott Medal owners out there. Your Giant Caldecott can be . . . . […]

See You at NCTE?


This weekend I’m attending the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Annual Convention for the first time this year. Houston! While there, I have some duties: Friday 9:30-10:45: Nerdy Book Club: Building Strong, Inclusive Reading Communities (Room 340 AB) 11:00-11:30: Signing The Very Last Castle in the Blue Willow (Booth #231) Sunday Build Your […]