It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

Mon Reading Button PB to YAThis week I read: 

The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen
This did not disappoint, I’d had it on my tbr list and was reminded of it during #titletalk last month. Had to go out the next day and get the second book.

The Runaway King by Jennifer Nielsen
I wasn’t kidding, I went to the library the next day to get this one and finished it in a day. Love this series for middle grades fantasy, would be a nice precursor to the Graceling series as a “world building” fantasy.

Hidden Roots by Joseph Bruchac
This was required reading for the students in my online graduate children’s lit course so I wanted to reread it. A great entry into discussion about representations of American Indians in children’s literature.

This Week I’m Reading:

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
I’ve missed you Gansey. And Blue. And Adam, Ronan, and Noah.

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
We’ve decided to use this as one of the required texts for our fall children’s literature course and I’ve never read it. Super excited because Patrick Ness is a brilliant writer.


I ♥ #titletalk

The last sunday of the month from 8-9pm EST has become a favorite time for me. Why you ask…. because it’s #titletalk hosted by Donalyn Miller (@donalynbooks) and Colby Sharp (@colbysharp).

I love this time because it is an opportunity to talk in real time (also called synchronous) about children’s & young adult literature, reading, motivation, and teaching: favorite topics of mine that I am passionate about. I’m encouraging the students from both my children’s literature course (#kmcte348) and language arts methods course (#kmcte402) to follow along and join in.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you don’t like, know, understand twitter – please don’t let that stop you! You can follow along without participating and without a twitter account. If you are new to twitter and terminology like “tage”,”tweet” and “hashtag” are intimidating, following along was one way that I became more comfortable with twitter-land. If you just want to follow along: go to, enter titletalk in the top box and hit enter.

If you want to know more or participate, read on!

The way that the conversation works is that everyone who wants to participate tags their tweets with #titletalk, then any tweet tagged with it will show up when you search for this hashtag.  I suggest using to follow along for a few different reasons:

  • You don’t have to have a twitter account to follow along, just enter #titletalk
  • If you do have a twitter account, you sign in to tweetchat with your twitter login.
  • in order to participate in the conversation, you must enter the #titletalk, the first time I participated I kept forgetting to add it and couldn’t figure out why the weren’t showing up. A huge plus of tweetchat is that the tag is automatically placed in your tweet ensuring that are joining in the discussion.

Here are some tips for anyone interested in following along and/or joining in.

  • You can follow the conversation without joining in. This is what I did for the first time until I got the hang of things. I was a twitter newby and completely overwhelmed by the experience. Deciding to not participate for the first 15-20 minutes helped take the pressure off and allowed me to engage with the conversation.
  • That being said, join in! There are no dumb questions or comments, everyone has something to contribute or ask that helps each other (348 & 402 folks, I’m talking to you here!)
  • It moves fast, be prepared! This can be overwhelming, when I had students participate last semester some of them quit because they were frustrated by the speed. Give yourself some time to get used to it and be patient. You may not catch everything, but you’ll catch some of it and it will be worth it!
  • If you do miss something that you want to go back to, the entire chat is archived and posted as a pdf.
  • Some people open a separate window of their goodreads account or a separate document so that they can add titles as the conversation moves along.
  • If you want to know more about twitter in general, check out my previous post Tweet, Tweet, Tweet which includes some links to sites explaining and introducing twitter.

Hope to see you tonight!

Tweet tweet tweet

Today in my children’s literature course we’re going to continue our exploration of Children’s Literature on the Web. For the first four weeks of class, I asked students to select a blog about children’s or YA literature that was interesting to them and follow it. Some of the weeks, we had conversations in class about what we were finding/learning/discovering. Each week I asked them to post a list of things that they had found interesting on a discussion board of our class website.

Today, I’m going to introduce them to the world of children’s literature and twitter. I have @Colby Sharp to thank for this. When his fourth grade class skyped with my undergrad students, one of the things that he mentioned was how important twitter has become for him for pd and connecting with other teachers. Then, at NCTE, I attended a fantastic session with Sarah Mulhern Gross (@thereadingzone), Donalyn Miller (@donalynbooks), Cindy Minnich (@cbethm), Meenoo Rami (@mrami2), & Colby Sharp (@colbysharp) titled: POUND FOR #: TWITTER HASHTAGS FOSTER POWERFUL PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND FUEL LITERACY INITIATIVES

Here are some sources that I’ve found that may be helpful for those new to twitter, or for those who have never considered it as a professional platform:

Twitter 101 – “New to Twitter? Been there a little while, but don’t really understand what’s going on?” Not an official twitter site, but very very helpful.

The Twitter Guidebook – very thorough and easy to navigate, divided into chapters

Clarifications for “rules” – This is a great post that clarifies ideas like ‘tweet a lot’ and ‘follow everyone’

#4pound – this is the fantastic google doc created for the NCTE presentation I mentioned earlier. It explains hashtags and talks about some that are specific to children’s literature and teaching.

Hashtags and twitter chats are two aspects that I particularly enjoy. Here are some that I follow:

  • #titletalk
  • #bookaday
  • #nerdybookclub
  • #engchat

I put a query out on twitter and here were some other suggestions (I have not followed or used these yet, but am planning on it):

  • #edchat
  • #elmchat
  • #teachchat
  • #kidlitchat
  • #kidlit
  • #rwworkshop

What are some of your favorite hashtags, people, trends to follow on twitter? How does it inform your thinking about children’s literature, teaching, reading, etc.?