What’s a Blogstitute?

Yesterday was the last day of classes in my school district. It is always so satisfying to bring closure to work, to reflect on its effectiveness, and to contemplate new possibilities.  This past week has also seen the graduation from high school of my daughter, Bailey. So this weekend we celebrate her with  a graduation party, as well as my sister’s birthday, our town’s River Festival, and then Father’s Day for my wonderful hubby.

Also this week, I am featured in Stenhouse Publisher’s Summer Blogstitute series. What’s a Blogstitute? Think of it as free summer PD that you can visit and revisit at your convenience and pace. Stenhouse offers a series of blogs on a variety of topics by authors such as: Katie Egan Cunningham, Jake Wizner, Lynne Dorfman and Diane Dougherty, Linda Dacey, Lucy West, Erik Palmer, Ralph Fletcher, Kate Roth and Joan Dabrowski, Jan Burkins and Kim Yaris, Stacey Shubitz (oh, and me).

I felt incredibly honored to be asked. So many wonderful authors have contributed over the years to this tradition. Because I have been asked so often, “What’s the best way to get started with Close Writing?” I decided to focus my blog on answering that question.  There’s no ONE right way, (as that is one of the tenets of my book!) but I share what worked best for me and my teachers in this Blogstitute post. So as I busily prep for this weekend of celebrations, I invite you to read my blog post for this week by clicking below.  And then make sure you check out the other Blogstitute posts this summer! If you add a comment to the post and/or tweet out using #Blogstitute16 you can be entered to win a stack of new Stenhouse books!

Screen Shot 2016-06-13 at 6.55.01 AMWhat’s On My Book Radar?

I just finished my 100th book for the school year.  I had set a challenge of reading 40 chapter books this year and without a book to write, I found I had time to read a LOT more!  The 100th was fantastic!  It’s one of those books I can’t believe I hadn’t read yet and so glad I did.  In  fact, it got me thinking that this summer I want to go back and find those books that have been on my TBR list that just haven’t gotten to the top of the pile yet!

Screen Shot 2016-06-18 at 8.26.42 AMLIAR AND SPY by Rebecca Stead is about a 12 year old boy named Georges (named after artist Georges Seurat)whose family must sell their home and move into an apartment.  He meets a strange boy named Safer who appears to be a loner and a spy! Safer starts asking more and more of Georges, who begins to wonder if Safer is really a friend.  As always, there is more to a story than what we first observe.  Stead is a beautiful writer who can capture the essence of situation so perfectly.  I’m glad I ended my school year of reading on such a high note.  Check out this fantastic middle grade novel!


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