The Short Answer to Long Series for Kids

What’s up with all the long-running series for middle grade readers?  For the purposes of this article, I’m talking specifically about books series that span more than fifteen books—in fact, some of them feel like they might never end!  Kids love them, adults perhaps less so when our bookshelf threatens to collapse from the weight… Read more »

#5OnFri: Military History Is Not As Dusty As It Seems

Military history is often an underappreciated genre supposedly filled with stuffy biographies, or a litany of dates and battle names. When I took on the project of writing Flying Colors, even I approached the genre with the same perspective. As I would with any new project, I began with exploring possibilities and took to reading…. Read more »

#5OnFri: Five Books to Nurture the Writer in You

So you want to be a better writer, huh?  You’ll need to read. A lot. And not just books on the craft (of writing), but books in every genre, targeting every age group. Books will teach you to be a better writer. How, you say? Pull up a chair and I’ll share. Here is a… Read more »

5onFri: Five Children’s Book Role Models

When I was a kid, books were like my third parent. I absorbed the wholesome lessons of loyalty to friends, obedience to parents and faith in myself as if a stack of children’s novels were my personal guide to life. At the time, I didn’t consider the impact that children’s literature would have on me… Read more »

#5OnFri: Upper Middle Grade Historical Fiction

Historical fiction is like your personal time machine.  Hop into a book and whisk off to medieval England, the Wild West, or ancient Rome—the options are endless.  Historical fiction takes facts and events from the past and deftly weaves them into a fictional tale about characters we grow to love. Plenty of recent books for… Read more »

#5OnFri: Five Superhero Novels for Adults

Superheroes are not just for kids anymore, if they ever really were. With the popularity of the Marvel movies and television shows, people in capes and spandex out to save or rule the world have definitely gone mainstream. As a lifelong comic book reader and superhero story fan, I couldn’t be happier about that.  … Read more »

How Mirror Characters Can Illustrate Literary Themes

Stories often feature characters who share traits or functions but use them in opposite ways. Think about Frodo Baggins and Gollum, Harry Potter and Voldemort, or Marianne and Elinor Dashwood. The characters in each pair reflect one another’s similarities while contrasting their differences in approaching those similarities. These pairs are known as “mirror characters” –… Read more »

#5OnFri:  Upper-Middle Grade Fantasy and Science Fiction

Do you know a tween or young teen who has moved on from Harry Potter but isn’t ready for Hunger Games?  Loved Inkheart but found Twilight too heavy on the sappy romance? Have I got the list for you!  From under-aged criminals to giant cockroaches, there are some attention-grabbing books available! Here are five fantasy/science fiction… Read more »