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#KidsNeedBooks

A few weeks ago, the brilliant Donalyn Miller published a #NerdyBookClub post that highlighted a simple but powerful truth: kids need books. I’m a former middle school teacher, so I know how many obstacles can stand in a teacher’s path, and how many teachers push forward anyway determined to support their students with whatever resources… Read more »

Crossing Our Divides, One Honest Word at a Time

My column in the Brattleboro Reformer this month examines the role that honesty plays in our ability to cross divides, whether it’s a class divide, a racial divide, or if it’s about guns, a theme that run through The Benefits of Being an Octopus. I also had the chance to talk with Olga Peters on WKVT-Green Mountain Mornings… Read more »

Girl Power Books

                  I recently teamed up with independent bookseller Nancy Braus and children’s librarians Lindsay Bellville and Paige Martin to offer a series of book talks featuring great books that have strong girls as main characters. The group of us all have different taste, so it was super… Read more »

A Critical Investment in the Health and Future Careers of Low-Income Kids

In The Benefits of Being an Octopus, Zoey’s family relies on their EBT card (aka food stamps or SNAP benefits) to be able to have healthy food in the fridge. This month, there’s a good article in The Atlantic by Derek Thompson discusses the importance of supporting low-income families with the financial assistance that is needed so… Read more »

Letters for Parkland & Beyond

I’ve gone through such a range of emotions since hearing about Parkland twelve days ago. After the massacre at Sandy Hook, I was furious that the public support for gun reform wasn’t being translated to the halls of the Statehouse, and I started GunSenseVT, an organization to champion the common ground on the issue of… Read more »

On Goodreads!

  It’s now possible to add THE BENEFITS OF BEING AN OCTOPUS to your Goodreads to-read list!   Just click this button, and then click on the arrow next to “Want-to-Read” and select “Want to Read” to get it to register.    

An Official Title!

Coming up with the right title for a novel is always a process. I had the working title I used when writing it, but I knew that wouldn’t be the final version. A year ago, I bounced ideas off my critique partners, but none of them felt quite right. Over the past month, my editor… Read more »

Friendships that Span Political Boundaries

In the The Benefits of Being an Octopus I explore how difficult — yet how necessary — it is to develop friendships cross barriers. This TED Talk by Caitlin Quattromani and Lauran Arledge centers on a great examples of two friends who were able to maintain their relationship in a true and honest way, despite their… Read more »