Sunday, March 29, 2020

Read Aloud Chapter 6 - KEYS TO THE CITY

In this chapter, Lindy meets a new friend. A friend with a dog!! I always like it when a dog shows up in a story. If you're new to the read aloud, you can scroll down my page and find the other chapters so you can start at the beginning of the book!

Friday, March 27, 2020

Read Aloud Chapter 5 - KEYS TO THE CITY

Here's chapter 5!!

We're going to meet a new friend and his dog very SOON! Hope you keep watching. :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Read Aloud Chapter 4 - KEYS TO THE CITY

Here's another chapter -- thanks for watching!

In this chapter, Lindy is frustrated because she thinks she's capable of doing something her parents don't agree with. I wonder, has that every happened to you? I was very independentt as a child. In 3rd grade, I was riding the city bus to downtown Salem with my best friend to go shopping! But things are different now with safety issues and other things. Anyway, more of New York City to come in this book, I promise. For now, enjoy getting to know Lindy and her family a bit better!

Monday, March 23, 2020

Read Aloud Chapter 3 KEYS TO THE CITY

Happy Monday!

Hope you are doing okay. I know things are hard right now. But that's why I'm doing this - sitting and listening to a story can be incredibly comforting and I hope some kids (or adults too!) are taking advantage of this.

Here's chapter 3. See you on Wednesday for more of the story!

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Read Aloud Chapter 2 - KEYS TO THE CITY

Blog subscribers, I'm sorry you'll be getting these for the next few weeks if it's something you're not interested in. I hope you won't unsubscribe but will just delete from your inbox with all of the other stuff you don't want to read. It's for the children and I know we all love children, so I appreciate your understanding! :)

Chapter 2 is here! Chapter 3 will be available Monday, March 23rd. I think I'll have Alfie, my cute Havanese dog, join me for part of that one.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Read Aloud Chapter 1 - KEYS TO THE CITY

Starting today, Thursday, March 19th, every other day I will be posting a video of me reading from my middle grade novel, KEYS TO THE CITY. 

Here is a description of the book (appropriate for kids ages 7 and up).

Right before school ends, Lindy's 7th grade class gets a summer assignment: to find their "true passion." Something they love and they're good at. Something special. Their thing. So much for a relaxing summer. Then some new friends offer to help Lindy explore the city and go on adventures to find her passion. Lindy isn't sure it'll work but New York is a big place. If the city can help Lindy unlock her potential, maybe the key to the perfect summer will be hers after all...
Please support authors and bookstores as much as you can right now. Here are a few bookstores I know of who are happy to take your order and ship directly to your door! Annie Bloom's Books Portland, Oregon Liberty Bay Books Poulsbo, Washington Blue Willow Bookshop Houston, Texas Barnes and Noble

Check back on Saturday, March 21st for the second chapter. Thanks for watching!! Oh, and feel free to comment or ask questions here, in the comments, and I'll reply once a day or so.

(Please note: Permission has granted by my publisher, Scholastic, to read this book online. All videos will be removed June 30, 2020).

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Verse Novel Recs for International Women's Day


Happy International Women's Day!

This past month, I received the following message:

I am humbled and overjoyed by this news. It's no small thing that over ten years after it was published, I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME is continuing to be discovered and loved in schools across America. I'm deeply thankful to librarians for continuing to put my verse novels in front of students.

In light of that, I wanted to visit (or revisit) some of my favorite verse novels by female authors because today is International Women's Day - what a great day to lift these amazing authors up. In order to save time, I'm not posting photos of the covers but instead providing links to via the title so you can read more about the book and check out the cover. In case you have kids, I'm providing the recommended age, but please know adults can and do also enjoy these books.

Author: Melanie Crowder
Recommended Age: 12 and up
Short Description: The inspiring story of Clara Lemlich, whose fight for equal rights led to the largest strike by women in American history

Title: MAY B.
Author: Caroline Starr Rose
Recommended Age: 8-12
Short Description: This historical novel, told in verse, brings to life the rigors faced by homesteaders on the Kansas prairie in the late 1870s. May Betts unexpectedly finds herself stranded, alone, in a sod house some distance from her family. As winter approaches, she must find food and fuel to stay alive and figure out how to get home before the cruel weather or roving wolves are the death of her. 

Author: Jacqueline Woodson
Recommended Age: 10 and up
Short Description: Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement.

Author: Jasmine Warga
Recommended Age: 8-12
Short Description: A gorgeously written, hopeful middle grade novel in verse about a young girl who must leave Syria to move to the United States.

Author: K.A. Holt
Recommended Age: 12 and up
Short Description: Timothy is a good kid who did a bad thing. Now he's under house arrest for a whole year. 

Author: Joy McCullough
Recommended Age: 12 and up
Short Description: Her mother died when she was twelve, and suddenly Artemisia Gentileschi had a stark choice: a life as a nun in a convent or a life grinding pigment for her father's paint. She chose paint.

Author: Katherine Applegate
Recommended Age: 10-14
Short Description: Kek comes from Africa where he lived with his mother, father, and brother. But only he and his mother have survived. Now she's missing, and Kek has been sent to a new home.

I could go on and on, but my time is up. Need to get back to working on my books! I'll do more of this in the future. My verse novels (ages 12 and up) are all listed on THIS PAGE

Happy reading!!


Thursday, January 23, 2020


This book started with a story in the news.

A story about girls standing up to tackle the misogyny and toxic masculinity at their school.

From the article, "They felt violated, objectified by classmates they considered their friends. They felt uncomfortable getting up to go to the bathroom, worried that the boys might be scanning them..."

I wanted to explore what that would feel like, to realize you're being watched and judged based on how you look. And then, how do you find the courage to stand up to that behavior? And so, a book was born. I decided to set it in middle school so it's appropriate for kids in 3rd-8th grade.


Inspired by a true story of girl empowerment, DON'T JUDGE ME explores trust, self-worth, and speaking up -- especially when you're told to keep quiet.

Hazel doesn't like to make waves. Middle school is hard enough without causing more trouble, right? She's happy just eating lunch in the library with her BFF, writing secret haikus, and taking care of an adorable rescue tortoise.

But then Hazel discovers a list that rates the girls at her middle school based on their looks -- started by her best friend's older brother. She knows she has to do something, and she can't do it alone. The wave she'll be making might turn into a tsunami, but if Hazel can find the courage to speak up, she might just change everything.

Coming November 10, 2020 from Scholastic.

Links to preorder:
Annie Bloom Books
More to come