Books resources

You Can Be a Cool Kind Kid by Barbara Gilmour, an anti bullying book for the littles

Although October is winding down, it’s still important to remember that it’s Anti-Bullying Awareness month. I’m a firm believer in anti-bullying campaigns. Is there anyone who is pro-bullying? If so, I want nothing to do with them.

But I ramble. Here’s an anti-bullying book for the littles. It’s actually a series of books along with items that can be used for a school curriculum: a cd, wristbands, bookmarks, word charts, flash cards (yay!), etc.

You Can Be a Cool Kind Kid by Barbara Gilmour

In the first book, we meet Tanner, he thinks everything is cool. Except bullying. Bullying is not cool. Neither are bad words or being rude. During the rest of the book, Tanner illustrates ways to be cool, by using good manners, helping people, being polite, etc.

The book is a great way to teach self-respect and respect for others. Little ones will get it AND the characters inside the book are a good diverse representation!

BTW I ADORE their slogan: Social Skills that break the cycle of bullying by redefining cool.


Check out their website:

Teachers, get you some of this!





Why You Should Know About KidLitCon: #WeNeedDiverseBooks



KidLitCon is a gathering of book bloggers who specialize in kid lit; YA, middle grade, and picture books. Sounds right up my alley, right?


You can imagine how thrilled I was when they agreed to let me speak at their conference! To be sure, I’ve met book bloggers at BEA in New York, but this was a conference for people who also read MG and picture books!!

Thanks to the #WeNeedDiverseBooks discussion this summer on Twitter, Diversity was on everyone’s minds at KidLitCon.  Take a look at the program so you can see how focused they were.

Did you notice anything? Yep I spoke on day two. But not about diversity. They wanted me to speak about finding your readers! So I did. I talked about the main social media platforms I use when I’ve written a blog post.

The wonderful Mitali Perkins of Welcome to Mitali’s Fire Escape  taught us some tips to use when evaluating books for diversity, which, as a reviewer who tries to focus on diversity (and the lack thereof) was near to my heart. The most important idea I took away from Mitali’s talk is that “Stories are windows and mirrors. It’s up to the reader to decide which story is going to be the window or which is the mirror. ” Which simply means that some readers are going to see the book as a window into another life and others will see the character reflecting back at them, like a mirror.

Deep, isn’t it?  That’s why diversity in literature is so important!

Stay tuned for more reflections from my time at KidLitCon

Adult Fiction Challenges

Tony Danza’s new book and [email protected]

Hi folks,  I’m excited to be part of this exciting opportunity! Legendary actor Tony Danza, of Taxi and Who’s the Boss fame will be coming to Towne Book Center & Cafe on September 15th and I’m giving away TWO copies of his book and TICKETS to the event!!

Remember this guy??? Of course you do! Well, did you know that before becoming an actor, he studied education? That’s right, he wanted to become a teacher! Several years ago he taught classes at Northeast Philadelphia High School and then he wrote a book about it.  A&E TV also did a short lived reality show about it.

Look  how cute he is in is shirt and tie! He’s just Mr. Danza to these kids.  And that’s what so remarkable about the book.  He is a human being not a celebrity and he cares for these students just as any other teacher would.

“This is the story of my year as a tenth-grade English teacher at Northeast High, an inner-city public high school in Philadelphia.  The events and conversations are as true and accurate as I can write them, using my daily diary entries, lesson plans, emails, videotape, YouTube postings, and memory as my guides.  A few of the incidents in this book were recorded in the 2010 A&E television series Teach, which was shot in my classroom during the year I taught at Northeast, but please remember that television—even ”reality” TV-has a way of altering actual events.  I hope in this book I’ve drawn a truer picture of Northeast, my students, and my experience.  “

To be sure, Mr. Danza wasn’t always successful in the classroom; but then, what first year teacher is? But with the sincerity he exhibits as he attempts to connect with students from Philadelphia, you’ll see Mr. Danza in a whole new way.

To promote his new book, I’d Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had, Danza will be in the Philadelphia area and one of his tour stops is Towne Book Center and Cafe in Collegeville PA!

To get in on the fun, enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win a ticket to the event AND get an autographed copy of his book.  This is the perfect way to thank teachers, silent heroes, for all they do for us.





Here’s the Rafflecopter info.  Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway