Ep. 61: Kim Johnson, Author of This Is My America

This week, I’m sharing an interview with Kim Johnson, author of the phenomenal and timely new young adult book, This Is My America.

Teens and adults alike, this is essential reading that provides a window into Black Lives Matter activism as well as the human impact of racism in our criminal justice system through the characters of Tracy and her family. 

this is my america

“Harrowing and worthwhile; a call-to-action from the anti-racist insights of a generation of black activists.”

– Kirkus, starred review

You can also listen on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.

I hope you order This Is my America or pick it up at your local library. And if you are a teacher or librarian, this is a must purchase for your classroom or library shelves.

My prediction is before long there won’t be room for all the award medals on the cover of this classic in the making.

 

Browse Books Mentioned On This Episode:

A Bookish Home has teamed up with Bookshop.org! Support A Bookish Home and independent bookstores at the same time when you purchase books from our new online bookshop!*

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Browse books by authors interviewed on the podcast, titles mentioned on the show, and more recommendations from your host and librarian, Laura Szaro Kopinski.

We hope this helps you discover your next favorite read! You can also browse titles here and then request them from your local library.

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What are you reading this summer? Share your recommendations and tag @ABookishHome.

Happy Reading and Listening!

Laura Szaro Kopinski

ABookishHome.com

*A Bookish Home is now an affiliate of Bookshop.org. At no extra cost to you, we receive a small commission if you purchase something through the Bookshop.org links provided.

Bookshop.org is an online bookstore with a mission to financially support local, independent bookstores. Thanks for supporting A Bookish Home and your local indies!

 

10 Virtual Author Events Coming Soon

Do you love hearing authors discuss their books and writing lives? One upside of this challenging time is all of the virtual author events now available.

You don’t have to live within driving distance of a particular bookstore or library to see some of your favorite authors discuss all things reading and writing. All you have to do is cozy up on your couch and turn on a device!

Not sure where to start? Here are 10 virtual events to add to your calendar. 

1. Tuesday July 14th at 7pm

J Courtney Sullivan Presents Friends and Strangers in Conversation With Robin Young

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“J. Courtney Sullivan’s latest novel, Friends and Strangers, follows Elisabeth, an accomplished journalist and new mother struggling to adjust to small town life, and Sam, a college senior worrying about what her future might hold. Sullivan explores themes of power dynamics and motherhood through flawed but relatable characters, and their complicated relationships. Sullivan has won multiple prestigious awards for her fiction, including Time Magazine’s Best Book of the Year in 2011 for her novel, Maine. Join us to learn more about her most recent book!

2. Wednesday July 15th – 6:30pm, Belmont Books

VIRTUAL: Christina Soontornvat and Erin Entrada Kelly in support of Read It Forward

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Join usfor an amazing dual event with two fantastic middle grade authors: Christina Soontornvat and Newbery award-winning author Erin Entrada Kelly!”

3. Thursday July 16th- 7pm- Bay Area Book Festival

Virtual: Braving Deep Waters: Female Fearlessness and Friendship with Sue Monk Kidd and Lisa See

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Dive into an exploration of female power and brilliance like you’ve never seen before with bestselling authors Sue Monk Kidd (The Secret Life of Bees, The Invention of Wings) and Lisa See (The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane) moderated by Aimee Phan (The Reeducation of Cherry Truong).”

 

Virtual: National Book Award winner and New York Times bestselling author Ibram X. Kendi discusses “How to Be an Antiracist.”

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“2019 Guggenheim Fellow and New York Times bestselling author Ibram X. Kendi will discuss his renowned book “How to Be an Antiracist” on Monday, July 20 at 7:00 p.m. with Dr. Charlene M. Dukes, president of Prince George’s Community College. Dr. Dukes is the first African-American woman to serve as president of the College and has 30 years of progressive leadership experience and administrative responsibility in higher education.”

5. Thursday July 23rd at 4pm – A Mighty Blaze

Virtual: Amy Poeppel in Conversation With Fiona Davis

 

 
“Please join Amy Poeppel, author of Musical Chairs and Fiona Davis, author of The Lions of Fifth Avenue, on the A MIghty Blaze Facebook page. Event link to come!”

 

Looking for Something New To Read? Want to Support Indie Bookstores? A Bookish Home Has Teamed Up With Bookshop.org

Have you ever dreamed of owning a bookstore? I know I have. This weekend I started a (virtual) bookstore for A Bookish Home using Bookshop.org and I’m having so much fun sharing book recommendations this way!

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If you haven’t heard of Bookshop.org, it’s a wonderful new site readers can use to shop for their next favorite reads. Bookshop.org has a mission to help financially support local, independent bookstores. And they make it so fun to browse and discover titles! 

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You can now browse books by authors interviewed on A Bookish Home, see my recent favorites, what I’ve been reading lately, and more.

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If you decide to purchase a book, A Bookish Home and independent bookstores both receive a commission. It’s a win win!

You can also use my new shop to browse and decide what you want to read next and then request the book for free from your local library.

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I hope this helps you discover your next favorite read! I’ll keep adding more categories and titles for readers to browse.

And stay tuned for a great bookish conversation on the podcast this week with the queen of the beach read, Mary Kay Andrews! Lookout for that episode on Thursday.

Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski

ABookishHome.com

A Bookish Home is now an affiliate of Bookshop.org. At no extra cost to you, we receive a small commission if you purchase something through the Bookshop.org links provided.

Ep. 56: Jean Van’t Hul Of The Artful Parent

This week I’m excited to chat with Jean Van’t Hul, The Artful Parent. I find Jean’s books and blog so inspiring in terms of embracing art and creativity with my kids. If you’re looking for simple ways to bring art into your childrens’ lives and break up long days at home, this episode is for you!

Jean Van’t Hul helps parents, caregivers and teachers share art with the kids in their lives through her blog, The Artful Parent, her books, art classes, online courses and the Kids Art Club. A graduate of Wellesley college with a major in art history and studio art, she worked in various art and nonprofit fields before having kids and becoming passionate about children’s creativity. Jean is the author of the Artful Parent: Simple Ways to Fill Your Family’s Life With Art and Creativity and The Artful Year: Celebrating the Seasons & Holidays With Crafts and Recipes. She lives with her family in the mountains of western North Carolina. 

 

You can also listen on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.

Books Mentioned On This Episode:

The Artful Parent 

The Artful Year

97 Orchard

Visit Jean’s blog The Artful Parent for more inspiration!

If you’re enjoying the podcast, please take a moment to subscribe. If you could also take a moment to rate and review A Bookish Home on iTunes to help people find the show, that would be so helpful.

Are you reading a book mentioned on the blog or podcast? I’d love to hear. Tag me wherever you hang out on social media @ABookishHome.

Happy Reading and Listening!

Laura Szaro Kopinski

ABookishHome.com

Start your 7-Day Free Bluprint Trial at myBluprint.com now!

Affiliate links are used in this post. At no extra cost to you, we may receive a small commission if you purchase something through the links provided.

Thanks for supporting A Bookish Home!

 

Ep. 54: Children’s Book Author- Illustrator, Matt Tavares

This week I’m delighted to welcome award winning children’s book author-illustrator, Matt Tavares to the podcast. His picture books include Crossing Niagara, Henry Aaron’s Dream, Red and Lulu, Dasher and many more. His latest book is called Ben of All Trades: The Most Inventive Boyhood of Benjamin Franklin, written by Michael J. Rosen.

 

**Note: this episode was recorded ahead of time, before the COVID-19 situation changed dramatically.**

You can also listen on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.

To find out more about Matt Tavares you can visit https://www.matttavares.com

Books Mentioned On This Episode:

Ben of All Trades

Lady Liberty

Dasher

Red and Lulu

Zachary’s Ball

New Kid

Save the Cat

The Secrets of Story Matt Bird

Making Comics Scott Cloud

If you’re enjoying the podcast, please take a moment to subscribe. If you could also take a moment to rate and review A Bookish Home on iTunes to help people find the show, it would be so helpful.

What are you and your kids reading at home? Let me know in the comments or on social media @ABookishHome.

Stay safe and happy reading,

Laura Szaro Kopinski

ABookishHome.com

Affiliate links are used in this post. At no extra cost to you, we may receive a small commission if you purchase something through the links provided.

Thanks for supporting A Bookish Home!

Ep. 53: Bobbie Pyron, Author of Stay

This week my guest is Bobbie Pyron, who’s new middle grade book Stay was called “Timely, important, and truly beautiful” by Newbery Award winner Katherine Applegate. 

Bobbie has worked in libraries and bookstores in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Utah and has been active in local animal rescue work for many years. She’s also the author of A Pup Called Trouble, A Dog’s Way Home, and Lucky Strike, among others. Bobbie lives in Ashville, NC, with her husband, Todd, and their dog, Sherlock.

**Note: this episode was recorded last month, before the COVID-19 situation changed dramatically. I know it can be jarring to hear a conversation from “Before”. But now more than ever, this is a book and a topic worthy of attention.**

You can also listen on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.

To find out more about Bobbie Pyron you can visit https://www.bobbiepyron.com

Books Mentioned On This Episode:

Stay

My Dog Always Eats First: Homeless People And Their Animals 

Invisible Nation: Homeless Families In America

Don’t Overthink It

Casey the Utterly Impossible Horse

Season of Ponies

Pippi Longstocking

Olive Again

Look Both Ways

Long Way Down

The Dutch House

This Is Happiness

 

Additional Information from Bobbie:

“The organization I volunteered with in Salt Lake City is no longer, but there’s a new one that’s doing the same thing: Street Dawg Crew of Utah. The national organization I mentioned is Pets of the Homeless 

STAY was supposed to have an Author’s Note at the end:

·      The most recent (2017) national estimate of people experiencing homelessness in America is 553,742

·      Approximately 34% live in place not meant for human habitation such as parks, abandoned buildings, cars, under bridges.

·      35% of people experiencing homelessness are families with children.

·      2.5 million children will experience homelessness this year in America.

·      About 10-15% of people experiencing homelessness have a pet.

·      Less than 1% of shelters allow pets.
Here are some other organizations that help folks experiencing homelessness:

·      PETS OF THE HOMELESS   petsofthehomeless.org

·      THE STREET DOG COALITION    thestreetdogcoalition.org

·      NATIONAL ALLIANCE TO END HOMELESSNESS    endhomelessness.org

·      THE COALITION FOR THE HOMELESS

 

If you’re enjoying the podcast, please take a moment to subscribe. If you could also take a moment to rate and review A Bookish Home on iTunes to help people find the show, I’d be so grateful.

 

What are you reading at home? Let me know in the comments or on social media @ABookishHome.

Stay safe and happy reading,

Laura Szaro Kopinski

ABookishHome.com

Affiliate links are used in this post. At no extra cost to you, we may receive a small commission if you purchase something through the links provided.

Thanks for supporting A Bookish Home!

Ten Books For Parents At Home With Little Ones

Life at home with littles is a challenge for everyone right now.

Let’s be honest. Sometimes this season of survival means watching Frozen 2 for the tenth time. But I am trying to put at least one “homeschool-ish” activity on my to-do list every day that will bring some joy, creativity, or nature into our lives.

When in doubt, go to the books!

Right now, I don’t have the mental energy (or time) to come up with many interesting activities on my own. This is not a time for me to scroll Pinterest for ideas. I want a few concrete choices, contained in a handful of titles.

So far that’s meant things like baking muffins together from The Complete Baking Books for Young Chefs or breaking out the glue and tissue paper for a sun catcher craft from The Artful Parent. 

And to get in a positive headspace and find some tips, I’m reading and listening to some parenting and homeschooling books as well.

All of these titles are inspiring me to reach for joy and moments of connection with my kids during this season.

Bookish Bonus: I’ve been able to order some of these books from local bookstores as a way to support them. Each of these titles has a link to Indiebound, where you can choose to order them from your local indie bookstore.*

1. Brave Learner

Shop your local indie bookstore

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This book from Julie Bogart has been my bedtime read for the past couple of weeks. It’s all about her adventures homeschooling her kids and is inspiring me to embrace this lifestyle for now. My favorite practical idea from this book so far is having my preschooler practice math skills by counting down from 10, then jumping off the couch, yelling “blast off!” A true crowd pleaser.

 

2. The Book of Gardening Projects for Kids: 101 Ways to Get Kids Outside, Dirty, and Having Fun

Shop your local indie bookstore

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I feel very lucky to have a backyard right now and we’re trying to take advantage. Planting a garden is my idea of science fun, so we’ve been starting flower and vegetable seeds together lately. This book has plenty of inspiration to help keep kids busy and learning outdoors.

 

3. The Read Aloud Family

 Shop your local indie bookstore

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This is another book by a homeschooling parent that I read a couple of years ago. It reminds me that we’re doing plenty to help our kids learn already (like reading aloud picture books or watching virtual storytimes).

 

4. The Complete Baking Book For Young Chefs

 Shop your local indie bookstore

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Baking is one of my favorite hobbies and this is a fun book to get kids involved. (Bonus: you’re using new vocabulary and math skills).

 

5. The Artful Parent: Simple Ways to Fill Your Family’s Life With Art & Creativity

 Shop your local indie bookstore

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There are so many fun and simple arts and crafts projects in here to do together, but more than that, author Jean Van’t Hul presents an approach for raising creative kids. Stay tuned for an upcoming A Bookish Home podcast episode with Jean!

 

6. How To Be A Happier Parent

 Shop your local indie bookstore

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This book has been on my TBR list for a long time, since I’m a big fan of author KJ Dell’Antonia’s podcast, #AmWriting. If there was ever a time to get a handle on the aspects of parenting that suck the life out of us, it’s now (think chores, sibling squabbles, and homework). I’ve been listening to the audiobook from the library and it’s nice company while doing the dishes or putting away laundry that makes me feel extra productive

7. You Are A Lion: And Other Fun Yoga Poses

 Shop your local indie bookstore

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This fun picture book doubles as a read loud and a yoga workout for your kids (and you!) Each pose is illustrated as a different animal to help little yogis. We were able to get this as an ebook from the public library and we’ll open it on my computer, but mirror it on the tv so it’s easier to see. (And so no little hands play with the keyboard!)

 

8. There’s No Such Thing As Bad Weather: A Scandinavian Mom’s Secrets for Raising Healthy, Resilient, and Confident Kids

Shop your local indie bookstore

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I really enjoyed past A Bookish Home podcast guest Linda McGurk’s reflections on outdoor play and child development in this book and have been drawing on it when thinking about the simple experiences that help our kids learn and grow.

9. Simple STEAM: 50+ Activities for Ages 3 to 6

 Shop your local indie bookstore

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This book is full of engaging STEAM activities. We did the watercolor butterfly activity and it kept my daughter busy and happy for a good half an hour. We’ll take it!

10. Play The Forest School Way

Shop your local indie bookstore

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If you’re ever stuck for ideas of fun things to do in your backyard, this book has interesting games and crafts. There’s No Such Thing As Bad Weather mentions the popularity of Forest Schools, so I’m excited to delve into this one more. So far we’ve made some hats with nature treasures using one of the activities as inspiration.

 

What books are you reading at home right now? Let us know us know on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram @ABookishHome.

Happy Reading and Listening!

Laura Szaro Kopinski

ABookishHome.com

*Affiliate links are used in this post. At no extra cost to you, we may receive a small commission if you purchase something through the links provided. Thanks for supporting A Bookish Home!

 

 

Ep. 52: Cheryl Klein, Editorial Director at Lee & Low Books

This week, I’m delighted to welcome Cheryl Klein to the podcast to discuss all things books and reading.

Cheryl Klein is the editorial director at Lee & Low Books. She is also the author of two adult books, The Magic Words: Writing Great Books for Children and Young Adults and Second Sight: An Editor’s Talks on Writing, Revising, and Publishing Books for Children and Young Adults, and three picture books, Wings, Thunder Trucks, and A Year of Everyday Wonders. Prior to her work at Lee & Low, Cheryl spent sixteen years at Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic, where she published a wide array of acclaimed titles and served as the continuity editor for the last two books of the Harry Potter series. She lives in Brooklyn, New York

**Note: this episode was recorded several weeks ago. The world seems to be a very different place now and I know it can be jarring not to hear mention of the current COVID-19 pandemic. But hopefully this offers some much needed distraction.**

 

You can also listen on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.

To find out more about Cheryl Klein you can visit CherylKlein.com.

And browse Lee and Low titles at www.leeandlow.com.

Books Mentioned On This Episode:

The Magic Words: Writing Great Books for Children and Young Adults

Second Sight: An Editor’s Talks on Writing, Revising, and Publishing Books for Children and Young Adults

Wings

A Year of Everyday Wonders

Thunder Trucks

Harry Potter

The Magnolia Sword: A Ballad of Mulan

She Was the First!: The Trailblazing Life of Shirley Chisholm 

Midsummer’s Mayhem

Seven Golden Rings

Julieta and the Diamond Enigma

Doggies

Will Giraffe Laugh? and series

The List of Things That Will Not Change

Ninth House

Crooked Kingdom

 

If you’re enjoying the podcast, please take a moment to subscribe. If you could also take a moment to rate and review A Bookish Home on iTunes to help people find the show, I’d be so grateful.

 

Are you reading a book mentioned on the blog or podcast? I’d love to hear. Tag me wherever you hang out on social media @ABookishHome.

Happy Reading and Listening!

Laura Szaro Kopinski

ABookishHome.com

Affiliate links are used in this post. At no extra cost to you, we may receive a small commission if you purchase something through the links provided.

Thanks for supporting A Bookish Home!

Five Places To Watch Online Story Times With Your Kids

1. Scholastic

Scholastic is offering a host of remote learning resources for kids of all ages. One of my favorites is Bookflix, in the Pre-K/K and Grades1/2 Sections.

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These are high quality book pairings to read with your kids. Each picture book video is paired with a nonfiction ebook that can be read aloud.

Try this pair for a wonderful spring story time with your little ones:

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2. StorylineOnline

Storyline has a treasure trove of read alouds from actors, like this lovely video of Rose Byrne reading Peter Rabbit.

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    3. Read Draw Create Community from Susan Tan 

The wonderful children’s book author Susan Tan has put together a collection of videos from authors and illustrators reading aloud from their work.

Two of my favorites are past A Bookish Home podcast guests Susan Tan reading from Cilla Lee-Jenkins and Grace Lin sharing some of The Year of The Dog!

 

4. Read, Wonder, and Learn!

Resources From Kate Messner:

Kidlit author extraordinnaire Kate Messner has compiled a host of videos and resources from Jason Reynolds, Aisha Said, and other stars of the children’s book community.

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5. Your Local Library

Have you been following your local public library on social media or their website? Many children’s librarians have been sharing remote story times, which are particularly comforting to kids because they are familiar faces. Check to see if your local library is offering any story times or online programs for kids.

If your library does not have any online story times, check out the Billerica Public Library’s remote story times!

I’m so happy to have recently joined the Billerica Public Library team as a part-time reference and marketing librarian! Their children’s librarians have been posting wonderful story times for kids that you can watch here.

Ep. 51: Hena Khan On More to the Story

This week I’m joined by children’s book author Hena Khan. Her latest middle grade novel, More to the Story, has been called a love letter to Little Women.

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You can also listen on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.

 

Books Mentioned On This Episode:

More to the Story

Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns

Under My Hijab

It’s Ramadan, Curious George

Little Women

Amina’s Voice

The Night Diary

Other Words from Home

The Vanderbeekers

The Lost Girl

 

To find out more about Hena Khan visit HanaKhan.com

 

Hena also has a new picture book out now called Like the Moon Loves the Sky:

likethemoon

In a starred review Publisher’s Weekly calls Like the Moon Loves the Sky “a peaceful incantation. a view of a childhood focused not just on well-being, but on hope-to ‘count all your blessings’ and ‘find wonder’-as well.”

 

If you’re enjoying the podcast, please take a moment to subscribe. If you could also take a moment to rate and review A Bookish Home on iTunes to help people find the show, I’d be so grateful.

 

Are you reading a book mentioned on the blog or podcast? I’d love to hear. Tag me wherever you hang out on social media @ABookishHome.

Happy Reading and Listening!

Laura Szaro Kopinski

ABookishHome.com

Affiliate links are used in this post. At no extra cost to you, we may receive a small commission if you purchase something through the links provided.

Thanks for supporting A Bookish Home!