Category Archives: books

You Do You: a collection of essays about raising strong girls

It’s been a week that was many years long.

via GIPHY

One thing is clear. We have a lot of work to do to dismantle the culture of sexism that we are raising our kids in.  It’s each of our responsibilities to challenge the gender stereotypes, toxic masculinity, and rape culture that persists at the highest levels in our institutions. One way to do this is to provide our kids with books that showcase women and girls sharing their stories, perspectives, voices and experiences. Luckily, we now have a new book that does just THAT, across generations, out just this week. I’m proud to have a poem in this new anthology.

You Do You is the sixth book in the New York Times best selling I Just Want to Pee Alone series, which has tackled a variety of topics since 2012 – including parenthood, relationships, and the cult of female perfection – all with a broad range of voices, from the cynical, to the ugly-cry, to the outright hilarious.


Kansas City based author and founder of the popular blog People I Want to Punch in the Throat, Jen Mann, gathered thirty-seven other female writers and bloggers to share their relatable essays about the hits and misses of strong, confident daughters.

“I wanted this book to be a love-fest for the girls in our lives, to sing their praises just the way they are,” said Mann.

Mann added that this book is different from her previous anthologies because it includes, by design, contributions from girls and women of diverse perspectives and all ages, ranging from 12 to 65 — geared toward a multi-generational audience.

I began the poem Some Days while sitting in my car. I wrote it in anguish as I realized I apologize for everything, and have been conditioned to do that all my life. My hope is that this poem can encourage girls to take up space, have opinions, passions, and a strong voice and not apologize for it.

You Do You was released on Friday, September 28. Copies will be available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle, and will also be sold on B&N.com, NookiBooksKobo, and other e-book retailers.

Please be in touch if you want to schedule a reading or event  (aka: a celebration of the voices of women and girls) at your school, bookstore, or home.

via GIPHY

 We can do this.

New Salamander Defenders: School Visits!

 

We have legions of new salamander defenders!

Lucky me: I have had the chance to visit several schools since the launch of Salamander Sky in March, from pre-kindergarten to grade 6.  Kids big and small love learning about mysterious creatures that come out at night in their own backyards.

Last month I headed down to three schools in the Middlebury area. I met 400 new friends at the Mary Hogan School. The gym was full of kids excited to learn about these secretive creatures, to see recent pictures of the crossing, and to meet herpetologist Jim Andrews and Audubon salamander crossing guard Carol Ramsayer.

Then I headed to Beeman Elementary for a a inquistive group of about 60 kids ready to learn about salamanders. They were treated to Carol’s mini salamander crossing set up and helped me take care of Sky, my pet (fake) spotted salamander.  Thanks so much to Susie Snow for hosting us, and for writing up this blog post about the event!

Then it was off to Vergennes Elementary School.  I met about 100 kids in the library. They asked me all sorts of questions (even how old I was!) and were eager to have signed books.

Last but not least, I visited the Sharon Elementary School Pre-Kindergarten classes. After a morning of farm to school learning, the kids came in excited to hear about salamanders and how they could help protect them. They had been learning all about nature, spring and ponds, so this fit right in. I was so excited to sign a book for each student and was brought to tears when one student hugged the book tightly, beaming from ear to ear as she walked away.

Thanks to all of the amazing librarians, teachers and book sellers who helped coordinate this visits! It is such a joy to share in a love of nature, reading, and exploration by sharing Salamander Sky with young readers.

 

New Tools for Teachers (for Salamander Sky and beyond)


I had the lovely opportunity to present to an inspiring, passionate group of educators and children’s book authors yesterday morning at the amazing Bear Pond Books. They came out to my workshop called Picture Books and Project Based Learning. It focused on how teachers can use picture books as a launching pad for engaging, exciting project based learning experiences with their students.

For the workshop and beyond, I created two new resources. One, is an Educator’s Guide to Project Based Learning. This resource details the science themes and the Next Generation Science Standards that can be met from the concepts presented in Salamander Sky, and a discussion guide with activities for pre-reading, during reading, and post reading, as well as additional media that can support learning.

For those teachers focused on project based learning, I created this website that features each stage of project based learning with ideas for how Salamander Sky can guide and inspire these projects. There are so many ways students can share their learning, tell a science story, and create original works that benefit the community and world.

Please feel free to be in touch with questions, ideas, or to share what you are up to with students!