Tag Archives: new 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.

Teacher Summer Reading: Learn Like Pirate

(First published at the Tarrant Center for Innovative Education blog)

Something about this book title and summer reading fits perfectly. The open ocean, pirates, and fierce independence. I’m hoping you have a bit of time to settle into some reading for fun and some that inspires you in the classroom to have students take on more leadership and develop their own independence.

You know when you pick up a book and it just clicks? Learn Like a Pirate, by Paul Solarz is just that kind of book. As a teacher I have been trying to develop ways for students to take more leadership and ownership in the classroom (and beyond). Paul Solarz takes this to a new level– and I wish I had this book years ago. It is, in short, a guidebook for how to give your students voice, choice, leadership and independence in the classroom. The book gives very doable ways for students to take the lead in their own educations– to create classroom environments can foster community, life-long, engaged learning.

learn like a piriate

Cliff Notes Version:

(aka transformative practices outlined in the book)

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The Order of the Trees (idea babies, rejection, and a policy)

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(This is a speech I made at the official launch of my middle grade fiction book on May 1, 2015, called The Order of the Trees. I feel so lucky that all these families came to talk about reading, ideas, and writing!)

I’m so excited and thrilled to see you all here. Thank you for making the time to come. It is truly an amazing community in which to live and work. I am very thankful.

Now about this book. You see, I have always written. In journals, late at night, while waiting, observing the world. I started writing for kids about 15 years ago. Over the course of that time I wrote, edited, and sent out work. I received many rejections. Some hand written, lovely and kind, but still rejections. I won’t pretend they didn’t hurt. But I have developed a policy.

The world will tell you NO. They will tell you all the problems with your ideas. The world is very good at that.

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