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Winding Oak's Bookology Magazine

Recent Articles

Writing Road Trip | Backseat Drivers | Lisa Bullard Working with an Editor Big Green Pocketbook The Magic Misfits Kari Pearson Laughing Matters Skinny Dip with Lisa Bullard Capers and Cons The Secret Kingdom Red Reading Boots The Pushcart War Skinny Dip with Brenda Sederberg Red Reading Boots A Wrinkle in Time Writing Road Trip by Lisa Bullard | Signal Your Intentions Skinny Dip with DeDe Small http://bit.ly/2kJTyNY Knock Knock David LaRochelle

Backseat Drivers

Lisa Bullard

Some of the best advice you can give student writers is also some of the easiest for them to carry through on: to write better, they should read better. Read better, as in: Read more. Read widely. Read outside their usual reading “type.” Read carefully. Read for fun. Read first for story, and then read [...]



The Human Alphabet

At my local library, a couple of weeks ago, I flipped through the books that were for sale by the Friends of the Library. These are mostly books that have been removed from the shelves for one reason or another. The kids’ books cost $.50—fifty cents, people! I’ve found some great ones in these bins. [...]



Working with an Editor

Jen Bryant

“What’s it like to work with an editor?”is a question I often get from teachers, students, and aspiring authors and it’s one that takes some time to fully answer. In the best situations, an editor’s relationship to her author is like a coach’s relationship to an athlete: knowing her author’s personality, talent, and potential, she [...]



Behind the Sign

Candice Ransom

I came down with the flu. After weeks of dragging myself to the computer, I finally listened to the doctor and let myself be sick. One afternoon I pulled out my old journals. I haven’t kept a journal in the last few years, instead a planner dictates my days. My composition notebooks are a mishmash [...]



The Magic Misfits

The Magic Misfits

I’m one of those people that often reads a celebrity-written book because I’d like to find one that defies the odds. How about you? Did you get over the wondering at a certain point? Or do you still give a new star-powered book a try? Sadly, I don’t often find a celebrity book I can [...]



Laughing Matters

Kari Pearson

This month, Jacqueline Briggs Martin and Phyllis Root, the usual hosts of this column, have invited Kari Pearson to share her recommendations for funny picture books. Let’s play a game! It’s called Funny/Not Funny. It goes like this: Funny: Eating greasy bloaters with cabbage-and-potato sog (see: How Tom Beat Captain Najork and His Hired Sportsmen) Not [...]



Skinny Dip with Lisa Bullard

Lisa Bullard

Lisa Bullard is a well-respected writing teacher in Minnesota and beyond, having shared her wisdom and her sense of humor about writing with classrooms full of adults and children (usually not at the same time). She has two books on writing, one for adults (Get Started in Writing for Children) and one for children (You [...]



Capers and Cons

Capers and Cons The Player King

When you (or your students) want a book that keeps you turning the pages for your weeknight and weekend reading, here are some suggestions for books with that nimble pacing and what-are-they-up-to plots. Many of them are just right for middle grade or avid younger-than-that readers, with a couple of teen titles added. (And, of [...]



The Secret Kingdom

The Secret Kingdom

This book is irresistible. For all kinds of reasons. Remember when you were a kid, or maybe you do this now, how you’d take whatever was at hand and create a house, a camp, an entire setting for you to play in? Where you could act out your stories? Did you do this with found [...]



The Pushcart War

I first heard of  Jean Merrill’s The Pushcart War in grad school. I read it because a fellow student spoke with absolute glee about it. I’ve not heard a book recommended with such laughter and vigor before or since. And I fell into the book just as she insisted I would. Fell, I tell you. [...]



The Good Thing about Bad Words

Karen Blumenthal

It’s mid-January, I have this Nonfictionary deadline, and all I can think about is President Trump’s latest vulgarity. His recent word choice about certain countries jumped from my phone like an electrical charge, literally and physically jolting me backwards. For the rest of the day and beyond, my soul hurt and my spirit sagged. But [...]



Skinny Dip with Brenda Sederberg

Brenda Sederberg

Brenda Sederberg is the current facilitator of the Chapter & Verse Book Club in Duluth, Minnesota. She’s an enthusiastic reader and wonderfully avid about sharing the books she reads. A retired teacher, she continues to inspire learning wherever she goes.



A Wrinkle in Time

It was a dark and stormy night.  When I read this aloud one chilly fall evening on the porch to my kids, I laughed out loud. It was Banned Books week and we were “celebrating” by reading Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, one of the perennial repeaters on banned books lists. #1 Son was [...]



A Science Rookie: Learning to Craft a Science Narrative
When You Know Next to Nothing about Science

Susan Latta

Enter the freshman chemistry tutor dressed in torn jeans and a flannel shirt. His job? To get me through entry level chemistry at Iowa State University. My first college plan was to major in Hotel and Restaurant Management because my father owned a company that did business with these types of institutions. So, what the [...]



Signal Your Intentions

Lisa Bullard

It wasn’t so unusual that my teenage nephews were sending me signals that translated to: “Will you take us to the store right now so we can spend these Christmas gift cards from Grandma?” What was new this year was that they also wanted to do the driving. Brand-new permits in their pockets, I agreed [...]



Poetry from Stones

Candice Ransom

Outside my window right now: bare trees, gray sky, a brown bird. No, let’s try again. Outside my window, the leafless sweetgum shows a condo of squirrels’ nests, a dark blue rim on the horizon indicates wind moving in, and a white-crowned sparrow scritches under the feeders. Better. Even in winter, especially in winter, we [...]



Skinny Dip with DeDe Small

DeDe Small

DeDe Small shares her enthusiasm about books, reading, and literacy with her students at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. We invited DeDe to Skinny Dip with us, our first interview in the New Year. When did you first start reading books? I don’t actually remember learning to read but I do always remember having [...]



Gifts from the Trenches

Life in the trenches, a/k/a the classroom, is not for the faint of heart. In previous Bookology articles I’ve shared my take on many of the challenges faced by teachers in today’s educational climate. Lack of meaningful opportunities for the teacher’s voice to be heard, mounting pressure to produce students who perform well on high [...]



Let It Snow!

Katy and the Big Snow

Phyllis: The first real snow has fallen overnight, and the quality of light when I wake up is luminous outside the window. Solstice approaches, and we’ve turned our thoughts to books about winter and snow. So many to choose from! Here are a few. When my grown daughter saw a copy of Katy and the Big [...]



Skinny Dip with Kelly Starling Lyons

Kelly Starling Lyons

You may know Kelly Starling Lyons for One Million Men and Me or Tea Cakes for Tosh or Ellen’s Broom, memorable picture books, but we’re celebrating her new chapter books starring Jada Jones! Thanks, Kelly, for taking a Skinny Dip with us in December. Who was your favorite teacher in grades K-7 and why? That’s [...]



Revisions Part IV

Lynne Jonell

My editor suggests that I cut one character out completely.



Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award Committee

North Woods Girl

We’re in the midst of award season, when best of the year lists and speculation about award winners proliferate on the social media platforms swirling around children’s and teen books. In November, we attended the award ceremony at the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute’s Children and Young Adult Literature Conference, which takes place at Northland College [...]



The Kindness of Teachers

David LaRochelle

I loved first grade. Fifty-one years later, I still have vivid memories of my teacher, Miss Follett. She played the piano every day. She read to us from her giant book of poetry. She showed us photos of her trips to exotic places, like Alaska and Hawaii. At Halloween we screamed in terror and delight [...]



Cloth and the Picture Book:
Storytelling with Textile Techniques

Spiike Ugliest Dog in the Universe

Author and illustrator Debra Frasier was invited to lecture on this topic to the Western North Carolina Textile Study Group, and the public, in mid-November 2017. This is the bibliography that accompanies Debra’s presentation, with book selections by Debra Frasier and Vicki Palmquist. If you would like to invite Debra to give this presentation to your [...]