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Winding Oak's Bookology Magazine

Recent Articles

Nonfictionary Lester Laminack Writing Road Trip | Take the Next Turn | Lisa Bullard Laura Purdie Salas Writing Road Trip | The Limo's on the Way | Lisa Bullard With My Hands Working with an Editor The Magic Misfits Kari Pearson Laughing Matters Skinny Dip with Lisa Bullard Capers and Cons The Secret Kingdom

Writing Under the Influence

Lisa Bullard

The creative career guidance book said my options were puppeteer or mime.

Re-claiming Women’s History—Still

Karen Blumenthal

At a meeting at the Dallas Public Library one day, a retired chief executive explained to me his vision for a permanent display on a soon-to-be-renovated floor honoring the men who built up the city’s downtown after World War II. I looked at him skeptically. “What about the women?” “There aren’t any,” he snapped back. [...]

The Hate You Give

  This past weekend, Darling Daughter and I participated in a parent-teen book discussion about The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas. This book has won many awards, received fantastic reviews, and is a hot topic of discussion in both the book and teen world—especially where those worlds overlap. It’s about the aftermath of a [...]

Unexpected Wonder

Candice Ransom

Last September, we drove to an empty lake deep in the Appalachians for a short vacation, a much-needed chance to relax.  I longed to escape writing and house chores and cats and reconnect with nature.  When we arrived, clouds draped over the peaks and our room was gloomy. I missed civilization instantly and forced my [...]

How Infographics Can Help Students Avoid Plagiarism

Melissa Stewart

My book Pinocchio Rex and Other Tyrannosaurs, is chockful of text features, including this fun infographic: The process of designing it began with a VERY rough sketch by me. Let’s face the facts. My drawing skills leave a lot of be desired, but this sketch was enough to give the talented folks in the HarperCollins [...]

Skinny Dip with Lester Laminack

Lester Laminack

Lester Laminack is sought after as a speaker in school districts all over the country. A retired professor, actively involved in literacy on many levels, he’s thoughtful, articulate, and has a sparkling sense of humor.  We’re pleased that this very busy author and speaker took time to share his thoughts with Bookology‘s readers this month. What’s the [...]

Take the Next Turn

Lisa Bullard

As a writing warm-up, why not ask your students to create a fresh new spin on a tired old way of saying something?

A Porcupine Named Fluffy

It’s Read Across America Week this week and I had the privilege of hauling a bag of books to a local elementary school and reading to five different classes—K-2nd grade—last Tuesday. A truly wonderful way to spend the afternoon, I must say. #1 Son’s 21st birthday was Tuesday, which made me all nostalgic for the [...]

Spend the Day with Arnold Lobel

Phyllis: February is the month of valentines and lovers, and we spent a day (through his books) with someone we love: Arnold Lobel. He wrote easy reader stories that help children crack the code of reading, give them fun stories with characters who remind us of people we know and that give readers of all ages [...]

Skinny Dip with Laura Purdie Salas

Laura Purdie Salas

Laura Purdie Salas is a poet, a researcher, and a popular visiting author in elementary and middle schools. Several of her books have turned heads and stirred up a buzz, including Water Can Be … and If You Were the Moon. She has published many books about writing for children and frequently speaks at conferences. We’re [...]

Wandering Aimlessly

Lisa Bullard

As a brainstorming activity for your student writers, I encourage you to offer them meandering time.

In Her Own Words:
The Impact of Personal Accounts on Biography

I admit it. I am a history nerd. Like all biographers, I am fascinated by the past. I love learning about the world of long ago: what people wore, what they ate, the jobs they had, the wars they fought.  And nothing thrills me more when I am researching than to discover a firsthand account, [...]

In Memoriam: Wendy Watson

Wendy Watson was a third generation author and artist. Her grandparents, Ernest W. Watson and Eva Auld Watson, were painters and pioneer color block printers.  Ernest was also founder and editor of the magazine American Artist, co-founder of Watson-Guptill Publications, and co-founder of one of the first summer art schools, the Berkshire Summer School of Art. Wendy’s father, Aldren A. Watson, [...]

The Limo’s on the Way

Lisa Bullard

I’ve found there’s an alarmingly close correlation between the topsy-turvy emotions of a high school crush and a writer’s feelings during the process of submitting a manuscript to publishers. As the writer waiting for an answer from The Perfect Publisher, you go through the same hopeful highs and “why doesn’t anyone love me?” lows. The [...]

With My Hands

Sometimes, a book comes across my desk that sparkles like a gem, attracting my attention, insisting that I stop what I’m doing and read it. This happened when With My Hands: Poems about Making Things arrived last week. I thought I’d take a peek. Next thing you know, I was closing the last page of the [...]

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. [...]

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 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 [...]