5 Ways You to Support Authors and Illustrators

Yesterday at lunch, I created a quick video with some tips for how you can easily support book creators. The more support they get from their readers, the more likely they will be able to continue to write awesome books for kids!

Here’s another video I made about the importance of supporting independent bookstores.


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It’s A Wonderful Sweater! | Interview

I absolutely love teaching in my hometown. LOVE IT. A lot of kids that grow up in Jackson County are under the impression that Jackson is a place that is forced to live in, and the goal in life should be to get out as fast as you can. While I have respect for view, it is pretty much the opposite of how I have always felt. Jackson is filled with some pretty amazing people, and I feel blessed to call it my home.

Nicholas Rush runs The Resale Depot. It is a resale store ran by a local church. They divide the profits up and donate the to various ministries. Mr. Rush is working on changing the perception of Jackson by highlighting local community members in his series: It’s A Wonderful Sweater. Each episode features a Jacksonian talking about what they do, and why they love the city.

It was an honor to be a part of It’s A Wonderful Sweater. You can find my episode below.

My next newsletter comes out this Sunday! It will include a slice of life story, a book talk and a giveaway! Enter by clicking on the image below and signing up at the top of my website.



One Question With Kate Messner

At NCTE in St. Louis I had the opportunity to sit down and chat with Kate Messner. We spent most of our time talking about her book Breakout for The Yarn podcast. Kate was kind enough to also answer a question for my One Question With Mr. Sharp series.

I asked Kate if she could share something she has learned since she left the classroom, that she would try with students if she was still a classroom teacher. Be sure to stick around to the end of the video to hear what question Kate has for you!

Check out the previous episodes of One Question With Mr. Sharp below!

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My 2017 Nerdy Ballot


Earlier this week, Donalyn Miller wrote her annual Nerdy Book Club Nerdversary post. In this post she does a call for nominations for our annual Nerdy Book Club awards books. I’ve been working on the books that I am going to nominate. It is so hard narrowing down some of these categories. Below you will find my current list. I’m sure one or two books might change between now and when I nominate. I still have some 2017 books to read!

Be sure to let me know what awesome 2017 books that I missed in the comments below.

Note: I did not nominate any books in the MG/YA nonfiction category because I don’t feel like I read enough books in the category to feel comfortable nominating anything. I need to do a better reading nonfiction next year. 

Picture Books Fiction

This House, Once

By: Deborah Freedman

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After The Fall

By: Dan Santat


The Book of Mistakes

By: Corinna Luyken



By: Dev Petty and Lauren Eldridge


All The Way to Havana

By: Margarita Engle and Mike Curato


Picture Book Nonfiction

A Boy, a Mouse, and a Spider

By: Barbara Herkert and Lauren Castillo


How to be an Elephant

By: Katherine Roy


Can an Aardvark Bark?

By: Melissa Stewart and Steve Jenkins



Sergeant Reckless: The True Story of the Little Horse Who Became a Hero

By: Patricia McCormick and Iacopa Bruno


What Makes a Monster?

By: Jess Keating and David DeGrand


Early Reader/Chapter Books

A Boy Called Bat

By: Elena K. Arnold


Ballet Cat: What’s Your Favorite Favorite?

By: Bob Shea


Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker

By: Shelley Johannes


The Good For Nothing Button!

By: Charise Mericle Harper


It’s Shoe Time!

By: Bryan Collier


Graphic Novels

Real Friends

By: Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham


Swing It, Sunny

By: Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm


All’s Faire in Middle School

By: Victoria Jamieson


Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt

By: Ben Clanton


Dog Man Unleashed

By: Dav Pilkey

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Poetry and Novels in Verse

Animal Ark

By: Kwame Alexander and Joel Sartore


Bravo! Poems About Amazing Latinos

By: Margarita Engle and Rafael López


One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance

By: Nikki Grimes


Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets

By: Kwame Alexander with Chris Colderley and Marjory Wentworth

Illustrations by: Ekua Holmes



By: Ed Galing and Erin E. Stead


Middle Grade Fiction

I couldn’t cut this category down to five, so I listed six. Not sure which book I’ll cut when I fill out my ballot. This is so hard!

Orphan Island

By: Laurel Snyder


The War I Finally Won

By: Kimberly Brubaker Bradley


The First Rule of Punk

By: Celia C Pérez


The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora

By: Pablo Cartaya


Clayton Byrd Goes Underground

By: Rita Williams Garcia



By: Katherine Applegate


Young Adult Fiction

The Hate U Give

By: Angie Thomas


Piecing Me Together

By: Renée Watson

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Long Way Down

By: Jason Reynolds

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Turtles All The Day Down

By: John Green


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Reading Aloud Ghost | VLOG

It has been about four weeks since I last did a VLOG. I forgot how much I love doing them. Today’s vlog comes from my school day on Thursday. It was a great day. The vlog focuses on literary essays, reading aloud ghosts, and an awesome new nonfiction picture book for kids. Thanks for watching! (video below)

Catch up on previous VLOGs below!

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5 Reasons Why You Should Read The War I Finally Won

I have been having a lot of fun creating videos lately. Trying out some video book talks seemed like a good idea. Let me know what you think! (video below)

The War I Finally Won can be purchased wherever books are sold. Please consider purchasing it from your local independent bookseller. If you don’t have a local indie, you could try Bookbug. They are really awesome.



Andrew Clements Talks Raising Readers

I had the best time interviewing Andrew Clements at the National Council for Teachers of English Annual Conference in St. Louis a couple of weeks ago. We talked about his book The Loser’s Club for The Yarn podcast. During the interview he talked a little bit about how all four of his grown children love reading. I’m always fascinated when a parent raises a bunch of readers, so I decided to ask him about it for my series One Question with Mr. Sharp. (video below)

Be sure to catch up on previous episodes of One Question with Mr. Sharp in the playlist below.

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The Creativity Project Giveaway (10 COPIES!)

It has been pretty cool to see advanced copies of The Creativity Project being read by kids and educators. A lot of wonderful people have asked me if I had any extra copies that I could send them. Unfortunately, I do not. If I could, I would send everyone a copy that wanted one. I’d even pay for shipping!

While I do not have a copy to send to you, my wonderful publisher (Little Brown) is giving away 10 copies on Goodreads. Isn’t that nice of them?

Just click the image below to head to the Goodreads page for The Creativity Project. From there, you can enter the giveaway. Good luck! I hope you win a copy.

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