10 Minutes With Mr. Sharp: Travis Jonker


I had the opportunity to spend a couple of days in New York City working on a project with Mr. Travis Jonker last week. Unfortunately, our flight home was canceled. We decided not to let that get us down, and we rented a car and drove back to Michigan. During the drive home Travis and I had many…interesting conversations. I managed to get one of those conversation on tape. I hope you like hearing about how Travis went from being a new teacher-librarian to a School Library Journal blogger.


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10 Minute Review: Orbiting Jupiter



I recently finished Gary Schmidt’s Orbiting Jupiter. His latest masterpiece is one of the best books I have read in 2015.

Before reading Orbiting Jupiter I only knew 3 things.

1. Many of my teacher, librarian, and author friends loved the book.

2. It is pretty short (less than 200 page).

3. It deals with some issues issues that make the book blur the middle grade – young adult line.

Before reading Orbiting Jupiter I actually thought I knew a lot more about the book, but prepping for Nerd Camp and adjusting to life with a fourth kid has me much less in the know that I have been in the past.

Not knowing much about a brilliant book before reading can be such an amazing experience. At times it feels like being uber-connected online can fill my head with all sorts of things, good and bad, about a book before reading. Going in fresh has become such a rare and refreshing experience.

I’m not going to say anything about what happens in this book. Maybe, just maybe, you know as little about this book as me. Lucky you. You have the opportunity to experience one of the most beautiful settings and all encompassing stories you have read in ages.

A Saturday Video On A Wednesday 


Travis Jonker and I drove to Michigan from NYC when our flight was canceled Tuesday afternoon. I usually post a video on Saturday, but I thought it might be fun to post the video we made a little early. Sort of a cap on the zany road-trip.

5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Interview Barrie Summy


Disappearance of Emily H blog tour banner

I think that kids that loved Laurel Snyder’s Bigger Than a Bread Box when they were in fourth or fifth grade are going to love The Disappearance of Emily H when they get to seventh or eighth grade. Barrie Summy does a lovely job weaving in some magical realism in this thrilling upper middle grade mystery.

5,4,3,2,1 Interview

1. Can you tell us a little bit about  THE DISAPPEARANCE OF EMILY H?

Eighth-grader Raine Watson can read other people’s memories from objects they’ve touched. When she grabs a memory that reveals a little about what happened to missing teen, Emily Huvar, Raine decides to solve the mystery. Throw in some mean girls, a new friend, an interesting boy and some danger….And you’ve got The Disappearance of Emily H.

The Disappearance of Emily H High Res (2)

2. What is your favorite thing about being an author?

I love that moment when a story comes together. When the voice is working, and the characters are acting like themselves, and the plot unfolds without feeling forced. For me, it usually takes till around the third draft.

3. What’s the hardest thing about being an author?

Well, you do have to be prepared to spend a boatload of time alone.

4. If you could spend one day inside the world of any book which book would you pick?

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I think I could make some good friends at Hogwarts. :)

5. What advice do you have for the young writers in my classroom?

Read widely. Write. Try things new and a little outside your comfort zone. Write some more. Believe in yourself.

Barrie Summy photo

Barrie Summy is the author of the I So Don’t Do mystery series starring thirteen-year-old detective Sherry Holmes Baldwin and the recently released The Disappearance of Emily H. Barrie lives in Southern California with her husband, their four children, two dogs, a veiled chameleon, and a fish. There was once a dwarf hamster, but let’s not go there. Visit her online at barriesummy.com.
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