Amal Unbound is a Must Read 2018 Middle Grade Novel

As soon as I finished Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed I knew that I needed to talk about it ASAP! YouTube live felt like the perfect place to talk about the amazing 2018 middle grade novel. I’m going to book talk it as soon as my students start walking in the classroom Monday morning.







(video below)


You Need To Read These Awesome 2018 Books!

I managed to jump on a YouTube livestream yesterday to talk about some awesome 2018 books. It is really starting to feel like 2018 is going to be one heck of a year for children’s literature.

I’d love to know what 2018 books you are loving! Leave me a comment, and let me know My to-read list is always hungry for more!

(video below)

One Question With Ben Rimes

Ben Rimes is a brilliant Michigan educator. You should follow him and his work. Links below. I asked Ben to talk about how he is helping kids and educators in his district get over and/or deal with the fear of failure.

I asked Ben: What are some tips you have for students/educators that struggle with a fear of failure. You can find Ben’s response in the video below.

Places to find Ben:

Andrew Clements Visits The Yarn

Hi Res Yarn Logo

I had an amazing time interviewing Andrew Clements at NCTE for The Yarn. He was at the conference with his wife, and they were both amazing people. They love books, readers, and getting kids excited about reading. Check out the episode below!

If you’d to check out previous episodes of The Yarn, check us out on our School Library Journal pageSchool Library Journal page.

After my interview with Andrew for The Yarn, I interviewed him for my video series One Question With Mr. Sharp.

Unboxing The Creativity Project

Earlier this week, I received a finished copy of The Creativity Project. I thought it might be fun to make a video documenting the event. (below)

Holding the book for the first time was a pretty magical moment. I am grateful to all the people that helped make this book possible. If you’d like to pre-order a signed copy, you can do so by clicking on the image below. All pre-orders from Bookbug come signed by myself, Travis Jonker, Laurie Keller, John Schu and Liesl Shurtliff.

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Celebrating the ALA Youth Media Awards with My Students

Each year I do a Mock Caldecott unit with my students. We study 20 wonderfully illustrated books, debate them, and then vote on which book we think should win the Caldecott Medal.


One of my students sharing why she thinks one of our Mock Caldecott books is distinguished.

One of the perks of this unit, is that my students are extremely excited to see which books the actual Caldecott Committee selects. On Monday, February 12th my students and I gathered in our classroom to watch the awards announcement live. It is always one of my favorite days of the year.

I thought that it would be fun to create a video documenting Youth Media Awards Day from the eyes of a teacher. You can find that video below. I hope it will inspire you to create unforgettable reading memories with your students.


Celebrating Global School Play Day

I think that the more fun we can make school the better. One of my least favorite things that I hear is that we need to prepare kids for “the real world”, and the “real world” isn’t always fun. I get that, but shesh…just because the world comes with its issues doesn’t mean we can’t make school awesome. I’m thankful that I teach in a school led by a principal (Sue Haney) that wants to make school as magical for kids as possible.

Last week Ms. Haney sent us all an email encouraging us to participate in Global School Play Day with our students. She sends us that email every year, and I’m always excited to get it. My students love Global School Play Day with all their hearts.

In the video below I share our day, my thoughts on play, and a goal that I set every year for my classroom.



The Creativity Project drops next month! A huge thank you to everyone that has preordered a copy. It means the world to me.

If you’d like to preorder a copy you can click on this affiliate link to purchase it on Amazon, or click on the image below to purchase a signed copy from Bookbug.

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LIVE ALA Youth Media Award Recap Monday!


I’m super excited about the ALA Youth Media Awards. They will be announced Monday morning at 10 AM EST. I’m going to go live on YouTube when my students head to lunch to talk about and celebrate this year’s winners. You can view the livestream at:

Or you can just visit this page at 11:30 AM EST, and watch the video below.

After the livesteam, you won’t be able to view the link, but I’ll be sure to share the final YouTube link once they finish processing the video.

While you wait for Monday morning’s announcement be sure to check out my predictions below!

One Question With Melissa Stewart

Melissa Stewart is the queen of nonfiction books for kids. She does an amazing job helping teachers understand nonfiction books. She also writes awesome nonfiction books for kids. I really appreciate the way she shares new titles on social media.

Recently she wrote a blog post sharing the five types of nonfiction. I learned a ton from the post, and it is really helping my students. I decided to ask Melissa if she would be up for being on my YouTube series One Question With Mr. Sharp. She said yes!

Here’s the question I asked her: Why do you think it is important for kids to understand the 5 types of nonfiction?

Her answer below!