May #SharpSchu Book Club

I can’t wait for this month’s book club. Mr. Schu and I have picked what I think are some great books to chat about. We hope to “see” you there!



School Lunch Superhero Day!


I’ll never forget the day my mom got a job as a lunch lady. It happened while I was in middle school, in my middle school. I was horrified. My first reaction was that the world was coming to an end, and my life would be over.

Dramatic? Yes. Fact? No. Having my mom as a lunch lady was amazing. Seeing her each day at school was actually nice, and I always got the biggest slice of pizza. Always.

When I was in high school my mom moved to the high school cafeteria. Having her in the high school was fantastic. She not only gave me large pieces of pizza, she also hooked up my friends.

If you know me at all, you probably know that I’m not the most organized person in the universe, and I don’t always do a great job of planning head.

When your mom is the lunch lady you are taken care of. Need $5 for McDonald’s before the big game? Your lunch lady mom will take care of you.

Forget to bring your homework? Lunch lady mom’s shift starts at 9, so she can bring it.

This list could go on and on, but it isn’t exactly making me look good, so I’ll stop at two examples.

My mom is now the lunch lady at the elementary where my two fourth grade brothers go to school. This year has been extra special because my kindergarten son is now the kid that my mom is giving the largest slice of pizza.

I love my lunch lady.

The following video is of my two brothers and my son interviewing my mom about being a lunch lady.

Mr. Schu’s students interviewed their lunch lady.


Jarrett’s on Nerdy Book Club today.



Newbery Challenge: The Giver

Each time Mr. Schu and I get a chance to hang out we have big dreams of filming lots of Newbery videos. It never seems to work out that way. We get very busy talking about all sorts of things and the videos always seem to get forgotten. I’m thankful that in three days of IRA we managed to find time to film 2 Newbery videos. I hope you enjoy today’s video for the book The Giver.

Mrs. Sharp Needs Your Help

The following is a guest post written by my lovely wife. She would love a little help from my Nerdy Book Club friends.



My name is Alaina Sharp and I am a high school chemistry teacher.  I don’t really belong in your world.   I couldn’t tell you the difference between alliteration and allusion without looking it up on Google, and I couldn’t fathom diagramming a sentence.

But, I do have one very important thing in common with you: I love to read and I desire to share this love of reading with my students.

As I watch my students in class and talk with them, I get the funny feeling like they aren’t reading anything at all.  For the most part, they hate their assigned books in English class (and use Spark Notes to get by) and don’t read for pleasure.

I feel that reading has made a huge difference in my life.  It has made me more creative and eloquent, more experienced and imaginative, more empathetic and observant.  I think it would be a disservice for me not to pass these opportunities for growth to my students.

As a science teacher, I have to get a little creative in order to address this.  Our school offers a forty-five minute per week session on Wednesdays called “Power Play”.  During this time, students are offered remediation in classes they are currently struggling in.  Those who do not need remediation are offered an enrichment session.  This time I’m offering one called, “Reading Doesn’t Have to Be Horrible!  Come READ with me!”

To my delight, a full classroom’s worth of students signed up for the session, but now I’m stumped. After looking at the names of the students who signed up, it’s apparent that many of them are already students who love to read and wanted the time during the day to be able to do that.  I’m not sure how many non-readers I managed to snag on my list.   What do I do with these students during this time?  I am totally out of the realm of my own expertise and I could use your help.

One option I thought of was to bring a huge stack of books to the session and spend the first 20 minutes giving a short “book talk” about 5-7 of these books.  For the remaining time, I could have students choose a book that looked interesting and just read.  If they like it, they can take it with them for the rest of the week.  If they don’t like it, they can try another one.

Am I way off base here?  What else can I do or should I do? I want to do right by these kids, so any and all advice would be greatly appreciated.

Humor Panel: Devin Scillian

I can’t believe that I’m flying to Texas today for IRA 2013. Tomorrow I get to sit with four amazing writers and talk about humor in books.




Today, I’ve shared some resources that I dug up on Devin Scillian. Talk about a jack of all trades: author, journalist, muscision. Wow! I can’t hardly handle being a teacher.

Devin Scillian talks about winning the Charlotte Award for “Memoirs of a Goldfish”

Miss Nona reads Memoirs of a Goldfish

Devin Scillian doesn’t just write children’s books. Check out his musical skills.

Memoirs of a Goldfish was the 2011 Library of Michigan Foundations’s choice for Michigan Reads.

Be sure to check out Devin’s website.

Unplug & Read: Lunch Lady and the Video Game Villain

Last week I shared my plans for Screen Free Week while reviewing Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin.

Since them Random House Kids has come out with this sweet Screen Free Week video.

11 Days - Lunch Lady_11

I usually don’t do book talks (I don’t like to call them book reviews) for books late in a series. I figure enough people already know about the series, so I should focus my attention on something else. However, Lunch Lady and the Video Game Villains is extra special to me for a very cool reason. I’ll share that very cool reason a little later, but first I will give you 5 reasons why this Lunch Lady edition is a must own book.

1. The Cover

I know. I know. Don’t judge a book by it’s cover. That makes sense, but this cover has some really cool stuff going on, so I feel comfortable judging this book by its amazing cover. I’m not sure what is going on with Lunch Lady’s gloves on the cover, but they feel cool when your rub them. Be sure to check it out and rub away when you get the chance.

2. Crazy Straw Earpiece

The gadgets at Lunch Lady’s disposal make each book so much fun to read.

3. Babymouse

If you know me at all, you know that I am somewhat of a big Babymouse fan, and I was super excited to see the Babymouse sighting in Jarrett’s book.

4. All Great Things Must Come to an End

I can’t believe that we only have one more Lunch Lady book before Jarrett closes the door on the series. I’m thankful that Jarrett wrote this amazing series for young readers. I’m glad that I’ll get to experiecne Lunch Lady each year with a new group of young readers.

5. The Set Up

Boy does this book ever set up book 10. All of my readers that have read Lunch Lady and the Video Game Villain are dying to read book 10 to see how Jarrett wraps up this epic series.

The reason that Lunch Lady and the Video Game Villain is so special to me is because of the back cover. The quotes in the “What The Kids Are Saying” section come from two of my students from last year. Seeing their names and their thoughts about Lunch Lady on the back cover is without a doubt one of the coolest things I have experienced.

lunch lady




Humor Panel: Andy Griffiths

I am getting more and more excited about chatting with Andy Griffiths this Saturday during an author panel that I am moderating at IRA this Saturday.

I’m going to keep this intro short because I have found a TON of videos featuring Andy, and I hope you can spend your time watching them.

The 13 Story Treehouse

The 26 Story Treehouse

What Body Part is That?

The Very Bad Book

Just Doomed

Lisa Mackney/Girl Germs (This video is really really funny)