Ask Nerdy: A Conversation About Book Talks

One of my favorite things to do in the classroom is helping kids find awesome books to read. One of the most effective things that I do to accomplish this goal is to give book talks. In the latest episode of Ask Nerdy, Donalyn Miller and I talk about the importance of book talks, their impact, and we share tips for giving awesome book talks.

You can find the Ask Nerdy podcast on your podcast app of choice, or you can listen to the conversation below in the embedded player.

If you’d rather watch the conversation just click on the video below.

Thanks for tuning in! We’ll be doing another episode within the next week or so. Be sure to subscribe to ASK NERD on Spotify or Apple Podcast.

I recently added some books to my list of AWESOME 2022 books. A lot of these books would be fun to book talk to young readers. Be sure to check out the list, and add some awesome books to your to-read list.


I Hope You Like Book 2 as Much as Book 1

Last night, I went to a wrestling “Try it Night” for the youth wrestling program in our district because my second grade son is interested in giving wrestling a try.

During the event I was able to chat with one of my students who was at the event to watch his sister wrestle. He was excited to share with me that after school he was able to finish the first book in the Wings of Fire series. He was so excited! This kid has fallen hard for the book. Each day he tells me about the different things going on in the book. I almost feel like I’ve read the book myself.

This morning when he came into class, I had book 2 waiting on his desk with a short note from me. Watching the smile stretch across his face when he read the note was pretty cool.

Building a community of readers is a day in and day out journey, and it is often the little things lay the foundation for a love of reading to grow.

I’m always on the lookout for more ways to help my readers have positive experiences with reading. If you have any ideas, be sure to leave them in the comments!

Ten Picture Books I Read My Fifth Graders in October

October felt like a very long month. The highlight with my fifth graders was the return to fifth grade camps. Three days and two nights away from home and school is always a great time, but it sure is exhausting.

We read a bunch of amazing picture books during the month. I talk about each book in the video below.

If you’d like to learn more about or purchase any of the books from the video, be sure to click on the affiliate links below. You can use my code ‘colbysharp’ to save 20% and get free shipping. Bookelicious is pretty darn cool company that I love working with!


Kick Push

The Bruce Swap

My Brother is Away

Be Quiet

Knight Owl

Pigeon and Cat

Each Kindness

Sam & Dave Dig a Whole

Nigel and the Moon

Check out my list of awesome 2022 books. Use the affiliate code ‘colbysharp’ to receive 20% off of your order and free shipping. 

#KidLit Book Mail Volume 2

This week’s book mail brings new reads from Katherine Applegate, Kate DiCamillo, Lauren Castillo and many more. I’m so excited to dig in and check these books out. Hoping to find some great books to share with my fifth graders.

Check out my complete kid lit book unboxing video below.

Check out previous Book Mail videos in the playlist below. I’ll continue to update the playlist when I make new videos.

I’ve been trying to do more livestream interviews with authors. You can check out the complete play list below.

Opening A Week’s Worth of #KidLit Book Mail | Volume 1

I feel very lucky to receive review copies of books written for kids. It is often very exciting to get early looks at books written by some of my students’ favorite authors. I feel a little behind opening up my book mail, so I thought I might turn on my camera and open the book packages on camera. It was a lot of fun, and it made the process seem less lonely. It seems like most things seem lonely these days. If you are interested in me rambling on for twenty minutes about a bunch of books written for kids, please check out the video below.

5 Awesome Books to Read Aloud for World Read Aloud Day

Celebrating World Read Aloud Day is one of my favorite things to do in my classroom. You can learn more about WRAD by clicking here. Below you will find a video, where I share 5 books that I think would make awesome read alouds for World Read Aloud Day.

Books mentioned in this video:

Giant Squid

My Favorite Book in the Whole Wide World

After the Fall

The Oldest Student

Mother Bruce

Check out my list of AWESOME 2021 books:


Game Changer! Book Access for All Kids

The Creativity Project edited by Colby Sharp (ME!)

Places to find me:




I started a newsletter! Click here to sign up.

Thanks for watching. Please let me know if I can help you in any way.

Secondhand Dogs by Carolyn Crimi

Is there anything kids love reading about more than dogs? Probably, but middle grade fiction centered around dogs is always something a bunch of kids are into. I’m excited to share a 2021 book that I think kids are going to LOVE.

Carolyn Crimi has written a lovely book about a pack of dogs getting a second chance. I talk more about the book in the video below.

Happy reading!

First Day Back

The first day back from winter vacation is always hard. I love the two weeks off with my family, and I am never quite ready to head back to school. Once I get there, I get excited, but the days leading up to that first day back area always a little somber.

This year, all of my emotions are amplified. We’ve been learning 100% virtual since things went off the rails in Michigan mid-November. Around 60% of my students will be coming back to the classroom, and the other 40% will be learning virtually when we kick things off. It is hard to give my distance learners what they need when I’m in class all day. We are working on hiring a few additional teachers to help us with our virtual learners. I’m excited to work with these new teachers on creating a plan for supporting our kiddos. Hopefully, we can get that going sooner rather than later.

I’ve been wearing contacts during this school year because my glasses fog up too much when I wear a mask. Not really looking forward to putting those back in my eyes, or having to put on regular pants. Six weeks of nothing but sweatpants has been glorious.

Seeing my in-person kids is going to be great. I miss seeing them in class, and talking to them as we walk around the track during our mask breaks. My kids taught me how to plan Among Us during break. Fifth graders are going to love giving me tips on how I can up my game.

I hope I can keep my students safe. I’ll be losing a lot of sleep thinking about safety in the coming weeks.

I know this blog post is a collection of random thoughts. My guess is that most people are feeling a mixture of emotions as we face the rest of winter and the coming spring. Hang in there. Stay safe, and PLEASE take care of yourself.