10 Minutes With Mr. Sharp: 2014-2015 Reflection With Mrs. Woolworth

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In the second episode of 10 Minutes With Mr. Sharp, I spend some time chatting with my teaching partner, Suzanne Woolworth. The episode was recorded Monday afternoon on Mackinac Island. We spend Monday and Tuesday in northern Michigan on a field trip with out third graders.

I had a lot of fun chatting with Mrs. Woolworth, and it was great reflecting on our second year teaching together. I learned a lot about podcasting in this episode. I actually did some editing that included cutting different pieces from the episode, and editing out some of my ramblings. You’ll probably notice some of the edits, but the more I edited, the better I got, so you may not even notice some of them.

If you’d like the podcast delivered straight to your devise, you can subscribe on iTunes by clicking on the image below.

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5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Interview: Jory John

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Chances are the young readers in your life are enjoying Jory John and Mac Barnett’s The Terrible Two as much as the young readers in my life. If that’s the case: Hooray! If not: You must check out The Terrible Two. It’s one of the funniest middle-grade books that I’ve ever read.

I hope you like my interview with Mr. John!

5,4,3,2,1 Interview

Can you tell us a little bit about The Terrible Two?

I’m writing this in the backseat of a car (true story) as Mac and I are driving around Houston, Texas, at the beginning of our “Terrible Tour,” talking to kids about how to prank, who to prank, and when to prank, either solo or with a cohort. And these lessons are coming straight out of the book that we co-wrote, “The Terrible Two,” which stars two pranksters in an epic prank war. (2)

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What is your favorite thing about being a writer?

I love coming up with ideas. Sometimes, I’ll just grab a stack of index cards and see how many ideas I can write – one per card – in an hour. After a few days, I’ll look at the cards again and, with fresh eyes, decide which of those ideas are worth expanding into a story. And while the entire process is fun, I just love that initial spark, that feeling that you’re really on to something. It makes my stomach jump. (5)

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What’s the hardest thing about being a writer?

As a Myers-Briggs tested ENFP, I really don’t like spending entire days not speaking to anybody except myself. (1)

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

Goodness, so many books, so many worlds! But perhaps I’d choose to hang out with James Marshall’s “George and Martha.” I feel like those two lovable, earnest hippos would consistently make me laugh without even realizing how darned funny they are. (3)

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

Write something every day, whether it’s a story or a journal entry or a comic strip or a letter to somebody. Always carry a book with you. Read any chance you get. Also, at the risk of repeating myself: write, write, write, write, write! (4)

5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Interview: Tracey Baptiste

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I hope you are having a wonderful and relaxing Sunday. I’m super excited about the book I’m featuring here on sharpread today. The Jumbies is a 2015 book that you do not want to miss. WARNING: it is pretty darn scary. I think it is very hard to do write a middle grade book that is scary, well-written and appropriate for young readers. The Jumbies nailed all three.

5,4,3,2,1 Interview

Can you tell me a little bit about The Jumbies?

The Jumbies is a mashup of Haitian and Trinidadian folklore and culture. It is inspired by a Haitian folktale, but includes Trinidadian jumbies like the douen and lagahoo. I wrote it because as much as I loved fairy tales when I was a girl, there were no jumbie stories in books, so I wanted to fix that. The main character, Corinne, goes into the forest one day and a jumbie follows her out. The jumbie’s goal is to take over the island starting with Corinne’s family, but Corinne is not having that! (5)

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

My favorite thing about being an author is making stuff up! A close second is talking with other people who love books. (2)

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

These days, the hardest thing about being a writer is dodging phone calls from jumbies who have VERY SERIOUS QUESTIONS for me. Kidding! Writing is really hard for me, and I often get very impatient and want to be done when I still have a lot of work to do.  (3)

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

If I could spend a day in a book it would be a Harry Potter book for sure. Probably book 1, before everything goes bonkers. I’d really like to watch a quidditch match and see if I can dodge the whomping willow. And I hope someone would send me a letter by owl. (4)

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

Don’t be afraid to say what you really want to say. (1)

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5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Interview: Kaila Eunhye Seo

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I’m guessing that if you read Fred to the young readers in your life they will love it as much as my students did. It’s a wild book that is sure to create some pretty awesome conversations.


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Below you will find my interview with Kaila Eunhye Seo. Happy reading!

5,4,3,2,1 Interview

  1. Can you tell us a little bit about Fred?

Fred is about a boy who has a special ability to see magical creatures. However as he grows up and steps into a new world outside of his, his ability starts to fade and he forgets about his monster friends. But with help of a little girl who has the same ability as Fred once did, he realizes what was missing in his life and meets his monster friends again.Through this book, I wanted to show not only the unlimited imaginations of children but also the true happiness and magic that adults are missing in their busy lives even though it has always been around them. Eventually that is what we all want at the end and hope every one gets to have it as Fred did.

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

As an illustrator and writer, I constantly think about new concepts and stories all the time whether through images or words. The whole process of finding the right topic and giving it its body is where I have the most fun. Having the chance to share my world with others is a truly gratifying moment. I love my job!

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

 Creating art is a tough thing and it requires patience, energy and passion but when working on a long term project, you get to face obstacles not from the outside but the inside of yourself. Sometimes it might seem that your best isn’t enough or the concept might get blurred or you have no idea what you are trying to say. Trying to stay on the path without getting lost or even if you do, just remember that having belief in the work is probably the toughest thing that I have to overcome as an artist.

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

It would be ‘The Little Prince’ by Antonie De Saint Exupery. I would just like to sit next to the Little Prince and spend the day seeing the view from his planet.

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

 Read many books, write all the time, believe in your world, be proud of your work and most of all, have fun!

10 Minutes With Mr. Sharp

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I have loved podcasts for years. I consume between 1-3 hours of podcasts a day. This love of podcasts created in itch in me to start my own. I’ve scratched and ignored this itch for years, but it is time to dive in.

Below you will find the first episode of 10 Minutes With Mr. Sharp. I’m excited about this adventure, and I am sure that it will be a bit of a wild ride.

If you have any suggestions for how I could make it better, please let me know. I’d like to get good at this.

You can find the podcast on iTunes by clicking on the image below.

10 Minute With Mr. Sharp