2019 Tween Book Group Activities

I’ve been leading Tween Book Group for over two years now and it remains my favorite program of all time. Why? Because there’s nothing more fun than helping kids build relationships with literature—and, of course, each other.

Our hour-long Tween Book Group is structured with about half the time devoted to discussion and half the time devoted to an extension activity. I really try to make it feel like a club, so I’ll often make and give away custom swag (typically buttons). But my signature move is drawing a whiteboard schedule based on the book. And one of my tweens’ signature moves is erasing bits of my whiteboard masterpiece at the end of the program.

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Looking Back on 2017

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Image credit: Miguel and the Grand Harmony by Matt de la Peña, illus. Ana Ramírez (Disney Press, 2017)

We did it! It’s almost 2018. That means this blog is almost one year old, so I’m reflecting back on the year’s posts. If I had to choose one word or phrase to describe the year, I’d choose “Oh gnome you don’t!” because (a) the current administration, (b) this delightful board game entered my life, and (c) I really don’t know how I managed it all and am still learning how to say no.

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Birthday Books for Babies

I’m a little bit obsessed with board books these days. Maybe it’s because, as Betsy Bird claims, the board book is on the rise. Board books are so brilliant, and there’s such a narrow window to share them before children move on to bigger, longer books. I also think I’m experiencing a little bit of baby fever since both my brothers have children now… Speaking of which, it’s my newest niece’s birthday this month—she’s one!

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Coming Out to My 8-Year-Old Niece

My niece is coming to visit me next month. My boyfriend is moving in with me next month. Given the unique serendipity of these two occurrences, my sister-in-law, my niece, and I were forced into having what I’m going to refer to as the “Gay Uncle Talk.” My niece is 8 (almost 9). I wish I could have told her I was gay sooner. I just didn’t know how. Or when. But, mainly, I was scared.

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