I belong to a group of fellow writers in the mid-Atlantic region, the Kidlit Authors Club. We have put together a website for educators, showing how our books can be used in the classroom. All three of my YA novels (The Secret Year, Try Not to Breathe, and Until It Hurts to Stop) are listed on our YA page. Also linked from that page are the reader guides I’ve prepared for my books, which list the Common Core standards they are aligned with.
My books are contemporary, realistic YA. The first two are typically recommended for ages 14+; Until It Hurts to Stop, which deals with bullying, is typically listed for ages 12+.
done several different kinds of school visits. My favorite is visiting
with student book clubs. I love to hear what readers think about the
books. What do they see as the theme? If they didn’t like the ending,
how would they have had it end? What do they think the main character’s
choices mean? To me, that’s the great value of having book discussions.
Readers don’t just passively absorb a book; they compare it to their own
experience, they weigh the characters’ actions, they root for certain
outcomes, they try to predict what will happen or understand why things
went the way they did. They think about what they would have done in a
similar situation. They argue with one another and, in doing so, use
analytical and persuasive skills; they use evidence to support their
Sometimes at book clubs, readers will start talking
about the characters as if they are real people. That’s when I know I’ve