I’m honored to announce that AROUND OUR WAY ON NEIGHBORS’ DAY has been designated an ACTION BOOK CLUB™ selection by®!  

Any group of people (families, friends, classmates, organizations, existing book clubs) can sign up to participate in this wonderful, service-oriented endeavor. Per the website, the idea is as follows:

“In a new twist on the traditional book club, Little Free Library’s Action Book Club™ invites participants to read books on timely topics, engage in lively discussions, and take part in meaningful—and fun—group service projects to benefit their communities. This is reading and social engagement at its best.

After completing a service project, participants can share their experiences online with other Action Book Club members. Through trading stories, ideas, and successes, participants will contribute to a national conversation and inspire others to take action in their own neighborhoods.

The Action Book Club’s current theme is Good Neighbors, which celebrates the power of community, kindness, and taking action where you live.”

For more information on the program and how to register, visit

Summer Book Fun for Kids

Summer vacation is just days away and I hope you’re planning to read lots and lots of books!

Coincidentally, I know of the PERFECT picture book title for this time of year. It’s a lively, rhythmic tale full of culture, community, and summertime fun!

Around Our Way on Neighbors’ Day
by Tameka Fryer Brown, illustrated by Charlotte Riley-Webb
Abrams Books for Young Readers
ISBN-13: 978-0-8109-8971-9

Click here to check out “the buzz”!  Click here to purchase!

Tornado Drills, Forgotten Chicken, and Hiccups…Oh My!

On last Wednesday (yes, another Wednesday adventure), I had the distinct pleasure of visiting Nations Ford Elementary School for World Read-Aloud Day.

When I arrived at the school, I met up with the Literacy Facilitator, Tonya Pointer, who informed me that we would begin our reading tour right after the tornado drill.


She escorted me to a staff area to wait. Once the bell sounded, all the students and staff members assumed the position in the hallway, while a few designated adults walked around, ensuring everyone was where they needed to be. As the teachers filed out of the room I was in, I asked the Tornado Drill Monitor, “Do I need to go, too?”

“Well we certainly wouldn’t want to leave you behind if we had a tornado….”

I wish someone had snapped a pic of me in the hallway, “assuming the position”.  LOL! Picture knees bent, head down, hands covering my head. Thank goodness I was able to rise smoothly enough from that position so as not to embarrass myself in front of the kids–who were, let me say up front, fantabulous.

My reading tour consisted of twelve 1st and 2nd grade classes. Fortunately for my voice, they doubled up so I only had to read six times.  The kids were quiet, attentive, and asked great questions. The literacy facilitator was very impressed with their behavior. I wasn’t surprised, though. I’ve never had an unruly, inattentive bunch, yet. Speaking of attentive….

I did my usual Q&A after the session, where I ask them some questions about the story, then let them ask me some questions about whatever.  One of the questions I asked is: “What were some of the foods the neighbors ate?” And they mentioned pretty much all of them: mac and cheese, oxtail stew, rice and beans, etc. A couple of students (in totally different classes) mentioned soup–which was never stated in the text, but you could assume such if you were looking very closely at the pictures. I told you, they were on the ball!

Now in two of the classes, kids mentioned “chicken” as a food that was in the story. Very gently and kindly I said, “Weellll…most people do have chicken at parties, so maybe there was some chicken there, but that wasn’t mentioned in the story.” The second time I said this to a student, I saw the look on that boy’s face which said, There was too some chicken. I know I heard the word chicken.

It wasn’t until the last session when another boy said, “Some kind of chicken, I don’t know what it was called,” that I remembered I did have chicken in the book–grilled lime chicken to be exact. Mrs. Pointer and I just had to laugh.  I asked her to go back to the other classes and tell those kids they were right and I was wrong. I hope she remembered. 🙂

Anyway, I had a great time at Nations Ford Elementary. Thanks so much for inviting me.

(Oh, and as for hiccups:  I’ve been typing this entire post while hiccuping! Quite annoying and distracting, but I just had to share this visit with you. Now I shall go drink some water while holding my breath until I can’t hold it any longer–which is a virtually full-proof cure, by the way.)

Once Upon A Time…

Once upon a time, on last Wednesday, I had my very first Skype visit with Ms. Alexander’s 3rd grade class at Feldwood Elementary School in Atlanta, Ga!

Since I’d never done a Skype visit before, I wasn’t quite sure if I should stay with my standard school visit format or change it. At the last minute, I decided to change it up. Not sure if that was the best move, but the students were so FANTASTIC, it was a great visit anyway! They listened attentively, asked great questions, and laughed when I did my “Mad Max” voice.

When I think of words to describe Ms. Alexander’s class, I think of: smart, well-mannered, disciplined, and scholars.  Thank you, Ms. Alexander, for the phenomenal way you are instructing and leading your class. It is an honor to know teachers like you!

I *Heart* Feldwood!

The End.