Cheryl Harness tomorrow

BULLETIN: We’ve just received the 21st Word of the Month poem for January from adults. That’s the most so far and we still have until January 23 to hear from other poets with poems inspired by “time.” As for our young poets, so far this month we haven’t received anything, but this is about when they usually started coming in.
REMINDER: In case you have forgotten how to post your Word of the Month Poem or have never joined my blog before, here’s how to do it:
1) At the top of the blog page click on the long box marked Adult Word of the Month Poems.
2) Scroll to the bottom and you’ll see something that says LEAVE A RESPONSE.
3) Cut and paste or type your poem into the box marked YOUR RESPONSE.
4) Click on the box below that marked SUBMIT COMMENT.
That’s all there is to it. See you soon.

I promised you on December 8 that you’ll hear from Cheryl Harness one of these days. Today I’m pleased to post Cheryl’s bio so you’ll have time to bone up on her before tomorrow. Because that’s when you’ll meet Cheryl in person, blog-wise. I’ll post her article and you’re going to be glad I did!

Cheryl Harness of Missouri has written and/or illustrated nearly 50 books, including THREE YOUNG READERS, a 5-volume series of Cheryl Harness Histories, published by the Nat’l Geographic Society; her award-winning GHOSTS of the WHITE HOUSE, and a critically acclaimed novel for young readers, JUST FOR YOU TO KNOW. Additionally, she travels throughout the country, entertaining audiences of children and grownups, speaking about her books, drawing pictures, and occasionally, playing her harmonica.Info about Cheryl’s school visits, about her latest books, The Harry Book (her comic book bio of Pres. Truman) and, Grab Hold of the Past (part snappy memoir, part essays & web-links regarding all things historical, can be found at  as well as at a far out new nonfiction author website: .


Pirates on Texas Bluebonnet list

rubbermanPOETRY TIP: If anyone is struggling with a way to start your “thanks” poem, go to the Teacher page on my website, scroll down to Teaching Tool for the month of August, and try the association technique described there.

I was delighted to learn that PIRATES has been named to the Texas Bluebonnet Master List for next school year. As I understand it, at least 10,000 Texas students will be reading titles from the list of 20 nominees and eventually vote for their favorite. I’m up against the likes of Gary Paulsen, Linda Sue Park, Kate Klise, and many other great writers, so I’m pleased to see my book of poetry listed among them.

For more information about the Bluebonnet awards, go to: .


from Caves, Mysteries Beneath Our Feet

CAVES, Mysteries Beneath Our FeeYesterday I mentioned my Earthworks series published by Boyds Mills Press. Caves, the first one in the group, begins with the discovery of Howe Caverns in New York State in 1842. I like to start a nonfiction book with a true story that will attract young readers’ attention. If they like the beginning, they are more likely to enjoy learning more about the topic. Here’s how Caves starts:

It was hot,
so hot that most cows
stayed in the shade.
But not Millicent.
She and Farmer Howe’s other cows
stood in the hot sun
on a rocky hillside
where some thick bushes grew.

“What a curious way
for cows to behave,”
said Farmer Howe.
He found out why.

His hilly pasture had a hole in it!
Millicent liked the cool air
rushing round her.
She liked being a cool cow.

Caves was published in 2001. In 2002, it became a Society of School Librarians International Honor Book.

If you write nonfiction, too, tell us about it.