Category Archives: Announcements

Life on Surtsey Love


It’s been an exciting few weeks for me and my new book. LIFE ON SURTSEY was reviewed favorably by Kirkus, School Library Journal, and Booklist (three stars! read the full reviews here!) and if that wasn’t thrilling enough, also named an Orbis Pictus Recommended Book, an SLJ Best Book (Nonfiction), and a Kirkus Reviews Best Book (Middle Grade Nonfiction). To say I’m overwhelmed would be an understatement.

And guess what? TOMORROW IS LAUNCH DAY! If you live in central Massachusetts, join the celebration at one of my favorite libraries on the planet. Details can be found here.

Thank you for reading!

Life on Surtsey Book Launch!

Please join me to celebrate the publication of my sixth book for children, Life on Surtsey, Iceland’s Upstart Island: 

Thursday, November 30, 2017, 6-8pm
Beaman Memorial Library
8 Newton Street
West Boylston, MA

Festivities will include a brief presentation, local refreshments, and all my books will be available for purchase. Proceeds from this event will benefit the Beaman Memorial Library. Please feel free to spread the word!

FITBBC Recommendation: Bugged

Bugged: How Insects Changed History
by Sarah Albee

A tiny taste: “This book is about how insects have changed human history, for better or for worse. We’re going to read about some of the most dangerous, coolest, and grossest bugs on the planet. And we’re going to read about how they contributed to some of the most interesting deadly and shocking episodes in human history.”

Really, what else do I have to say? Obviously this is a must-read for this month’s Fill-in-the-Blank Book Club; our topic is insects, right?!  (Wait. You didn’t remember? No problem, just go back and read this post for a recap.)

Sarah Albee wrote Bugged for a 10-14-year-old audience, and I can tell you two things for certain: 1) I am a lot older than that and 2) I was mesmerized by this book. If you read it, you should know that you will either laugh or cringe, or both, on every single page. To get a feel for the (fill-in-the-blank) mind of the author (brilliant? warped? fascinating?), check out the book trailer Sarah made for Bugged:

Which reminds me. Who’s bringing snacks for next month’s FITBBC meeting?

The Fill-in-the-Blank Book Club

If you’ve been here before, you know how inspired I was by last April’s March for Science. One of the commitments I made at the march was to do what I could to further science literacy in my community. Since I make my living writing about science for audiences of all ages, a book club featuring all things science was a no-brainer way for me to do this. I recently hosted a book talk at my hometown library, which I blogged about here, and with the help of the book lovers who showed up that day, have fashioned a new-fangled all-ages book group. And I’d like you to join it.

Unlike more traditional book clubs, ours will not focus on a single book, but rather on a single topic. Attendees can choose fiction or nonfiction, a children’s book or a young adult book or an adult book, a picture book or chapter book or graphic novel. Pretty much anything goes. The only requirements are that your book selection tie into our monthly theme, and that you’re willing to share a little bit about it with the rest of us.

Those of us who live in central Massachusetts can meet in person at the Beaman Memorial Library at 4 Newton Street in West Boyslton, Massachusetts on Tuesday, October 24 at 6:30pm. But if you don’t live in the area and would like to join in the fun, please do! I’ll be featuring themed book suggestions here on my blog each week, and anyone can participate here; my dream is that this book club thrive in the virtual world as well as the real one.

Since I’m organizing this Fill-in-the-Blank Book Club (FITBBC) shin-dig, I get to choose the first topic. And as y’all know, I’m a bit of a bug geek. So for this first meeting, we will fill in the blank with …

drum roll, please …


I’ll be sharing some of my favorite insect-themed books on this blog in the coming weeks. At the same time, my friends at Beaman Memorial Public Library will be sharing their favorite insect books, too. (You can find them on Facebook and Instagram.) Please follow along as you’re able, and feel free to add your own book suggestions. You know what I always say: The more insect books, the merrier life is!

One last thing: this is an all ages book party, open to tweens, teens, and adults. I truly, really, surely, honestly hope you join the fun, and that you’ll think about inviting a kid or adult or neighbor or complete stranger to join in, too. Let’s share some time–and some books–with one another.

Happy Reading!

Books & Science

Last April, I packed my car with coolers, posters, my three kids, one of my oldest friends, and set out for Washington, DC. We’d decided to spend Earth Day there, standing up for something that was important to us: science. Marching with 1.3 million people in 600 locations around the world was, for me, less a protest than a celebration. A celebration of human ingenuity and our  method of doing science, a celebration of what we humans have learned of how the world works, of curing disease, and of staving off disaster. It was also an invitation for anyone, anywhere to join in supporting a vigorous and publicly-funded national science program.

The March for Science was a complete success. It poured all day long and still tens of thousands of science enthusiasts showed up, raincoats on and handmade signs covered in plastic wrap, ready to move. With the Washington Monument as backdrop, we listened to stories, to short speeches, to artists and poets and musicians and scientists speaking their truths. And then we marched from Constitution Street, past the White House, to the Capitol building, cheering and chanting every drenched step of the way.

In the months since April 22, 2017, March for Science organizers have done a great job of helping allies and supporters of science to continue to work for science in our communities. One of their many suggestions was to promote science outreach and science literacy. Which is why I’ll be speaking at the Beaman Memorial Library in West Boylston, MA tomorrow night, July 26, 2017, sharing my passion for the literature of science. Part pep talk, part book talk, the presentation will be an experiment. Is there an interest in a local book club that explores science stories across genres?  I hope so. But we’ll see. All I know for sure is that I’d love to see you there.

Small Business Saturday


This year I’m celebrating Small Business Saturday with writers from across the state of Massachusetts at the Groton Public Library‘s Local Author Fair. There will be warm drinks and sweet pastries, plenty of books for browsing and purchasing, and smiling authors ready to inscribe them to you or your loved ones. Join us!

Here’s a list of the authors you’ll meet; click on their name for more information about their work:

David Brody

Loree Griffin Burns

Annette LeBlanc Cate

Richard Feitelberg

Greg Fishbone

Catharine Glen

Frederick Goodwin

Katharine Grubb

Jennifer Hallock

Elizabeth Keddy

Erin McCormack

Richard Meibers

Stephen O’Connor

Caroline Poser

Joseph Ross

Molly Salans

Vlad Vaslyn

Pam Wight

Sharon Wooding

I’ll have copies of all my books there. I hope to see you.

My Smacation

07242016 (Coleomegilla maculata)© Loree Griffin Burns

This gorgeous pink-spotted ladybug (Coleomegilla maculata) is the most recent species recorded in my vegetable garden, and it brings my 2016 species tally to five. This summer has been super full, though, and to be honest, all the ladybugs I’ve spotted have been by chance, while weeding or harvesting or doing other chores in the garden. There just hasn’t been time for a day in the meadow with my sweep net and a collecting jar and high ladybug hopes.

I’ve decided to change that by taking my very first social media vacation. A smacation, if you will.

I plan to spend the next few months writing, and gardening, and hanging out with my family. But I also plan to pull out my sweep net and see what ladybugs are living in our milkweed meadow these days. Things will be quieter than usual here on my blog, and on my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages …  but I’ll be back soon. With any luck, I’ll have some new ladybug photos to share.

Happy hunting!

NCTE Annual Conference


I’m thrilled to be attending the 2015 National Conference of Teachers of English. If you’ll be at the conference too, I’d love to see you. Here’s where you’ll find me:

Saturday, November 21

9:30-10:45 am
Minneapolis Convention Center, Room L100J
Revved for Research. I’ll join authors Sarah Albee, Chris Barton, Sy Montgomery and Laura Purdie Salas, in a panel presentation moderated by Alyson Beecher. Join us for a look at how professional writers gather information for their writing. (Hint: they go way beyond books and online sources!)

11am-12 noon
I’ll be signing books in the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt booth (#640). Stop on over!

QCC Lecture

I’ll be speaking at Quinsigamond Community College today, October 27, at 1:30pm. If you are in or near Worcester, Massachusetts, feel free to join us. Details on the flyer below, which you can click to enlarge …


AASL Annual Conference


I’m thrilled to be attending the 2015 American Association of School Librarians annual conference in Columbus, Ohio in November.  Here’s where you can find me a the event …

Friday, November 6

To the Library … and Beyond
Loree and fellow children’s author Sarah Albee will share creative approaches to research, suggesting ways to adapt the methods of the pros for student writers. This interactive workshop will be held at 11:20am in Room D230.

Loree will be signing books from 3:30-4pm in the conference exhibit hall. Look for the Author-Palooza signs at Booth #543!

Saturday, November 7
Changemakers in Society: Books that Motivate Kids to Solve Problems and Make the World a Better Place
Loree will join Don Tate, Melissa Stewart, and Shana Corey for a panel discussion, moderated by author Laurie Ann Thompson. This event will be held at 8:40am in Room E-171 of the Convention Center.