What the Ocean Carries

I’m thrilled to share a link to my newest essay, an exploration of our plastic world and the things I’ve learned about it while writing books for young readers. It was published in Flyway: Journal of Writing and Environment just last week, and you can read it here.

Thanks for reading, and please feel free to share the link!

Flyway: Journal of Writing and Environment

Flyway is an online journal housed at Iowa State University that publishes fiction, nonfiction, and poetry “that explores the many complicated facets of the word environment.” Check it out. Come May, you’ll find an essay I wrote in its pages, an essay that won their 2018 Notes from the Field Nonfiction contest. I’m pretty excited about this, so chances are good that I’ll remind you when it’s published. 🙂

1968: The Audio Book

These beauties arrived in the mail yesterday: audio versions (one digital, one on CD) of 1968: TODAY’S AUTHORS EXPLORE A YEAR OF REBELLION, REVOLUTION, AND CHANGE. This is the first time my work has been presented in audio, and I’m thrilled to give the entire collection a listen. If you’d like a taste, visit the 1968 page on the Brilliance Audio website for a short clip from the introduction, which details the thirteen authors and their stories. Enjoy!

Every Day is Earth Day

Here on the third planet from the sun, most of us feel gratitude for Earth’s gifts and concern for her well-being every single day, not just on May 22. That’s certainly true for the authors and illustrators I work with at Authors for Earth Day. A4ED is a team of children’s book creators who commit to donating one school visit fee per year to a non-profit organization that is working to keep our planet and all its inhabitants healthy and protected.

This year, my first as an A4ED author, I’ve teamed up with Oxford Elementary School and an enthusiastic group of fifth graders. These devoted kids have committed themselves to helping me choose a worthy recipient organization for my A4ED donation. Under the direction of their incredible classroom teachers, they’ve spent weeks learning about Xerces Society, Ocean Conservancy, and Maine Audubon. They’ve educated their fellow-students about the work of each organization, and are coordinating a school-wide vote next week in which the entire student body will decide which organization to support.

It’s been a thrill to introduce these kids to stewardship ideas, to watch them explore the good work of organizations I admire, to read their powerful letters of support, and to watch, via the internet, as they reached out to their entire school community today with their ideas. The real highlight of this experience, though, will come next week, when I’ll travel to OES and spend two days talking about the natural world I love so much (ocean movement! butterfly journeys! honey bee mysteries! invasive species! grand new islands!) and, of course, deciding once and for all on where to send our A4ED donation.



For more information on Authors for Earth Day, including a list of hundreds of children’s authors and illustrators who are available to visit your school in the 2018-2019 school year, visit the A4ED website.

For more information on how to be my A4ED school next year, contact me by email.







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!