BHEC Handout

On Saturday, September 27, I’m scheduled to speak at the Boston Harbor Educator’s Conference in Boston, Massachusetts on the topic of citizen science. To save paper, I’m storing my presentation handout at the link below. If you attend–or even if you don’t–please feel free to access this resource page, or to get in touch with questions.

BHEC Handout


Celebration of Literacy & Science


On Saturday, October 18, I’ll join educators and writers in a unique celebration of science and reading. Developed by the National Science Teachers Association and the International Reading Association, this unique day is dedicated to books about science, how they are written, how they’re used in the classroom and, of course, the curious kids they are written for. Here are some details:

Saturday, October 18, 2014
NSTA Area Conference
Greater Richmond Convention Center
Richmond, Virginia

The Literacy & Science event begins in the Grand Ballroom at 9am. Festivities include an exploration of literacy & science, a panel discussion with authors, a meet & greet, and more. For a complete rundown of the day’s activities and a list of the authors who’ll be there, click the link below:

Literacy and Science Celebration Flyer

Hope to see you in Richmond!

Boston Harbor Educators Conference


Click below to learn more about the Massachusetts Marine Educators Boston Harbor Educators Conference:

Conference Flyer

The event will be held on Saturday, September 27 at UMass Boston, from 9am until 4pm. I’ll be giving an education workshop on citizen science; other workshop topics include Ocean Acidification (Dr. Isaac Westfield), Salt Marsh Science (Lizz Duff and Lore LaFrance), and Marine Invasive Species (Mary Kay Taylor and Curtis Sarkin).  Join us if you can!

A Library Double Header

This summer, libraries across the country are celebrating reading and science in a collaborative initiative called FIZZ, BOOM, READ!

How perfect is that?

For a book-loving scientist like me, its pretty perfect. And I get to participate in the festivities at two Massachusetts libraries: the Merrick Public Library in Brookfield and the Holland Public Library in Holland. On Tuesday, July 15, I’ll be sharing the joy of citizen science with kids and families from these communities in back-to-back programs;  each will run about 45 minutes and be followed by some time for questions and sharing as well as a book sale/signing. Here are the details:

Tuesday, July 15 at 4pm
Merrick Public Library
2 Lincoln Street
Brookfield, MA

Tuesday, July 15 at 7pm
Holland Public Library
23 Sturbridge Road
Holland, MA

I hope to see YOU!



Coming Soon!



In just a few short months, my fifth book for children will be released into the world. Beetle Busters is being published by Houghton Mifflin as part of their ‘Scientists in the Field‘ series, and its subtitle says it all: this is the story of a rogue beetle–the gnarly Asian longhorned–and the men and women who track it here in North America. I’ll be updating my website with more information about the book, reviews, resources for teachers, and information on book launch and speaking events as soon as possible, so check back soon!

Chenery Middle School Author Festival


I’m thrilled to be participating in this humungous community celebration of reading. The Chenery Author Festival is free and open to the public, so if you are anywhere near Belmont, Massachusetts on Thursday, June 12, please drop by. Sarah L. Thompson, A.J. Paquette, David Yoo, Erin Dionne, Julie Berry, Greg Fishbone, and myself will be reading, speaking, answering questions, and signing books all afternoon; we’d love to see YOU there!


NESCBWI Session Handout


On Saturday, May 5, I had the pleasure of speaking at the New England Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (NESCBWI) spring conference in Springfield, Massachusetts. Along with children’s science writer and photographer Alexandra Siy, I presented a workshop called “Writers as Architects: Structure in Nonfictioin.” If you were there, thank you for coming. The handout we promised is at the link below. And if you weren’t there, we missed you. You should feel free to have a look at the handout, too. 🙂

Structure in Nonfiction Handout


NSTA Session Handout

On Saturday, April 5, I had the pleasure of speaking at the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) annual conference in Boston, Massachusetts. My presentation was called “How Can I Help? Empowering Students with Citizen Science.” If you were there, thank you for coming! The handout I promised is at the link below.

And if you weren’t there, we missed you. You should feel free to have a look at the handout, too!

NSTA Handout

Retreat Scholarship Opportunity


**Edited on April 21 to add: The winner of this scholarship has been announced. Check out Kristy Dempsey’s announcement.**

In 2008, several children’s writers joined together for a retreat in Boyds Mills, PA, the home of Highlights Magazine and the wonderful Highlights Foundation. We were all working on different stories in different genres, and so we planned a working retreat, not one where we would meet often to learn from a speaker, but one that would allow us the time we needed to dive deep into our stories and come up for air when we needed it. As it turned out, we usually came up for air about 4:00 pm every day, meeting together to share not only what we had written, but also a few tears and a lot of laughter.

The time we spent alone writing and the time we spent together encouraging one another was important for the stories we were working on at the time and to prepare us for the stories we would work on after our retreat at Boyds Mills. It was so important for us that we want to provide the same opportunity for another writer. The Highlights Foundation is offering Unworkshops during various dates throughout 2014. Consider it time to get away and write what your heart most wants to work on. We can’t work it out for any of us to go back right now, so we’re sending one of you!

If you are a sincere and dedicated writer who could use this focused time, our retreat group is offering 5 night’s stay at a Highlights Foundation Unworkshop, daily writing prompts/encouragement from the members of our retreat group (picture book, non-fiction, middle grade and young adult authors) for the length of your workshop and hopefully even a Skype gab session with one or more of us during your Unworkshop (depending on dates and availability.) (You would be responsible for your own transportation to Boyds Mills.)

To qualify for consideration for this prize, send a statement by March 31, 2014 (to explaining why this retreat could be important to you as a writer/illustrator of children’s literature. Share a little about the project you would plan to work on during the retreat and your experience writing or illustrating for children. We’ll consider all entries and announce the recipient on April 15, 2014.

Happy Writing!

Loree Griffin Burns
Kristy Dempsey
Katy Traffanstedt Duffield
Kathy Erskine
Alma Fullerton
Sara Lewis Holmes
Anne Marie Pace
Tanya Goulette Seale
Linda Urban
Cassandra Reigel Whetstone

My New Home on the Web


I’m thrilled to have launched my new website this week. Please click over and check out the fun, including …

A page dedicated to my new picture book, Handle with Care;

Teacher Resource pages for Handle with Care;

A page dedicated to my upcoming Scientists in the Field title, Beetle Busters;

My very own bookstore!

As happy as I am about the new digs, it is bittersweet leaving this blog behind. My new site has room for all the things I do here, though, and simplifying my online presence makes good sense. I’ll leave this blog here as I transition some of its content over, but I’ll not be posting anything new.

So, my friends, thanks for reading. And please do come on over and visit me at!