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Blogs, Vlogs, and Podcasts

September 2018 – these pages, blogs and vlog links all were current as of this date, unless otherwise mentioned.  Please let me know about any dead links and I will re-evaulate them.  CINDY

Reader’s Advisory Ideas

The Interview – very informative slides

Tami Austin – Reader’s Advisory for Children

What Should I Read Next : By Anne Bogel.  Each week she recommends three books to someone as the next books for them to read.  I won’t spoil the formula for you.  While they rarely discuss a children’s book, the conversations are well-worth listening to, and the pattern is very compelling when it comes to reader advisory.


Choose a Book – South Jordan Middle School – 7th – 9th grade

Imagination Soup – Mostly picture books, but up to 7th grade

Reading Rockets – Picture books mainly

What We Do All Day – Babies to Middle Grade

Provo Library – Babies to Teens

Growing Book by Book – up to 7 years

Los Angeles Public Library – Teens

Los Angeles Public Library – 0-11 years old

Fantastic Fiction – a cornucopia of book information – no reviews

What’s Next – find the name of the next book in a series – any age

Vlogs (video blogs)

Epic Reads : Sponsored by HarperCollins, Epic Reads specializes in YA books – content is uploaded daily.  Author interviews, funny stuff, and lots of information about new and upcoming books.


NEW – Kibooka : A site that highlights authors and illustrators of Korean ancestry with books available in English. The brainchild of Linda Sue Park.

Let’s Talk Picture Books/Illustrators : Mel Schuit is a picture book author/illustrator and she interviews her fellow authors and illustrators about the books and their creative processes. The list of interviews is long and will keep you busy for a long time.

The One and Only Marfala :  – Martha is a Youth Services Librarian,  She does the occasional book review and some very quirky crafts, usually using found objects.  She has a fun rating system for her book reviews and her crafts show a large amount of creativity.  Most of them would be easily replicated.

The O.W.L. : Jill is a middle school librarian and has been blogging on O.W.L. since 2009.  She does book reviews, giveaways, and some standard book-related blogging days (Waiting on Wednesday, for example, for books that she is anticipating reading).  She publishes one review a week with a short review, some background info, and a long review, or novel, as she calls it.

Ms. Martin Teaches Media : Kathy is a retired school librarian.  The blog has run since 2010.  Kathy participated in several of the book-blogging memes, but now that she is retired she posts mostly reviews.  I do like her State of the Stack – it is a link to her ToBeRead pile that she keeps electronically.

Middle Grade Minded : Since 2013, this group of middle grade authors has been collectively blogging about books and writing.  So much great information about writing for middle grade, and lots of links to other interesting websites.  It’s hard not to get sucked in.  Definitely a blog to follow!

The Boy Reader :  Kyle is the librarian at an urban elementary school.  His blog is aimed at finding books and activities for boys.  His style is very conversational and he doesn’t post frequently, so it is an easy blog to keep on top of.

Story Time Secrets :  Kate is a trained children’s librarian, now stay-at-home mom and the author books about story times.  Her last post was January 2018, but her archives are so great, this blog is well worth your time. While she has lots of lists of picture books, my favorite are the posts where she walks you through a story time with titles, sings, and other activities.

Smack Dab in the Middle :  Another group of middle grade authors who have banded together to write a blog. Posts come out about every other day.  Lots of author interviews, suggested book lists, and musings – professional, personal, and random.  There is so much info it can be hard to catch up with , but subscribe to get their new content.

Kidliterati : A group of 20+ middle grade authors who started out as a critique group and liked each other so much they started this.  About ten posts a month.  Mostly reviews, but also some author interviews and The Kidlerati Ten where they ask a child ten questions about the book they are currently reading.

Jean Little Library : Jennifer is a blogging madwoman.  This blog is about books, of course.  Her breezy style is fun to read. She is almost equally divided between elementary and middle grade books. : Started by WETA, the PBS affiliate in Washington, DC, this is a serious fact-filled site to help anyone working with reluctant adolescent readers.  The Books and Authors tab is chockfull of lists, interviews, and discussion guides.  Start there and be prepared for many pleasant hours of browsing.

Sal’s Fiction Addiction :  Started in 2009 by Sal, who is now a retired teacher-librarian.  Sal reviews about a book a day, mostly picture books, but a sprinkle of other age levels are included.

Rich in Color : A small blog started in 2013 to highlight YA books by about or by people of color and First Nations.  There are about 15 posts a month, so it is easy to keep current and to catch up.  Check out the Author Interviews!

I’m Here, I’m Queer : Started by Lee Wind in 2007.  If you are interested in LGBTQIA+ YA books, this is the place to be.  A very rich blog and it even includes a series of videos about gender. Lots of book reviews.  Lots of interviews with agents.

Latinxs in Kid Lit :  If you want an overview of some K-12 Latinx books, check out the REVIEWED BOOKS pages.  A simple way to update your Latinx offerings, especially if you only carry Gary Soto – nothing wrong with Gary, there is just plenty of company for him out there.

Cynsations :  Started by author Cynthia Leitich Smith in 2004, but now is helped along by a stellar group.  If you want more information about Own Voices, diverse,  and International literature, you can not miss this blog. Subscribe tot he blog and checkout the Archives.

Multiculturalism Rocks! : By Natalie Mvondo.  A bit harder to navigate because it doesn’t have a archive or list or topics.  But if you want to educate yourself on diverse literature, you can’t miss this one.

Flowering Minds : Darshana started the blog in 2010 and does just about one post a month.  A great way to keep up on South Asian voices in KidLit

The Brown Bookshelf : Run by a group of author and illustrators in 2007 to highlight brown voices in kid lit. Beyond the author interviews and book highlights, I love the essay posts – the posts that make me think about my personal approach to literature and what I promote.

Ms. Yingling Reads : A middle school librarian, Karen concentrates on middle grade books on her blog. About a book a day and a review a day.  Insightful information about what’s new in middle grade.

GeoLibrarian :  Heidi is a Utah elementary librarian.  You’ll have to either click on the labels to find older reviews, or subscribe one the many different ways to keep up with future posts.

Publishers: So many great publishers websites available!  While you have to read between the lines about the age levels and content of books, there is no better way to what to have on your TBR (to be read) radar. 

I especially love publisher blogs for author interviews , activities, downloadables, and curriculum.  Check for links to their YouTube pages and sign-up for newsletters for the best way access their content.


Macmillan Kids


Simon & Schuster – The Book Pantry

Kids Can Press

Disney Book Group

Scholastic for Teachers

Lee and Low

Podcasts:  Don’t want to watch while you are listening, then try out these podcasts instead.  Download them and listen on your drive to work or while you’re running errands

Dream Gardens : Once a month or so, Jody Lee Mott interviews someone in the book community about their favorite middle grade book.  Great resource for in depth information about one person’s take on a classic or new book.

HarperCollins Children’s Podcast : Weekly podcasts interviewing authors about their books.

Curious City : Started Kirsten Cappy, she presents usually weekly on a public radio station and then stores that as a podcast on the blog.  Each episode revolves around a theme.

Books Between : Corrina is a 5th grade teacher and podcasts book recommendations and author interviews aimed at books for kids 8-12.

Picturebooking : Nick is an artist illustrator and interviews picture book illustrators about their work. A great way to get background info on picture books and their illustrators to add a fillip to any story time.

The Yarn :  A podcast from School Library Journal that focuses on an author interview.  No more than 4 a month.

Scholastic Reads : Wide ranging discussions and introductions to Scholastic’s titles.  Each episode is about 20 minutes – great to listen on a morning drive.

Book Club for Kids : Kitty Fiedle has been interviewing kids about the books they read since 2003 on public radio.  A short, but rich list of back episodes for this podcast.

Publisher’s Weekly KidsCast : 150+ interviews with authors and illustrators from the whole range of K-12 literature.  Great archive so that you can zoom in on the people you want to hear from.

First Draft :  Click on the Searchable Archive to home in on the podcasts you want to listen to.  They top out at over an hour, so you should be ready for a bit of rambling, but great depth.

CYA Podcast : Since 2010, librarians with the Oklahoma Department of Libraries deep dive into a wide variety of picture books up to novels.  What a great in-depth look at books, including cover critique!

Authors are Rockstars! : Michelle and Allison enthusiastically interviewed authors wherever they could find them.  I don’t normally promote podcasts no longer in service, but there is a lot of good talk going on here.

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