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Practically Paradise
Inside Practically Paradise

Miranda Reads Biodiversity of Coasts by Greg Pyers

Miranda Ritts writes: The name of the book is Biodiversity of Coasts by Grey Pyers. This book is very educational. I think it is great that it talks about things that are going on in the world such as oil spills. This is a great book for research. It would be good for topics such […]

Miranda Reads Watch Out World – Rosy Cole Is Going Green!

Miranda Ritts shares her review of Watch Out World – Rosy Cole Is Going Green!  The book is written by Sheila Greenwald. This book has a great storyline. It really shows how anyone big or small can do their part to go green. I really enjoyed how the book gives great ideas on how to […]

Miranda Reads Doubles Troubles by Betty Hicks

Miranda Ritts reviews Doubles Troubles by Betty Hicks and illustrated by Simon Gane. One of the main things I like about this book is how it tells true things about sports and competition. I liked that the kids in this book did and went through things that every kid playing sports would go through. Another […]

Leaving Paradise

No, I’m not talking about leaving the blog. I’m chatting about how much I enjoyed reading Leaving Paradise  and how excitedly I’m waiting for the sequel, Return to Paradise,  to come out September 1st. Simone Elkeles (also author of Rules of Attraction, Perfect Chemistry, How to Ruin a Summer Vacation, How to Ruin Your Boyfriend’s […]

Paying it forward – do you?

Recently the ALA executive board members have been receiving thank you notes from Spectrum Scholar recipients. These notes mean a great deal to me because I was a recipient of the David H. Clift scholarship in 1988 from ALA. It enabled me to go to graduate school 2 weeks after earning my B.A. I can […]

Preparing for the new year

Do you have a list of activities you do before you even walk in the door of the school for the new year? I’d love it if you would email me those Must-Do’s. Here are a couple of mine: Organize a Special Calendar of Events for the entire year Register for YALSA’s Teen Read Week* […]

Engaging students in writing using TweenTribune

I decided to try out (a totally free source) this year in addition to my Edusoft blog (for which I pay monthly out of my personal bank account $6.95 to avoid ads). Have you tried it yet? With 28,000 teachers already using TweenTribune, I feel like a late-adopter. Here’s how TweenTribune works. Each weekday, they […]

A perfectly lovely sad yet romantic young adult title The Girl Next Door


The Girl Next Door by Selene Castrovilla. WestSide Books, 2010. ISBN 9781934813157 . 240pp $16.95 ages 14+ Have you read this book yet? Be warned. It is both romantic and sad. It grabbed me emotionally and I ended up holding someone’s hand while I read. I was hooked so thoroughly that I was afraid my […]

Miranda Reads The First Pup: The Real Story of How Bo Got to the White House

Elaine Landau's book

Miranda Ritts* writes:  The name of the book is The First Pup: The Real Story of How Bo Got to the White House. This book was written and illustrated by Bob Staake. I liked how this book has a lot of detail in the story. It gives readers a great idea of what went on […]

“Woof-stock” 2010 at the Plymouth County Historical Museum

Ancient Stove

I returned to Washta, Iowa, to visit my parents too late to participate in nearby LeMars’ Woof-stock, but I am definitely planning to attend this event next year.  Judy Bowman of the Plymouth County Historical Museum in LeMars, Iowa, shared details on this event with my niece Miranda and nephew Andrew. In addition to helping […]