Follow This Blog: RSS feed
A Chair, A Fireplace & a Tea Cozy
Inside A Chair, A Fireplace & a Tea Cozy

Help, Please!

For a presentation I’m doing on children’s and young adult book blogs, what book blogs do you recommend as “must” read?

The audience is school librarians, if that helps.

Along with that, what are some of the reasons you think school librarians should read book blogs?


About Elizabeth Burns

Looking for a place to talk about young adult books? Pull up a chair, have a cup of tea, and let's chat. I am a New Jersey librarian. My opinions do not reflect those of my employer, SLJ, YALSA, or anyone else. On Twitter I'm @LizB; my email is


  1. Shelf Elf, Angieville, bookshelves of doom, Steph Su Reads, The Book Smugglers

    (hope that helps!)

  2. Probably all the ones I could mention you already know. Charlotte’s Library is a great resource, especially for multicultural sff. As far as why–a range of books you might not have heard of, conversations about them that bring in other viewpoints (I can see this especially being valuable if they want to build a solid inclusive collection but don’t know where to start).

    Also, I’ve been involved in that world for long enough that I have a hard time knowing why you WOULDN’T.

  3. I’m kind of biased on this one, but my wife writes a blog on diversity in children’s literature, from young kids to teens. She started this for our son who was adopted from Ethiopia, so she writes about adoption and then multicultural books too. Her blog is Sprout’s Bookshelf, I hope you enjoy it. Please contact her if you decide to use it, she would be honored.

  4. Tea Cozy, Finding Wonderland, Chasing Ray, Fuse #8, The Sisters’ Tale (, Bookshelves of Doom – and, for picture books, Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast aka 7 Imp! Hope you’ll consider my blog, Bildungsroman, as well.

  5. A few other good ones: Crazy Quilts, The Nonfiction Detectives, Educating Alice, and Here in the Bonny Glen

  6. The Readventurer (they go middle grade through adult books):

    Wordchasing (she just began blogging but she’s been reviewing on Goodreads forever):

  7. Crossreferencing should be at the top of the list. It has the most literary analysis of any site out there, and the format of letters between librarian mother and son is delightful. And of course since you’re SLJ-based you’ll include Adult Books 4 Teens.

    I’m just listing things you already know, but Stacked is a must-read, along with Reading Rants! Out of the Ordinary Teen Booklists!, Bookshelvers Anonymous, and Teen Librarian Toolbox. Mermaid Visions has thoughtful reviews, but keeps a pulse on the newest releases. For fun reviews that are southern-polite but rapid-fire: Into the Hall of Books.

    And when they’re in season, of course Someday My Printz Will Come, and Battle of the Kids’ Books are de rigueur.

    Finally, I keep Youth Services Corner on my g-reader. It doesn’t update often, but it keeps a running total of starred reviews over the year. Jen J does this as well or better, but you have to get your data by e-mail from her!

    Yes, of course following book blogs is a good idea, but the key is moderation. You have to choose the best, and not load your reader down with a lot of them, or you’ll spend all day catching up. Book bloggers are prolific posters!

  8. Don’t forget 100 Scope Notes. Reviews of new books are the #1 reason for school librarians to read book blogs, but Travis Jonker also posts some great projects to do with classes, like the spine poetry project.

  9. My all-time favorite is Slatebreakers (, which focuses on feminism in kid lit and YA lit. Their reviews are well-written and in-depth, and their book selections have a lot more variety than I see in other blogs.

  10. I read this often. The school librarian works in my former district and I respect her opinion and the others who post on this blog.

    Who has time to read everything that is published…we must rely on sites, blogs, recommendations of others for purchasing since most of us are dealing with small budgets!

  11. Donalyn Miller says:

    I recommend:

    The Nerdy Book Club
    John Schu’s Watch. Connect. Read.
    A Year of Reading

    I agree with previous recommendations for Educating Alice, The Nonfiction Detectives, and 100 Scopes Notes. We are lucky to have so many great blogs to read and share.

  12. I’d recommend Ms. Yingling Reads–she’s a school librarian herself, and states with no beating around the bush why and why not books are a good fit for her middle school library.

  13. For elementary books, I recommend John Schu’s “Watch. Connect. Read.” Daily inspiration & ideas and he’s an elementary school librarian. Teach Mentor Texts is another great blog that reviews a variety of levels of books (by Jen & Kellee).

  14. Donna Miller says:

    Hi Liz,
    I am an elementary school librarian and I have a bunch of blogs that I follow – mainly becasue I do not have time to read all of the book review articles and magazines. I find that following a few blogs narrows down the “good” books. Some of the ones I follow:
    Book blog – booklist magazine
    Book-a-day almanac – she does new and old, sometimes I miss the oldies but goodies
    NYT Sunday Children’s bok review
    SLJ feeds
    Teach Mentor texts

  15. If you want some Australian content:

    My organisation, Centre for Youth Literature, has the Read Alert blog

    However, our teen peer recommendation website has a writer in residence blog (authors post for a month), a teen in residence who blogs about anything book related and other aspects. Huge Australian following.

    In terms of Australian bloggers: Alpha Reader htttp:// is the best of the bunch writing comprehensive YA reviews of Australian and international work.

  16. Melissa Techman says:

    I also highly recommend Mary Ann Scheuer’s blog Great Kid Books and Sarah Ducharme’s Try Curiosity Buffy Hamilton just moved to the PL world, and her blog will always be a must read: Aaron Schmidt’s blog Walking Paper is a must read for every librarian in every type of library: He is smart and thoughtful and makes me think about users in important ways.

  17. Waking Brain Cells, Bookends (on the Booklist website), Abby (the) Librarian, Pink Me

  18. You’ve got some great suggestions here. Some others I enjoy following are:
    * KidLitFrenzy ( – I love her breadth & scope, and her focus on nonfiction picture books
    * Digital Media Diet ( – this blog has a deep and unique perspective on book apps and developing media
    * The Classroom Bookshelf ( – rich and interesting ideas on how to extend/develop connections with books in the classroom
    * Calling Caldecott ( – fascinating discussions about the art of picture books, but with a broad look at the impact that the words/text have in combination

    Hope you can share your presentation!

  19. Nepotism because I write with Ana on ladybusiness, but things mean a lot is a great resource and features lots of YA content. Lots of other blogs I’d have mentioned are already listed but how about The Booksmugglers and I always read Fat Girl Reading when Angie has time to post.

  20. Thanks Beth for the nod to my stars spreadsheet; I’m blushing over here! I have moved the info over to a Google Docs spreadsheet that can be accessed as long as you have the link which I will include below. Liz, you’re welcome to share it if you want, but for most school librarians I would imagine just knowing what’s starred isn’t going to be enoughl

  21. Claudia Silk says:

    I am a Librarian at a Public Library and I love the Sweet on Books website Not only do they do great summaries on the books, they also rate them and give realistic reading levels. They often include discussion questions and I love their highlighs section that include laugh meter, fear factor and subject matter. The bloggers both have teaching and literacy experience and they are also mothers! Highly recommend that you take a look at this site!

  22. Wow, lots of great sites listed. I’ll be repeating some, just in case you need to know how many of your readers read the other sites. These are the main ones I read.

    Picture Books and Middle Grade:
    – Book-A-Day Almanac
    – Besty Bird’s wonderful A Fuse #8 Production
    – A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy
    – Random Musings of a Bibliophile
    – Book Aunt (Kate Coombs)
    – Mr. Shue Reads/Watch. Connect. Read (K-5 teacher/librarian)
    – Colby Sharp’s Sharp Read (4th grade teacher)
    – Teach Mentor Texts
    – Nerdy Book Club
    – LibLaura5 (K-8 Library Media Specialist). Lately hasn’t been posting as frequently.
    – Educating Alice
    – Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast
    – Screwy Decimal
    – Fresh Ink (book reviews by kids 7 – 17)

    Young Adult
    – The Book Smugglers – no holds barred reviews. Now reviewing more middle grade books.
    – Forever Young Adults – very funny. Also have been reviewing some middle grade books.
    – Finding Wonderland
    – Clear Eyes, Full Shelves (hey, I’m also a sucker for Friday Night Lights)
    – Oops . . . Wrong Cookie (2 Texas librarians)
    – Angieville
    – Miss Print
    – Bookie Woogie (a dad and his kids talk about books – and make videos)
    – The Book Lantern

    Hope this helps.

  23. Thank you all so much! I finalized my presentation on Sunday so cannot include some of them, but I will be providing this link so that those attending have access to it.

  24. Stuck by Oliver Jeffers. Kids love having this read to them.

  25. I know that you finished your presentation, but since this link is being provided as a reference, I thought the librarians would be interested in this site (believe it or not, I did forget to add one). Word Wenches ( is written by 8 historical authors (Jo Beverley, Nicola Cornick, Cara Elliott/Andrea Penrose, Anne Gracie, Susan Fraser King/Sarah Gabriel, Mary Jo Putney, Patricia Rice, and Joanna Bourne) and on their site they share a lot of their research and knowledge. Recent posts include fire fighting through the centuries (from Roman to Victorian), adoption in the Regency era, napping, etc. Very interesting, informative, eclectic, and fun.

  26. Most of my likely suspects are already listed.

    I will add:

    Emily Reads:
    I love the haiku format which always manages to get to the core of the book. She also does a lot of Middle Grade books which is not one of my strong suits so it’s good to get her thoughts.

    The Secret Adventures of Writer Girl:
    In addition to a lot of fun features, she also has Monday’s Muse posts which highlight lesser-known/older titles people should be reading.

    Book blogs are such a great way to keep your finger on the pulse of what’s happening with children’s and young adult books. It’s always a great way to gauge hype (what’s the book everyone is talking about) and opinions. It’s impossible to read (or like) everything. Reading other blogs is a great help to me in evaluating materials and finding read-alikes for other titles as well.