“eggplants”–a way to teach kids about Jesus’ death and resurrection

My six-year-old proudly held up his Styrofoam cup full of dirt. I knew his teacher was using the planting of marigold seeds to teach the children about death and resurrection. “They’re my flowers,” he announced, despite no sign of life. He then pointed to the wooden barrel sitting on the corner of the patio where, […]

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Tree Street Kids books 1 and 2 available for preorder!

I can’t believe we’re only one month away (April 6!) from the release of Jack vs. the Tornado and The Hunt for Fang, the first two books in the Tree Street Kids middle grade (8-12) series. The Tree Street Kids live on Cherry, Oak, Maple, and Pine … but their 1990s suburban neighborhood isn’t all […]

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Tree street kids Cover reveals!

After 1 1/2 years of working on the first two books in my new middle grade series, the Tree Street Kids, the day has finally come for the COVER REVEALS! Thank you to the gifted Aedan Peterson for this amazing cover art and the interior illustrations, which truly capture the spirits of the characters. Thanks […]

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Frog and Toad . . . and Grace

Arnold Lobel, the author of the classic Frog and Toad books said this, and I love it . . . To be making books for children is to be in a sort of state of grace. He explained that writing children’s books allowed him the freedom and pleasure of being an adult but also the […]

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Tales of a Fifth Grade Reader

middle grade book

Mr. A rarely smiled and his dress shoes—as black and shiny as his slicked down hair—squeaked. I think I saw him smile once. A little. I don’t remember. He was quiet like me. I do remember the five-shelf classroom library he stocked with books just for the fifth and sixth graders who shared the same room all day long.

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Nature is marking this long trail of days

I just barely remember my first walk in the woods. My grandmother took me. Maybe it was in the patch of forest across the street from her square little house with the wringer washer and the beagle who ate locusts.

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New YouTube Channel!

Welcome to our new YouTube channels with a read-aloud of chapter 1 from Jack vs. the Tornado!

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Animal Tales and Tails: A review and reflection

Amanda Cleary Eastep I don’t recall how old I was when I realized Aslan the lion was an author’s fantastical version of Jesus. I had been raised in church and Sunday school, so although this connection should have been obvious, it didn’t quite dawn on me. But once it did . . . I felt […]

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Twisters and Big Book Announcements

By Amanda Cleary Eastep For the book announcement, skip down the page to The Third Tornado! The First Tornado “Is this a war?” That’s what I remember thinking when it happened. We were driving back from a family reunion on a long stretch of road that cut through Midwest corn fields . . . acre […]

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