Friday, January 5, 2007


I'm ecstatic to have a superstar team of guest contributors at The Well-Read Child!

Amber Felix
Felix is a newlywed with a passion for reading. Although she has no children of her own at the moment (she's working on that, though!), her previous years working as a nanny and baby-sitter has given her the drive to show children how great reading can be. Recently a new aunt, Amber spends a lot of time with her nieces and nephews, always trying to instill the love of reading by gifting them with books whenever she can. Currently a bookkeeper in Los Angeles, Amber has started writing part time with the hopes of being able to tell her own story one day. You can find her stories and struggles online at A Fetal Attraction.

Barbara Shoup
Barbara Shoup is the author of six novels and co-author of two books about the creative process. Her short fiction, poetry, essays, and interviews have appeared in numerous small magazines, as well as in The Writer and The New York Times Travel Section. Her young adult novels, Wish You Were Here and Stranded in Harmony were selected as American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults. Vermeer’s Daughter was a School Library Journal Best Adult Book for Young Adults. She is the recipient of numerous grants from the Indiana Arts Council, two creative renewal grants from the Arts Council of Indianapolis, and the 2006 PEN Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship. Currently, she is the program director for the Writers’ Center of Indiana, an associate faculty member at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis, and an associate editor with OV Books. Her most recent novel, Everything You Want, was published in 2008. Be sure to check out Barbara's website and blog.

I'm a 20-something mom of 2 girls who loves to read. I started reading to my children right after they were born and we read everyday, many times a day. I believe it is because of this that my eldest daughter is listening to books above her age group. I understand the importance of reading to children and children reading to themselves too and I hope to help inspire others to read more with their children. I love to read children's and teens books, especially non-fiction as well as adult non-fiction. I spend most of my time reading and blogging at SMS Book Reviews.

Cheri Williams
Cheri Williams—bibliomaniac extraordinaire! Cheri loves to purchase, read, store, admire, and consume books in excess. She considers a home library, weekly book-buying binges, and nose-to-page time mandatory. A recent bookhunt revealed books in every room of her house (even the restrooms and laundry room). She sees this as a good thing.

A Book-of-the-Month Club subscriber since before birth, Cheri comes from a long line of book lovers. Passionate to leave a love-of-reading legacy, she believes, “Reading changes us. It grows us. And, reading is fun!”

To that end, Cheri pens fiction and non-fiction for tweens and teens and has the great honor of speaking to students about reading and writing. Her website offers instructional helps, as well as, daily snippets of reading fun sure to equip and entice even the most reluctant reader. You can learn more about Cheri on her website and blog. You can also find her on Facebook—she’d love to be your bibliomaniac-friend!

Erica Moore
After 11 years as a children's librarian in Portland Oregon I recently decided to stay home with my two kids, ages 2 and 5. This hasn't really given me more time to read, do laundry, daydream, or hang out on twitter but I now see my family on the weekends and our lives are less hurried and stressed. I feel more focused and connected. I love reading kids lit and I do mix in an adult book here and there, but they happen to be more of the tech industry and business genre rather than that other kind of adult book. Mostly because those are the adult books that float around our house thanks to my husband. I will read most anything and at least start... or finish it. I do have the bad habit of jumping to the end of the story. Sometimes this is to see if the middle is worth reading and sometimes it's because the suspense is killing me and I can't help but peek. That it my dirty little secret. I have also started books only to discover that I've already read it. I would like to think this is because I try and read quite a bit, and hey sometimes they change the cover art, but it could also just be a terrible memory. I think there are strong points and weak points with almost any book and it's great to celebrate the strengths even while acknowledging the weaker side. Cheers to all the authors, illustrators and poets who provide us with wonderful stories.

As a child I dressed up for career day with glasses, a long skirt, a stack of books, and my hair in a prim bun. I knew from a young age that librarian would be the ideal career for me.

Now I'm living the dream at the School of Information at the University of Texas at Austin with plans to graduate and join the working grown-ups of the world in May 2009. My goal, however, is to stick with non-grown-up types by working in the youth services department of a large public library (minus the bun). I love YA and children's literature, in particular: Beauty by Robin McKinley, Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank Gilbreth, Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey, and The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

I also maintain my own blog,, which is part book reviews and part tales of my penny-pinching miserly ways. Besides harboring secret dreams of going to school forever, I also enjoy cooking and baking, riding my bike, and planting herb gardens, only to watch them wither and die.

Jena Lohrbach
Jena Lohrbach is a freelance editor, and has been a publishing marketing & production assistant, English teacher (grades 12, 10, 8 and college freshman-level composition), and substitute high school librarian. In her spare time, she reads books and blogs and tries to keep her reviews succinct, because she only reads the short blog reviews. She and her husband reside in British Columbia. You can find Jena blogging at Muse Book Reviews.

Laura Koenig
Growing up, Laura traveled the world as part of an embassy family, but today she's settled in beautiful Boston, Massachusetts. She is currently the Children's Librarian at a branch of the Boston Public Library, where she works with children and teens of all ages. When she's not reading every single children's literature blog on the internet, Laura enjoys baking, contra dancing, traveling, watching Cardinals baseball, and playing the banjo very poorly. Laura blogs at Bib-Laura-graphy.

Lisa Stanger
Lisa Stanger is a children's librarian for Christchurch City Libraries in Christchurch, New Zealand. She has been a librarian in an unpaid capacity (while attending primary school) since 1988 and in a paid capacity (at Christchurch City Libraries) since 1997. Her interests include skepticism, computers, and decluttering. Her favorite authors for children are Dr. Seuss, Shaun Tan, Lemony Snicket and Mo Willems. She contributes to the Christchurch City Libraries Blog and Podcast.

Marlies, an avid reader, mother of two, and aspiring young adult author will be reviewing and recommending books for middle graders and teens.

Mary Rowe
The students at my school know that I am the Queen of the Library but here you can call me Mary. I am a school librarian/reading teacher three days a week and a babysitting Nana the other two days. I am also a lover of the written word. I am so privileged to share my love of books with students of all ages. There is nothing more delightful than putting that just right book into the hands of a skeptical student who then comes back wanting MORE!

My grandchildren have been immersed in literature from birth. I enjoy reading aloud to them from children's picture books and chapter books, having them stop me to ask about words they don't understand, and hearing them beg for the next chapter before they go play.

I have been inspired by reading this blog to start my own blog. I wanted a place to share some of the books in our library that are looking for a reader!

In my spare time I enjoy scrapbooking and photography. I have groups I am active in for each of these hobbies. I don't know why it took me so long to look for book blogs, but I am glad I discovered them!

Mighty Mom
Mighty Mom is a Canadian children's writer, primary school teaching assistant and mother living in Geneva, Switzerland.

Sheila Jones
Sheila Jones is a homeschooler living on an island in the Pacific Northwest. She has three kids, a thriving garden, and never thought she'd find herself as a stay at home parent, let alone a homeschooler, at this point in her life. In snatched moments of time she reads, gardens, and writes a blog: Greenridge Chronicles.

Sheila started reading aloud to her kids last year, because a certain library book was due back at the library and she thought it would be the fastest way to get her oldest child to read the darn book. And what do you know - they all loved that book so much that she took out the entire series and read those to them as well (she even blogged about it here).

Now she reads aloud to them every morning. Reading is the best way to start the day with her kids, Sheila says, because it gives her kids another world to inhabit, ever so briefly, but long enough to forget that they MIGHT have woken up on the wrong side of the bed that morning.

Besides, it's fun.

Shelly Burns
My name is Shelly Burns and I am a teacher; what I have wanted to be since I was 5. Not only am I a teacher, but a daughter, sister, wife, step-mother, grandmother, mind-molder, reader, book-lover, and so much more.

I have taught 2nd, kindergarten, and 3rd grade. My current role is Title I Reading, where I get to work with 2nd-5th grade at-risk students. I am also the Lead Mentor on my campus which means I get to help new teachers in our building. I love my job! I do have my Masters in Educational Leadership, but so far am still in a teaching role. Although, being an AP or Principal is teaching, just in a different way.

My husband and I live in Conroe, TX on 9 acres. We raise Paint Horses, of which we have 7. We also have 2 dogs. I have 2 step-daughters that are grown and married, each with children. From them, we have 4 beautiful grandchildren, three girls and a boy.

I absolutely love to read! My mom read to me from an early age, and I have been reading since I was 4. My favorite book of all time is Charlotte’s Web; I wore the cover off of it when I was in elementary school. I love that my job is to help children read better and to love to read. I spend a lot of time online and in the library looking for and reviewing books to use with my students, for the teachers, and for me personally.

Sharing my love of children's literature and inspiring others to read is my passion. I have been a children's bookseller for more than thirteen years now and I adore my job. I especially enjoy talking with kids about books and reading for story times at the bookstore. I also get to read out loud at home, although not as much as I should. I've been married for 17 years and have a 15 year old daughter who is a voracious reader, an 11 year old son who breaks my heart on a daily basis with his singular love of non-fiction - I can't even bribe him to read a novel, and a four year old who has not made his literary preferences clear yet.

Because I just don't get to talk about books enough at my job and at home, I started a blog,, so I could continue the conversation and have found a really great community in cyberspace! I want to help parents, especially those with advanced readers, find the best books for their kids. With this in mind, I review books that I think are outstanding in their field and maybe not always on the shelves of the bookstore or the library.

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