The Truth (Yerk! Yerk!) Behind April Fool’s Day

April 1st is known as the day for pranks and hoaxes. But why? Who decided this would be the day for shenanigans? Crosley's great-great-great grandfather crocodile loved to pull pranks. He'd send his kids on phony errands (fetch me the gizmo that turns off the sun, etc.) and set up...

Why Book Reviews Matter

Think about the last book you bought. Did you choose it because you found it on a real or virtual bookshelf? Did you go looking for it because a friend recommended it? Or did you read a review that piqued your interest? As we shop more online, we increasingly look...

March Basketball Fun with Mid Graders

It's that time of year when people who pay no attention to college basketball suddenly can't get enough. Productivity and focus decrease as people watch college men and women shoot half-court shots and buzzer-beaters during the NCAA basketball tournaments. If you can't look away from the action, include your middle-grade...

Boys Who Read

In 2016, author Sands Hetherington, who was a single parent raising a son, started a campaign called Boys Who Read, which encouraged children and parents together to make reading an enjoyable habit in their lives. Seven years later, it’s worth revisiting and renewing our efforts to create a generation of...

Are Leprechauns Real? (And Other Questions You Might Ask in March)

Are leprechauns real? And if so, what exactly are they? Good questions and perfect for March! Leprechauns are small creatures that some believe are related to faeries or elves. They hail from Ireland, so the bearded fellows are often depicted wearing green and have become associated with St. Patrick's Day....

Do You Have What it Takes to be a Night Buddy?

Way back in 2014, when the Night Buddies' adventures were new and just starting to be discovered, kids wanted to know if they had what it takes to be a Night Buddy. Author Sands Hetherington ciphered on that a bit and came up with five characteristics that qualify a person...

The Skinny: What You Need to Know about Each Night Buddies Adventure

What Night Buddies book did you read first? It really doesn't matter, because once you read one, you'll want to gormandize* all four books just as fast as you can! Before the newest Night Buddies adventure is released, we thought we'd give you the skinny on all of John and...

The Night Buddies World

Worldbuilding can be one of the most fun and exciting parts of writing. Night Buddies, author Sands Hetherington, wanted John’s world to feel familiar but not too particular. While some people guess the action is set in New York City, Sands says, “I realize it has NYC aspects, but I...

Sands Love of Dogs!

Night Buddies creator Sands Hetherington loves dogs! He loves them almost as much as nighttime programs and red crocodiles. Dogs have always been a part of the author’s life, beginning with Whiskers, a cocker spaniel. When his wonderful boxer Hube died, he despaired of finding a boxer who could match...

Sands’ Journey

As we prepare to launch the fourth Night Buddies adventure, we thought we’d revisit author Sands Hetherinton’s journey from single dad to author. Sands wrote about his transition to full-time dad and then to author for The Good Men Project in October 2015.    When my son John was born,...

Best Middle-Grade Fiction of 2022, Part III

This is the last post in our three-part series on librarians’ picks for the best middle-grade fiction of 2022. Each year, the School Library Journal names its top books. We share four more of their selections for readers eight through twelve with your today. Visit our previous posts to see...

Best Middle-Grade Fiction 2022, Part 2

Today we bring you part two of librarians’ picks for the best middle-grade fiction of 2022. Each year, the School Library Journal names its top books. We share four more of their selections for readers eight through twelve with your today. The books are presented in alphabetical order by the...

Best Middle-Grade Fiction of 2022, Part 1

Need help picking out books for your middle-grade reader at the library or bookstore? Who better to ask than librarians? The School Library Journal has released its list of top books for 2022. Over the next few weeks, we’ll introduce you to a dozen of their top pick for readers...

Wacky Holidays to Celebrate in 2023

Who doesn't love a good holiday? It's fun to look forward to special days and to plan special celebrations. But don't limit yourself to the BIG holidays; pick some unusual, lesser-known holidays and observances and incorporate them into your 2023 plans. HolidaysandObservances.com offers hundreds of suggestions, but we've listed a...

A Holiday Gift from John and Cros

Merry Christmas and Happy Hannukah! John and Cros have a special holiday treat for you! They planned to send pineapple cheesecake, but when they go to the factory, it was a mess! And Jones, the pineapple cheesecake machine was jammed! So, they decided to share a scene from the upcoming...

Create a Reading Advent Calendar

Advent calendars are more popular than ever! You can find calendars that count the days to Christmas with socks, chocolates, pet treats, and Lego figures. But you can start one of the best advent countdown traditions at home with a story advent calendar. First, decide how many days you want...

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