Minecraft meets Bees

I have an eleven year old son who is an avid gamer and all-round techie. He made me this video to celebrate the launch of my new middle grade novel, The Summer We Saved the Bees. How awesome is that? And really… why ARE there no bees in Minecraft yet?

Introducing… Beatrice Ekoko and Natural Born Learners!

I was thrilled to hear that a new book on unschooling was being released this year, and even more delighted when I heard that it had roots in the town I grew up in– Hamilton, Ontario–and in the radio station that I listened to during my undergraduate days at McMaster University. The book is called […]

Minecraft, and Why I Think The Kids Are Alright

  In the last few weeks, I have had several encounters with people who have expressed strong disapproval of the game Minecraft, seeing it as somehow harmful to their children– or at the very least, as a mindless distraction from more important things.  I disagree. Full disclosure: Minecraft has been a huge part of my […]

Teaching Writing to Kids — and Making it Fun

Recently, a teacher friend of mine asked me to write a blog post on the topic of “What Writers Wish Teachers Knew About Writing”. I thought a lot about it and found it rather challenging: After all, there are so many approaches to teaching writing and so many different learning styles among students—and most teachers […]

School. Prison. Can you tell the difference?

  In my 2009 young adult novel Inferno, Dante met her friend Parker while handing out flyers printed  with the words:  School. Prison. Can you tell the difference?  I wrote that book when my own child was only four and kindergarten still seemed a long way off– but apparently my own not-so-great memories of school were […]