About ReadingTub

I created the Reading Tub to help families find great books to share with their kids. In the process, I found a way to bridge the gap that gets books to readers in need. Hope you'll visit often and join our discussion of literacy, reading, and books.

Claudia Mills How Oliver Olson Changed the World #TBT

Last week’s Throwback Thursday review featured a Short Chapter Book nominee from 2010 (the fifth year of the Cybils Awards). This week, we’re going to the 2009 Cybils. How Oliver Olson Changed the World by Claudia Mills was a finalist in the Short Chapter Book category that year. If you’ve read this title – or any book by Claudia Mills, be sure to include a link to your review! How Oliver Olson Changed the World written by Claudia Mills illustrated by Heather Maione Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2009 Oliver’s third grade class is studying the solar system. Crystal Harding, Oliver’s classmate is horrified that Pluto is no longer a planet. Oliver sort of agrees with her – it doesn’t seem … Read more

Nominations Please: My Cybils Prep Steps

In roughly 48 hours, the nominations period for the Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Awards (Cybils) opens. From October 1 to October 15, readers can nominate one book in any or all of the Cybils categories. Book Apps Easy Reader / Early Chapter (fiction and nonfiction) Elementary / Middle Grade Nonfiction Elementary / Middle Grade Speculative Fiction Fiction Picture Books Graphic Novels (younger audience and young adult) Middle Grade Fiction Poetry Young Adult Fiction Young Adult Speculative Fiction In years past, I’ve kept a running list of books I think represent the Cybils mission and would make great candidates. This year, I forgot. Over the next day or so, I’ll be going back through my review list to select nominees … Read more

Character Counts! A Writer’s Perspective by Fiona Ingram

Several years ago, (then) debut South African author Fiona Ingram asked us to read her new book: The Secret of the Sacred Scarab. It was the first book in a middle grade adventure series that is part India Jones, part Spy Kids. Earlier this year, Fiona published the second title, The Search for the Sword of Excalibur. Over the years we’ve kept in touch. In talking about an author’s journey, we had a wonderful conversation about how authors build their characters. We also talked about “author character” – the impact a reviewer’s comments can have on how a writer approaches his/her work. I found Fiona’s experiences and perspective not just interesting, but valuable. I invited her to build on the concepts of … Read more