Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Smack Dab News - Coronavirus Edition

Authors at Smack Dab in the Middle have a slew of activities and freebies to help you and your young readers during these trying times. We hope this will help fill the hour, provide some fun and laughter, keep minds busy, even help teachers looking for some additional online resources.

Holly Schindler

My Invent Your Own Superhero: A Brainstorming Journal - Deluxe Edition is currently free in e-book form:

Download links:



1) I have a new YouTube channel, where I'm offering read-alouds from my books, as well as a couple of "pause-and-write" video workshops for grades 4-8--one on Good Story Beginnings; and another on Four Elements of Character.  Both workshops incorporate my co-authored series books as examples. (Lousy pic, but you get the idea... :-))

2) I'm also offering free Skype/Zoom visits for any kids who would like to have a chat about my books and/or the writing process. Happy to chat individually or with whole classes.

3) And I'm currently offering a limited number of free mini-mentorships as well, for motivated creative writers (grades 4-12) who would like some extra help with a story, novel, or with their writing in general, between now and the end of the school year.


Best to everyone out there!


Teachers, librarians, classrooms, book clubs -- email Michele to set up a free 20 minute Skype or Zoom session about Michele's new middle grade novel coming in May -- Hello from Renn Lake. Very timely topics of the climate crisis and youth activism, as Annalise Oliver, 12, tries to save the lake in her small Wisconsin town after it's closed due to a harmful algae bloom. Kirkus says the story is "An earnest and disarming tale of human and environmental caring."

In a unique twist, the lake is one of the narrators.


Over the past weeks, as less cars have been on the road and buildings have been shut, scientists are noting that our air and waterways are cleaner. This is a message loud and clear -- we need to take better care of our planet and all of its living things.

Stay healthy!


Free down-loadable Curriculum Guides for her new novel-in-verse WISHES, DARES, AND HOW TO STAND UP TO A BULLY. Guides include study questions, vocabulary lists, Curriculum guide on anti bullying. Lots of kid-friendly activities on her blog.

She also has wordsearch puzzles and will do a Skype visit to any classroom who uses her book. Visit

Alone together...we can do this! xo

And I'll answer with

Hi! It's Jody Feldman. I originally set this offer up with virtual classes in mind, but if you, as a group, a class, a family (in any shape or size), would like to ask me questions about my books, about writing ... hey, I'm happy to answer anything ... this is your chance.
Click here for more info!

Celebrate National Poetry Month (April) with FREE poems! Poetry can be a balm and a joy during these difficult times... and over the years I've shared hundred of poems on my blog. For 2020 I've been adding to the collection by sharing a poem each Poetry Friday as part of ArtSpeak: RED (in which I write a poem after a piece of art that includes/features the color red). You can find the poems (along with graphics, videos, poetry-writing tips) at the Poem Index tab of my Live Your Poem blog.

Additionally, my latest book with Charles Waters, DICTIONARY FOR A BETTER WORLD: Poems, Quotes and Anecdotes from A to Z, offers all kinds of connections to this current crisis. You can find the Discussion Guide here and videos of Charles performing many of the poems here.

Feel free to contact me via email: irene (at) irenelatham (dot) com. Together we're going to get through this! xo


Ginger Rue / Tig Ripley Series:

Virtual Storytimes & Book Recording Guidelines During COVID-19
By posting any book online, you agree to all terms and conditions outlined below. Sleeping Bear Press may adjust these terms in the future, as necessary.
Please clarify at the beginning of your reading that you are reading with permission from Sleeping Bear Press.
Please delete any publicly posted videos (on Youtube, Instagram. Facebook, etc) by June 30, 2020.
For recordings available on password protected or virtual learning sites, we are allowing the use with no deadline at this time.
Please email to let us know which title you are sharing and on which platform.

Are you a teacher or parent with a request of your own for one of the Smack Dab authors? Please don't hesitate to get in touch at smackdab(dot)middle(at) Stay safe and well! 

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