Top Ten Nerdy Gifts 2013

It’s the holiday season, time for gift-giving and gift-receiving. You might be wondering,

“What does the nerd in my life want more than anything else?”

Tough question. You can’t just get ANYTHING. You have to take this question as seriously as, well, as your nerdy loved one would.

Here are some suggestions to help you find the optimal solution…

1. Silently Correcting your Grammar T-Shirt


This one basically screams NERDY! In a good way! (Just so you know, CafePress has an entire assortment of Silently Correcting Your Grammar merchandise!)

2. Hardcover Silhouette Earrings

book earrings

Beautiful. Nerdy. Perfect.

3. My Life in Graphs

life in graphs

This one allows the nerd in your life to collect data and carefully quantify her entire life. Who doesn’t want to do that?

4. Talk Nerdy To Me Tote

nerdy tote

This one needs no explanation.

5. Goggles Umbrella


Smart and functional. Love.

6. Style is Elemental Shower Curtain

shower curtain

Why waste a minute when you can be learning about the universe?

7. The Hungry Scientist Handbook by Patrick Buckley

hungry scientist

The cover says “Edible Origami” and “Light Up Lollipops.” Need I say more?

8. Engineer’s Motto Shirts

engineer t shirt

If this feels completely true to you, you are definitely a nerd. If this sounds completely familiar to you, you definitely love a nerd.

9. Organic Microscope Swaddling Blanket

microscope blanket

For the newest nerd in your life, get her off to a great start by emphasizing the right things.

10. Ice Speed Chess Set

chess ice

Is there anything nerdier than chess? A great game for all ages to hone critical thinking skills, competitiveness, and strategy. And the ice angle guarantees speedy play!

Happy shopping, everybody!

Being Thankful

In this season of Thanksgiving, we here at Nerdy Chicks Rule asked librarians a simple question:

What is a book that you are thankful for and why?

Here are some of the fabulous answers we got:

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

“My fifth graders and teachers can’t get enough of this book! It teaches compassion with such humor and grace. We all cheeried for Augie at the end! And we agree, everyone should experience a standing ovation.” Mary from Sayreville, NJ

aliceAlice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll  

“When I was about 8 years old, someone gave me a $1.25 copy.  I read it over and over.  I had to ask grown-ups what some of the words meant, but I loved that story so much.  I would read the book out loud to my little brother and cousin – they would have to act out the story while I was the narrator.  I’ve always loved the magic and the humor in the book, and the fact that Alice is a nasty, mostly unlikable little girl.  That book also helped make me into an anglophile.  When I finally visited England, I bought tons of Alice gear at Harrod’s.  It sits in my library at home, next to a tin of Alice jelly babies from Harrod’s.” Christy from Columbia, MD

11 Experiments That Failed by Jenny Offill

“Fun way to teach the scientific method and hypothesis.” Tom from Franklin Lakes, NJ

The Tale of Despereaux by Kate Dicamillo

“For reminding us all that, indeed, ‘stories are light’, and for playing a role in the story my wife and I now share. We read the story aloud to one another during our courtship, found truth in its words, and have continued to read aloud together every since.” Matthew from Columbia, MD

The Ugly Vegetables by Grace Lin

“It ties into social issues, science, math, and cultural issues.” Dawn from Pittstown, NJ

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

“It still makes me cry every time I read it.” Meredith from Flemington, NJ

All Elephant and Piggie books by Mo Willems

“I find at my level (k-3) it is a wonderful series that demonstrates friendship, illustrates voice, and is just plain funny.” Meg from Parlin, NJ

What books are you thankful for? Share your answers below!

The Education of the Nerdy Chick: A Chat with John Schumacher

This week, we are talking to Librarian-Blogger-Literacy-Advocate-Extraordinaire, John Schumacher. His Watch. Connect. Read. Blog ( is one of the best sources on the internet for information about children’s books, authors, resources, and insight. As a librarian and teacher, we wanted his thoughts on The Education of the Nerdy Chick, especially when it comes to reading. Thank you, Mr. Schu, for talking to us today!

We asked Mr. Schu to finish some of our sentences — here’s what he had to say:

“The differences between girl readers and boy readers are not all that different in my school library. I encourage my students not to label a book as a “boy book” or a “girl book.” If you spent an afternoon in my school library, chances are you would witness me turn to a third grader and say, “Books do not have a gender. Babymouse, Bink and Gollie, Hound Dog True, Marty McGuire, Ivy + Bean, Keena Ford, Clementine,Squish, and Stink are for ALL readers. Read what you want to read, regardless of what a marketing team might have thought when deciding on a book’s final cover or its targeted gender.”  My students know I will never create book lists with the following titles:

  • 10 Books Every Boy Should Read
  • Top Picks for Boy Readers
  • Every Tween Girl Should Read These Books
  • Listen Up Girls! You Must Read These Books

I work tirelessly to match my students with the perfect books. I consider their interests, age, and personality. Gender is not a part of readers’ advisory.”

“Girls can be reluctant readers, too. To get girls to read, I ask these questions:

  •    What are some of your all-time favorite movies?
  •    What do you do for fun on a Saturday afternoon?
  •    What does the perfect day look and sound like?
  •    Have you ever been lost in a book?
  •    What’s the last GREAT book you read?

It all boils down to this: the more I know about her, the better chance I have of recommending a book that helps her realize how awesome and gratifying it is to be a reader. It’s a magical moment when a dormant reader bonds with a book.”

“It can be hard for younger girls to embrace their inner Nerdy Chick. But what is great about when that happens is she discovers a supportive reading community that wants to discuss books and celebrate authors and literacy.

The Nerdy Book Club ( is the perfect example of a supportive and enthusiastic community.”

“Even Nerdy Chicks need guidance. To help her expand her reading interests, I would discuss a balanced reading diet and encourage her to try different genres and formats. If she’s only reading historical fiction, why not read a graphic novel every so often? If she’s only reading dystopian fiction, why not try nonfiction?

My booktalking sessions always include a nice balance of genres, formats, fiction, and nonfiction.”

“If I was a Nerdy Chick, I would wear stickers advertising my favorite books, tweet nonstop about MUST-READ titles, host book birthday parties, recommend picture books and middle-grade novels to strangers, and give away hundreds of books.  🙂 ”

Once again, a big thank you to Mr. Schu for joining us. Want to read more of his brilliant thoughts? Follow his blog, Watch. Connect. Read. And go throw a book birthday party today!