2013: A Year in Review

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope that 2014 is off to a wonderful start for each and every one of you.

As we start this new year, the Nerdy Chicks wanted to take a moment and reflect on 2013. This past year was a great year for Nerdy Chicks Rule. We covered so many topics near and dear to our hearts — and we had a lot of fun, too.

We reflected on life, on education, and on mothers.

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We discussed college, art, and losing.


We interviewed women we admire. We quoted women we respect.

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We blogged about gardening, gifts, and gratitude.


We covered reading, writing, and arithmetic. And a whole lot of other things that don’t fall into cutesy category headings!


Like I said, it was a great year, and these are just a few examples of the kinds of posts we featured. If you missed any, take a moment to browse through and tell us what you think.

We are really looking forward to having you all join us for this coming year. Things are only going to get better.

Summer Reading

Children's choicesA few weeks ago I was very excited to find out that The Boy Project made the 2013 Children’s Choices Reading List. At the time, I announced it on Facebook and Twitter, but wanted to wait to announce it here when putting together a post about Summer Reading.

Maybe over the years you’ve seen the Children’s Choices Bookmarks in your library with Tomie dePaola’s cute logo of back to back children reading at the top, and the list of recommended books below?  I was very familiar with these bookmarks, which made the news that my book would be on one of them particularly thrilling!

The Children’s Choices reading list is co-sponsored by the International Reading Association and the Children’s Book Council. It is described on the IRA website as:

“A reading list with a twist! Children themselves evaluate the books and write reviews of their favorites. Since 1974, Children’s Choices have been a trusted source of book recommendations used by teachers, librarians, parents—and children themselves.”

The list is revealed in late April, just in time to prepare for summer reading. If you want to check out some of these approved kid-friendly titles (picture books through middle grades), click on the image above. (The downloadable bookmark is on the last pages.)

The pull of easy entertainment is more prevalent than ever in today’s world, and though I hate to admit it, sometimes I have to force my children to read. The good news is that once they start reading a good book, they don’t want to stop. So summer reading is going to be pushed in my house this year. I’m already tired of the drone of the television and watching my bright daughter hunched over her iPod. We are entering a period of mandatory reading time, and it is going better than I expected.

the apothecary My thirteen year old daughter is currently reading The Apothecary by Maile Meloy. Her school recommended it, and she has told me about fifteen times already that it is a “really really good book!”  Here is the brief summary from Google Books:

” Follows a fourteen-year-old American girl whose life unexpectedly transforms when she moves to London in 1952 and gets swept up in a race to save the world from nuclear war.”

I am also indulging in summer reading. I’m currently reading Siege and Storm, the YA fantasy sequel to Leigh Bardugo’s  Shadow and Bone, which was is of the best YA

shadow and bone fantasies I’ve read in a long time.   I do think it’s important to let children read books they ENJOY for summer reading. The first book my daughter selected, she just couldn’t get into. She felt guilty about not finishing it because we’d purchased the book. After she got a few chapters in and still didn’t like it,  I let her abandon it for a title she’d enjoy. It is far more important at this stage for reading to be an activity she loves, than for us to “get our money’s worth” from a particular book.

So may great books are out there waiting for us! What are you and your family reading this summer?