Hey Writing Students! What’s Wrong With This Sentence?

I’m working on a little story about a dog and a girl named Ani, and I just wrote this sentence. It needs fixing. Something’s weird with it.

Ready? Here it is:

“In a drainage ditch, on the outskirts of a small town that is far, far away across the ocean from Ani, […]

STANLEY gets a star.

There is a starred review for STANLEY in Kirkus Reviews today. The reviewer wrote: “Add to the growing list of intelligent books about kids whose brains operate outside the norm.”

A starred review gives a wonderful feeling of affirmation to a writer. But I know that’s not what matters in the long run. […]

Still Anxious After All These Years.

Last week’s NYT Mag had a cover article about kids and anxiety that really hit home. Here’s the LINK in case you missed it:

I was such an anxious kid. And now, I’m an anxious adult! The only thing that’s improved are my coping skills. I’m more aware, and can manage physical manifestations better […]

Anxiety makes you feel so not fine.

Stanley, the main character of my next middle-grade novel (due out Feb 6, 2018), has anxiety. He talks about worry escalating in a cascade of potentially catastrophic scenarios that appear in his head like the rapidly-growing branches of Groot, the instantly-growing tree-creature in Guardians of the Galaxy.

Stanley’s character was super easy for […]

Guest Post: Tips for Designing Calming Spaces for Children

(A Note from Sally: I’ve always been very sensitive to the vibes from the rooms I’m in. I prefer the colors muted, the arrangement simple and logical… Maybe after raising three boys, I’ve developed ultimate sensory burnout and an allergy to primary-colored plastic! 🙂 But truly, I’ve always been this way.

For these reasons […]

Little ripples, small seeds.

This is Ms. Joy Shaw. Back in the late 60s/early 70s, she was a mom with an idea: to take schoolkids out onto the trails by the Mill River, let us get muddy, show us tadpoles, and teach us about the watershed. And I was one of the schoolkids.

She told us stories about […]

The Someday Birds is now available in Spanish!

Libros de Seda, the Barcelona-based publisher, is to be congratulated. Isn’t it beautiful?

Mail from a special reader / aspiring writer

I was lucky enough to get a note the other day from a special twelve-year-old I taught in a writing workshop locally.

She wrote:

“I have lots of story ideas that I think I would enjoy to write as an adult and more for that crowd, but sometimes I worry I […]

Houston, we have a problem. (Hurricane Harvey.)

Thinking and praying on the folks down in the Houston area these days. What can I do to help? I’ll donate to Red Cross and the Salvation Army, etc., but what else?

I started to wonder what books for kids are out there that talk about floods/surviving natural disasters. There are several good ones […]


I’m a big fan of Erin Human’s blog about living a neurodiverse life. I’ve gotten a lot out of reading her thoughtful entries. (you can find her blog HERE) Below is a graphic she has created and shared, as an illustrative ‘way in’ to talking to children about their autism. I think it’s a lovely […]

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